Recently I wrote a post about the importance of reading bank notices for GoBankingRates.com. I almost found out the hard way that opening every notice and letter is not only important in regards to banks. Let me explain.
A few weeks ago my family went on vacation. When we returned home, I was quickly overwhelmed with email, blogging, and regular mail that had piled up. I was trying to get through everything as quickly as possible.
When I opened my mailbox to reveal a letter from my insurance company, I figured it was probably a letter reminding us that it was time to re-evaluate our insurance needs. We get a letter like that about twice a year, usually in February and August, when our auto insurance policy renews.
I almost dropped the letter in the recycle bin on my way into the house. Instead, I opened it, just to make sure it was nothing.
Imagine my surprise when I read the following:
We value your business and are concerned you are without insurance protection. As of the date this was mailed, we have not received the required payment for renewal of this policy. This means the policy, and the coverage it provided you, expired at the end of the policy period as indicated above…
I pretty much stopped breathing as I realized the letter was saying our homeowners insurance premium had not been paid out of escrow. We were at that time without insurance.
A quick call to my insurance agent revealed they had billed Taylor, Bean, & Whitaker for the insurance payment. For those who haven’t followed this blog for long, Taylor, Bean, & Whitaker was our original lender, and they went bankrupt last year, causing a whole host of problems.
Another call to Bank of America revealed that they had sent out the insurance payment the day after the date on the letter, but the payment had not yet cleared. They assured me they would call the insurance company right away to get things straightened out.
Sure enough, within a week I received a second letter, saying our insurance policy had been reinstated, retroactive to the date it had been cancelled.
The moral of the story? It pays to read all your mail, even when you think it’s junk mail.
Photo by Casey Serin.
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I'm just an average mom, trying to live a frugal life and get out of debt. I write about things that have (and haven't) worked to improve my family's financial situation. What works for me may or may not work for you, and you should always consult a financial advisor before making important financial decisions.
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