Beware Bank-paid Complimentary AD&D Insurance

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Bank of America BranchI remember a few years ago when credit card companies would send out $5 checks to customers. The catch with the $5 check was that it enrolled you in some sort of service, usually identity theft or employment related, that was free for a month. After a month, there was a monthly fee that was either flat, in the case of the identity theft service, or a percentage of your balance, in the case of the employment related service.

Last week, I received two letters from two banks reminding me of their complimentary offer of Accidental Death & Dismemberment AD&D insurance. It’s clear in both cases they’re marketing promotions trying to get you to buy AD&D insurance from their partners. However, the two offers are very different in how they approach the customer.

The first letter was from M&T Bank and they offered $1,000 of complimentary bank-paid AD&D insurance coverage through The Hartford. I had the option, but not the requirement, to increase that coverage up to $300,000 at the cost of $1.10 a month per $10,000.

The second letter from Bank of America was a little different. It stated that I could get “$10,000 of Permanent and Total Disability coverage for one full year, at no cost to you. *” The asterisk goes on to explain I actually get $1,000 of coverage per month for 10 months, which makes it a 10-month version of the offer from M&T Bank.

There’s one little catch to the Bank of America offer that isn’t a catch in the M&T Bank offer:

Coverage increases to $240,000 for $9.95 per month which is automatically billed monthly and remitted to National Union from your Bank of America checking account at the end of your one-year complimentary coverage period.

Ahhh, the 2009 bank version of a 2007 credit card marketing technique. Instead of $5 checks to customers who may unwittingly sign up for some service, Bank of America customers may be getting $1,000 AD&D insurance for ten months but put themselves on the hook for $9.95 in a year (or is it ten months?)… when they may have forgotten they signed up for this in the first place!

If you’ve been thinking about taking advantage of the free AD&D insurance, be sure to read the fine print to see what you’re committing yourself to.

(Photo: thetruthabout)

{ 26 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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26 Responses to “Beware Bank-paid Complimentary AD&D Insurance”

  1. zapeta says:

    I’ve received The Hartford’s offer many times but never signed up. Has anyone ever signed up for something like this? I’ve always thought that a free $1000 policy would come in handy if I needed it. I can imagine the amount of junk mail I’d get forever while they try to sell me more insurance, plus there is always the chance they work something in to the terms that I miss like the BofA offer.

  2. Amy says:

    I signed my husband up for this thru BOA – it’s cheap and it supplements the paltry amount we get at work ($25K). Private life insurance was pretty expensive for my husband.

    • Jim says:

      Just watch out when they autobill you.

    • Richard Baldwin Cook says:

      You mentioned “life insurance” so be sure to cgras that this is ins for one thing only accidental death / dismemberment. Death by disease, illness or natural causes is not covered.

  3. How can the BoA offer not be fraudulent?

    1) 10 months is not the same as a year
    2) $1000 coverage for 10 months is not the same as $10,000 of coverage. That would be like the FDIC saying your bank account was insured for 100K during 2009 – $8333 in Januarym $8333 in February …

    Luckily, the AD&D I get through work is cheaper than either of these options.

  4. Robert says:

    Anything that is complimentary probably isn’t as good as the real thing.

  5. freeby50 says:

    They have insurance for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons?

  6. mga says:

    Thanks for explaining what AD&D was – I had no clue. Which gives me an idea for a future article – What is in your insurance portfolio?

    I’ve got Auto, Home, Umbrella, and Health.
    I’m self employed, and went with a cheap health plan that will kick in for major emergencies, but small ones probably won’t get up to the deductable. My mom recommended the Umbrella policy incase someone breaks their leg on my property and tries to sue the pants off me.

  7. Rob Carlson says:

    The Hartford seems to like to piggyback on existing bank and credit union customers. I got (and accepted) the same $1000 offer through my local credit union.

  8. eric says:

    My eyes automatically detect fine print these days. 😀

  9. rick says:

    Appears that all this is good for is ACCIDENTAL death. If you die from disease or natural causes, which most people do, this will not pay off. Also I am sure there are limits for dismemberment, like your hand gets cut off.

  10. Richard Baldwin Cook says:

    Note that “life insurance” is not exactly what this offer is. The offer I received is for: accidental death / dismemberment. Death by disease, illness or natural causes is not covered.

  11. Victor says:

    If you are young, you most of the time pass from an accident. When you are older it is most of the time illness. So if you are young and not ready to commit to a whole life etc. the accident would be good for your parents so they can bury you…

  12. Russ says:

    Was dumb enough to sign up for the AD and D in 2009. Asked them to stop coverage and stop raiding my checking account a yr and a half ago. The Hartford always said ok but next quarter charged me and bounced me. It takes M and T 5 days to notify you via mail of an overdraft and darned if that isnt the time allowed for them to take MORE money from you. Cancelled Hartfords A D and D 5 times now. Still paying for it and another overdraft!!!

  13. Russ says:

    Sounds Like I don’t have a lot of money and no I dont. Disabled with Parkinsons. Every dime counts, just like you.

  14. Jana says:

    My Dad took out the Hartford AD&D insurance, Hospitalization, and Dr. Visits. He had an accident at home and was not found for 3 days. My sister and I live in another State. I got a call from the county hospital that he was in intensive care and that my Sister and I needed to come now. 7 hours and 400 miles later we were there and he did not know who we were. Intensive care for 2 weeks, nursing home after it was determined he could never live alone again. My sister stayed and got him into the nursing home. He was at the home for 2 months and we went back every 1 to 2 weeks. We spoke to the home every day. My sister called on July 2nd and for the first time they got him to the phone to speak to her. She noticed he was raspy when he spoke and told the nurse. She called back and advised her that he was going by ambulance to hospital at the doctors order. The ambulance brought him back to the nursing home that afternoon at 3:30 saying that he had a UTI. At 4:30 the home called back and advised our Dad had passed. Hartford has determined that the original fall at his home was not an accident and have denied all claims. This is a legal scam. It is against the elderly and Hartford needs to be held responsible for this. But they will not be. Nor the nursing home. Nor the Doctor. Nor the Hospital. The Coroner determined his death was due to age and prior surgeries that he had over 2 years earlier.
    Are there any Attorney’s out there that want to take this on contingency? Rest Well Daddy!!!

    • Margie says:

      That happened to my deceased mother. She got this policy for 250k and she had a brain hemmorage after bumping into a wall while medicated from hospital emergency room and the only paid 1/4 for her death. When my mom bought policy After age 80 she was not told this policy was not really worth that much because of her age. If you ever get a lawyer to help you out please post so I can do the same this companies take advantage of senior citizens.

      • Jana says:

        Margie, They have finally worn me down. Claim was denied, attorneys will not take on a contingency, and the State said they could do nothing due to my Dads decision to take the AD and D policy. There is no protection for the elderly. If it was an elected official they would pay with no hesitation. Our elderly are vulnerable and look for anyway to save money monthly. The income does not keep up with the costs. I give up.

  15. Caleb says:

    Yah, this “complimentary $1000 coverage” was sent to us as well. They mentioned our credit union as if their was a business partnership between them.

    As a couple, my wife signed and sent in the paperwork.

    Later, we receive from The Hartford a letter stating that we had signed up for the max $300,000 coverage, and that they would be extracting ~$150 from our bank account every quarter.

    Hold on… wife called in, they claimed we signed up for the maximum and promised to mail us a photocopy of our signed agreement. Also, we canceled the policy stating that this is not what we signed up for.

    They charge our bank anyway. We receive our photocopied agreement a week later. Clearly checked were $300,000 max amount, and authorization to pull from our bank.

    Except, my wife never checked those boxes; they are not the way she ‘X’s checkboxes.

    We believe this fraudulent company just signed us up and checked the boxes for us after receiving a signed document!

    Caveat emptor indeed.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I recieved a notice from The Hartford stating that I have complimentary AD&D insurance provided by Bank of America . I was puzzled because , 1. I had no option to accept , 2. No bennefisiaries , 3. No statement of explanation to describe coverage was ever sent to me . I am going to go to the bank & find out if I am being charged , if so ,,, I will post here … And cancel the scam

  17. Tey says:

    I have had two experiences with AD&D insurance, which made my blood boil. With Wells Fargo Bank, I closed an account and open another to stop AD&D from helping themselves to my money though an auto deduction, first you must have a checking account to have AD&D free insurance, that your (lights on question)”Why?” I open a new account with the same branch with Wells Fargo Bank, I notice an AD&D deduction for $26, deducted for the newly open account so I placed a fraud notice with Wells Fargo Bank. Stating that I had not authorized this deduction to be withdrawn for my new Wells Fargo account, the bank who first offer this free deal just moved this over to my new account. Now earlier in 2006 I had an account with my Federal credit union, in which, I attempted to close the account once I move to California, the credit refused to close this account there was a small amount of money in the savings and check, I got a overdrawn letter from the credit union, ???? I have not written any checks or withdrawn and money from this account, what could this be? call the credit union wrote a letter to close this account, No, they kept it open and attached this to my saving account with funds in it, but, was not authorized to do this AD&D insurance caused my checking to be overdrawn. The question here “AD&D insurance was free, to all credit union customers now it has a price, mind you I never got a policy it was just a free insurance the credit union offered. In my mind this is fraud at it highs level.

  18. Melissa says:

    Yea! i also got a letter from first finacial credit union. In it says check the box to recieve your 1,000 Complimentary of life insurace paid by First Financial Credit Union. – at NO COST TO YOU. HMMM!!!! Is this a scam or what??????

  19. Sina says:

    Dont do it. I accepted the same Hartford insurance through BOA. I never received a policy after 3 attempts to get my policy i only recd a letter that i have coverage of 150k with monthly prem. of 57.00. Today my bank was auto debit for 76.00?????. I’m cancelling this fraud scam.

  20. Gail says:

    I recently discovered a $49.50 charge on my husband’s monthly TD Bank checking statement, but it wasn’t for a check he wrote because we hadn’t been using that account. When I called TD I discovered it was a payment for AD&D insurance that we didn’t need or want, since we are both disabled and rarely leave our house. He thought he was getting free insurance as a benefit of having this account and thought it was life insurance. We still receive frequent offers to increase coverage but file them in recycling. I was sent a form to discontinue automatic payments, and that’s when I discovered that unknown to him – we are now joint account holders – he had already paid $495 for this insurance over five years! I asked the company, Affinion, for proof that my husband had requested this insurance but never received it. I called TD and thought they were sorting it out, but the insurance company sent me ANOTHER form to get a refund, essentially asking me to prove a negative! One of the reasons you could check as to WHY you wanted a refund is that you never bought the insurance, but this option requires you to get the form notarized AND supply a copy of your driver’s license! I am planning to file a complaint against TD with our state’s banking regulators.

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