"Canadian Tire tells wife of ailing customer to pay his $18,000 debt, despite credit card insurance" | Credit card reward programs | Discussion forum

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"Canadian Tire tells wife of ailing customer to pay his $18,000 debt, despite credit card insurance"
November 4, 2018
7:24 pm
User230
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https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/senior-hounded-about-debt-despite-canadian-tire-mastercard-balance-protector-1.4886191

A interesting article.

Basically, the person paid into this insurance for a long time and didn't qualify for it. When they got sick they didn't get it paid out. The wife went public and a settlement was reached.

Cautionary story about making sure one reads the fine print.

They say in the article the companies that offer these insurances likely make the qualifications narrow on purpose. Effectively making them not worth anything to many people. Even if they pay into it.

November 4, 2018
8:10 pm
Norman1
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User230 said

Basically, the person paid into this insurance for a long time and didn't qualify for it. When they got sick they didn't get it paid out. The wife went public and a settlement was reached.

That's not really the case. Sloppy/biased reporting.

The person got sick and would have qualified to have the minimum payments covered.

Covering the minimum payments is not automatic. A claim has to be filed. No claim was filed by the cardholder. Payments were missed. Looked like cardholder defaulted. Card issuer started collections activities.

On the other hand, cardholder could not file the claim as he had a stroke and "he became unable to recognize her [his wife] and couldn't read or write." sf-frown

Wife claimed that the card issuer told her that because the policy was in her husband's name, they could only deal with her husband! That's rather odd. If the husband died, then the deceased husband would have to call afterwards to file the claim!

November 5, 2018
5:30 am
Loonie
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Credit card insurance is always a bad deal.

That said, at 84, he really didn't have any insurance options. I don't think he could have bought life insurance or disability insurance at that age. In my experience, disability insurance is linked to employment. The policy we had expired at age 65, and it was a fairly standard policy purchased from an insurer, not a credit card company. Even after the 65th birthday, however, they kept taking the premium out of our bank account! They reimbursed this when asked but would, I'm sure, have been happy to collect it indefinitely and hope nobody ever noticed. (RBC)
So, I disagree with the youthful Kerry Taylor, self-styled financial expert, that those were his options. (I've never seen that she has any actual qualifications except for expertise in self-promotion.)

What he might have purchased would be critical illness insurance. You have to read the fine print there too, and I don't know if someone his age could qualify. That would have been the direction to go in, I think, but it's quite expensive and he would have needed to open a policy several years earlier. It looks like he wanted to avoid that, if he even knew about it.

Bottom line, he should have paid off his bill every month, used his money to pay the bill rather than the "insurance". No doubt he was paying hefty interest as well, since it's difficult for an 84 year old to rack up 18K in purchases in a month.
Secondly, you should only buy insurance from someone who is licensed to sell insurance as they are under more obligations to be straight with you and sell you a suitable product. Anyone in their 70s or 80s should not try to rely on credit card "insurance" to pay their debts. At 84, in particular, you know your lifespan is limited and so does the credit card company, and it is naive to think anyone is going to pick up your tab. A credit card company is never going to point this out to you.

Gotta feel sorry for the wife, who was probably in the dark about the issues. As his likely executor and beneficiary, she would have been liable for his debts regardless of whether she'd co-signed, assuming the assets existed to do so.

All of that said, I had a nasty experience with Cdn Tire credit card when helping elderly relatives earlier this year, so I don't doubt they were rude, threatening and impatient. It wasn't that they were wrong, it was that they were very nasty to a very elderly grieving widow and gave her conflicting information. Full points to in-store staff though, who did their best to help.

November 5, 2018
1:35 pm
2of3aintbad
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The article doesn't say how he ran up $17,000 on his Canadian Tire Mastercard.

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