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Ripoff Report | Family Heritage Life Insurance Review - Cleveland, Ohio
Report: #951750

Complaint Review: Family Heritage Life Insurance Company of America - Cleveland Ohio

  • Submitted:
  • Updated:
  • Reported By: Stan — Austin Texas United States of America
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  • Family Heritage Life Insurance Company of America 6001 East Royalton Road Cleveland, Ohio United States of America

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Potential buyer beware. Potential employee (independent contractor) beware.  This company solicits overpriceddread-disease policies (cancer, accident, heart-disease, and life insurance) door to door in lower-class areas, often to people who cannot afford traditional major medical health insurance. 

The only people who are really making money are the CEO, Howard Lewis, and his slimy entourage of upper management.  You are merely a slave, given no base salary, no benefits whatsoever, who is encouraged to work from 10am to 9pm, Monday through Saturday to fatten the wallets of your managers while they are out brainwashing more potential sales reps.  Why?  Because the turnover for this legal pyramid scheme is through the roof they cant hire people fast enough to replace all of the turnover (which is probably in the 60-75% range.  Seriously). 

Why this is an awful insurance policy to own:

1)     It is overpriced compared to Aflac and other policies available through your employer.

2)     They target people in lower-class neighborhoods, many of which dont own a major medical policy. They are conned into thinking that at least they have some coverage.  In reality, they do not they are only covered if their family deals with cancer, heart disease, or accidents.  And poorly covered, at that the reimbursements hardly cover the money you pay in premium.

3)     The customer service is awful and they, like any other insurance company, will do their best to avoid paying claims whenever possible.

4)     If it was so great, wouldnt you have called them?  They just showed up at your doorstep to sell this thing to you.  Doesnt that sound a bit strange?

Why this is an awful insurance company to work for:

1)     Door to door. Residential. 

2)     They place you in lower-class neighborhoods, encouraging you to work from 10am to 9pm at night.  Most of these areas are unsafe after dark.

3)     No base salary. No benefits.  Nothing.  You pay your own gas, your own hotel costs, your own airfare to company functions, even the parties that are held at company functions those go right on your tab! What a joke!

4)     100% Commission-based.  And the commission is entirely arbitrary they assign your contract percentage based on how badly they want you to work for them.  The directors/managers are on 80% or higher contracts.  They give their slave labor contracts ranging from 30-70% of the premium amount.  That means, in most cases, your manager makes MORE money than you do on YOUR sales!

5)     They dont care if you quit if you quit, your manager still gets paid on your policy for the time that policy stays on the books.

6)      \Policy retention these policies, much like the salesforce, have an incredibly high turnover. 

Policies are cancelled at a ridiculous clip somewhere in the 25-30% range.  If not higher.

In summation, you are out of your mind if you are ever convinced that this is a good company to work for or buy a policy from.  The polices are terrible, the salesforce is a bunch of kool-aid drinking half-wits who are merely slaves to their manager, who kicks back and makes the majority of the money while you sweat your tail off, selling this crap door to door. Buyer beware.  Employee beware.  You have been warned.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/06/2012 03:41 PM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/family-heritage-life-insurance-company-of-america/cleveland-ohio-44147/family-heritage-life-insurance-company-of-america-total-scam-both-for-the-policy-holder-a-951750. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#4 Consumer Comment

Upset ex-employee vs customer

AUTHOR: Austinite - (USA)

POSTED: Thursday, August 24, 2017

While a pissed off ex-employee does make for an interesting read on an online forum, as a current consumer (not in "lower class") I saw they have over 1,000 reps and over 10 million customers across the company.  So if only 1% of 1% of their customers were so upset & posted something, I should find at least 1,000 upset customers.  I never found more than a few dozen total or .00001%.  

With that many customers/employees, I look at the validity of companies like them which can be seen by looking at their proven records.  For example, this one is on the NY Stock exchange under the Torchmark Group, and MarketWatch.com shows they are a great long term stock.  And they are online under the Better Business Bureau Code of Business Practices.

As with most companies, some reps or managers do not meld w/ a company, some customer service people are pushy, and some customers are not happy. That being said, as a customer I am happy.

FYI -- The sales rep told me they are a little higher than Aflac and others because they have higher payouts and they give you all your funds back if you do not use it, which none of the other companies due. 

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#3 Consumer Comment

I am a Family Heritage Supplemental Cancer Policy consumer!

AUTHOR: Anonymous - (USA)

POSTED: Thursday, June 01, 2017

I have been a consumer of Family Heritage. I have been for about 12 + years. I have a cancer policy (thank you sweet baby Jesus) and I can say that it is NO SCAM! I never dreamed I would ever have to use my policy and it was and has been very affordable for my husband and myself.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer this year and all I had to do was send in my information and I was paid, and that helped me pay for my treatment! not only that the supplemental portion of my policy is phenomenal and as I stated in the beginning that GOD.

So here is my 2 cents worth! I hope he doesn't scare folks away from Family Heritage.

  • You say that it is overpriced compared to Aflac, that is false!  
  • You say that they target lower class neighborhoods and that many don't have medical insurance? Also false! Not only are we not lower class we are professionals and we had (have) medical insurance! As with AFLAC if you never use your cancer policy you lose the money you paid. 
  • Costumer service is absolutely wonderful, didn't even try to deny or push me around in regards to my claim!
  • I am so very glad that they showed up at my door! I have to beg to differ with you in regards to us calling an insurance company to purchase Cancer, Heart attack or stroke policies! Who, or how many people even know that these policies exists, if they wouldn't have showed up on our door step, I would have never known it was even available for me to purchase. I can’t say what I have bought from door to door salesmen so I don’t find that strange at all.
  • You say that they put you in lower class neighborhoods, well we don’t live in a lower class neighborhood are you saying that only lower class people buy this insurance? I don’t think so! Anyone in their right mind would buy this insurance unless of course they think that they are invincible…   

I am truly a happy customer!

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#2 UPDATE Employee

Family Heritage is a Fantastic Company!

AUTHOR: Anonymous in TN - (USA)

POSTED: Tuesday, December 20, 2016

 I would like to respond to the above , but let me first say that I am sorry this person has had a bad experience and I can assure you that this is not typical and it has NOT been my experience with the company AT ALL!

I have been an independent agent with Family Heritage for a total of 4 years--2 years in 2006-2007 and then again in 2014-present of Dec. 2016. In my time away from FHL I worked for Aflac for a year and I can tell you hands down my time at Family Heritage has been a far better experience, which is the main reason I am back at FHL. I LOVE this company, I love WORKING as an independent contractor/agent for this company and I will tell you why.

I will address each number as the original poster with my rebuttal to each item: 1. The original poster (OP from here forward) states an FHL policy is "overpriced" compared to Aflac or employer offerings. Aflac and others through your employer are called "cafeteria plans" which basically means you are getting a "little something" or a smaller policy. Our accident plan pays literally 6x what Aflac pays for a broken bone! Yet it will not cost you 6x as much more than likely. Ours are premium products and pay more money than most other policies. 2. I do not "target" people in low class neighborhoods, I work strictly with businesses and business owners. We do have an ICU rider which covers any reason a person may go into intensive care, however, in the state of TN , this cannot be purchased unless the buy can attest to having major medical coverage in place already, but the OP clearly did not know this policy/rider existed. We are also very clear in our sales presentation and on our application that the policy covers exactly and only what we have told them, cancer or heart disease and accidents or ICU. The buyer must read and sign a statement saying he/she understands they are NOT getting health insurance but a supplemental policy that only supplements their existing health insurance. 3. This is an outright lie that our customer service is awful and we "avoid paying claims whenever possible"! First of all, FHL's customer service department wins Stevie Awards every year for their customer service, it is one of the best companies I've ever dealt with as a consumer AND as a representative! Check this out at familyheritagelife.com. Second, I would like to know where the OP has heard or gotten this information from--it is certainly not from clients! I carry with me a page of people I have personally sold policies to who HAVE RECEIVED MONEY in the THOUSANDS of dollars range!! One client with whom I'm helping right now has received literally 3x in claims than she has paid in over the last 10 years she has been a policy holder! I personally have visited her in the hospital, helped her file each of her claims and in her own words "gone above and beyond" my duties as her agent. And I'm not the only one: I saw my trainer in TX (I live in Tennessee myself) also do the same thing. We go to bat for our clients, we take care of them and try to get every single bill so they can get as much money as they are due in their claims, AS PROMOSED. I once helped a client get a several thousand dollar claim on his wife WHO PASSED AWAY 3 YEARS earlier! He didn't even have a FHL policy anymore but he did when his wife died from cancer, and FHL went back and retroactively paid his claim! How many other companies do you know who have done that? Probably none. My own car insurance policy overcharged me for 2 years when I found the discrepancy--they lowered my rate by $16 a month only and when I asked about getting my overage back, my agent literally laughed at me. 4. "If it was so great, wouldn't you have called them?" Family Heritage policies are "non-essential" or you are not legally required to own them as you are car insurance, health insurance, etc. therefore many people do not know such products exist. FHL products are an "educational sale", the buyer must be educated about what they do and what benefit it can possibly be to them. Next, the OP states why it is "so awful" to work for this company. 1. I have already stated that I do ZERO door-to-door residential sales. Zero. Zip. Nada. I own my own business, I do what a WANT, work where I want and with whom I want. I CHOOSE to only work with businesses and business owners. 2. I never work in low income neighborhoods, never after dark, never anywhere that feels unsafe. I'm a woman, a single mother. I would NOT be with a company that "required" me to do such things. I have a child at home and I have dinner with her every night. No one "MAKES" me stay out till 10 pm! I have on occasion stayed in someone's house because we were writing up s verbal policies but it was my free choice to do so. 3. While it is tru that there is no base salary and no benefits, I CHOSE THIS for myself.One of the last jobs I had before coming back to FHL was an hourly rate of $11.00 in an accounting firm. $11 an hour! Yes I had "benefits" that allowed me to go to ONE doctor visit a year. One. I was "made" to be at work every day at 8:30 am till 5 every day; I was constantly put down by my boss who was a little man with Napoleon Syndrome. No thanks! I chose instead to make my own hours--which is not to say I don't have a regular schedule where I work VERY hard! If I don't work hard and make my certain number of calls a day, I don't make enough money. But I DO stick to my schedule and I DO make enough money to live a very comfortable life. You do NOT go on company trips and pay for them yourself, this is completely false. If you sell enough to EARN the trip you may go. If you do not sell enough to earn the trip, you do not qualify and may NOT go, very simple! When you go on the company trips, you've earned everything hung, your tickets, your hotel, your food and beverage and all entertainment. And they are wonderful! I've gone to Miami, New York City, Cleveland and watched the Cavaliers and Lebron James play, and this year am going to Orlando/Disney and Seattle --all on the company's dime! 4. Yes, 100% commission-based but "slave labor"?This is ridiculous. Yes, we have a contract, yes mine is 30% and I make over $1,000 a week as a single mom. And remember, I have dinner with my daughter every night and do not work weekends. I would hardly call this "slave labor"! 5. If you quit and give up your commission who do you think is going to get your commission? Of course it is your manager, but I fail to see why the OP has a problem with this. I have had 3 managers at FHL and I know that all 3 would definitely cared if I quit. In fact, my manager from 10 years ago retired from the company in his 40's and has kept in contact with me through Christmas cards and Facebook and has tried to help me with different jobs throughout the years. He is a great guy and a great friend. My current 2 managers are also great friends. One I have stayed with in her house in TX when I went to work with her a week. We have laughed and cried together, she is a great friend! My other manager when my mom passed away a year and 3 days ago was the bastion of support for me. He never asked me when I was going back to work, he called me to offer any support he could give me, whatever I needed. He is a very close friend and I am proud to know him and be on his team. 6. Policy retention: our average policy holder keeps their policy 10+ years. I have MANY who are still on the books that I signed up 10 years ago.

The OP states one would have to be out of their mind to work for this company--I cannot imagine what kind of experience this person had, but my best guess it is he himself or she herself. I cannot say I have experienced even one thing this disgruntled person has stated! Not one! I also take offense to his claim that "the sales force is a bunch of koolaid-drinking half wits who are merely slaves to their manager". This is a reprehensible thing to say or assume! First of all, I have a BS in Music Education, I'm a classically trained pianist. Of my current managers, one was a political science major who worked on Capital Hill for years before coming to FHL and breaking the company record of most sales in a week. My other manager is a tech guru who is also an ordained minister and is the best manager I have ever had in my 30 years in the working world! The CEO Howard Lewis is one of the kindest, most genuine people I've ever met. He created what I believe is the finest supplemental products in the industry! I don't say that lightly as I have owned 3 different company's policies and have worked for one of the largest (if not THE largest) company in the industry and I can honestly say our policies beat theirs hands down, our training beats theirs hands down, our customer service beats theirs, our agent support is light years ahead of theirs and this is literally the best company I have ever worked with and been associated with. Because of Family Heritage I have world-class supplemental policies that I will receive ALL IF MY PREMIUMS back for extra retirement if I don't use them, I have the best work colleagues ever, I have friends for a lifetime and most of all, I have a job that I love that will pay me well far into my retirement years. It is ALL in a person's perspective.

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#1 Consumer Suggestion

Grain of Salt, Anyone?

AUTHOR: icDavey - (USA)

POSTED: Saturday, August 13, 2016

I know virtually nothing about Heritage Family Life, but as an ex-insurance agent, I must point out that what this reviewer is complaining about is not a problem with this company but with the whole insurance industry.  To the extent that HFL is a Multi-Level Marketing opportunity, I would cast a jaded eye.  But the nature of insurance sales - most sales, in fact - is pyramidal.  Agents get bigger percentages, managers get a smaller percent of all the policies his underlings sell.  Bonuses come into play, renewal commissions continue into the future.  It is a common pay structure.

As to whether the policies are overpriced, I don't know.  I do know that, as an agent, I was often able to show people how to use the money they were spending on policies like these to purchase much better, more comprehensive coverage.  I, too, sold in the lower-income market.  I sold policies and collected premiums from people who sometimes had difficulty paying premiums.  But no one can tell the value of an insurance policy better than the person who owns it.  The peace of mind and security an insurance purchase brings is not measurable by another's yardstick.  If a policyowner liked the policy enough to buy it, it was worth it to them. 

There really are no rip-offs in the insurance industry.  There are policies of greater value and of lesser value.  The best insurance policy to own is the one that is in force when you need to make a claim.  All insurance policies are a better deal than not having one at all when you need it.  So ease up and just use your best judgement.  Whether buying from or working for an insurance company the deal is in the eye of the beholder.

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