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The Savings Bank Life Insurance Co. of MA

Phone: (800) 797-7254 Fax: (781) 938-6574 1 Linscott Rd, Woburn, MA 01801 http://www.sbli.com

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Description

The Savings Bank Life Insurance Company of Massachusetts is committed to providing value, quality, and stability you can count on. SBLI insurance products are now available to consumers in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

BBB Accreditation

A BBB Accredited Business since

BBB has determined that The Savings Bank Life Insurance Co. of MA meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.

BBB accreditation does not mean that the business' products or services have been evaluated or endorsed by BBB, or that BBB has made a determination as to the business' product quality or competency in performing services.

Reason for Rating

BBB rating is based on 16 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Factors that raised the rating for The Savings Bank Life Insurance Co. of MA include:

  • Length of time business has been operating.
  • Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size.
  • Response to 6 complaint(s) filed against business.
  • Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business.
  • BBB has sufficient background information on this business.

Industry Ratings Comparison | Chart


Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details

6 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 0 closed in last 12 months
Complaint Type Total Closed Complaints
Advertising/Sales Issues 0
Billing/Collection Issues 2
Delivery Issues 0
Guarantee/Warranty Issues 0
Problems with Product/Service 4
Total Closed Complaints 6

Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews

2 Customer Reviews on The Savings Bank Life Insurance Co. of MA
Customer Experience Total Customer Reviews
Positive Experience 1
Neutral Experience 0
Negative Experience 1
Total Customer Reviews 2

Additional Information

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BBB file opened: February 01, 1907 Business started: 02/01/1907 in MA Business incorporated: 01/06/1998 in MA
Licensing

This business is in an industry that may require professional licensing, bonding or registration. BBB encourages you to check with the appropriate agency to be certain any requirements are currently being met.

These agencies may include:

Massachusetts Division of Insurance
1000 Washington Street Suite 810, Boston MA 02118-2208
http://www.mass.gov/ocabr/government/oca-agencies/doi-lp/
Phone Number: (877)-563-4467 or (617) 521-7794 or (617) 521-7490 (TTD/TDD)
Fax Number: 617-753-6830
doicss.mailbox@state.ma.us
The license number is 1782392.

Type of Entity

Corporation

Business Management
Ms. Justine Plourde, Manager Ms. Christine Armstrong, VP Director of Marketing Mr. Edward K. Kimball, Senior Counsel
Contact Information
Principal: Ms. Justine Plourde, Manager
Number of Employees

200

Business Category

INSURANCE-LIFE INSURANCE COMPANIES INSURANCE ANNUITIES Direct Life Insurance Carriers (NAICS: 524113)

Alternate Business Names
Savings Bank Life Insurance SBLI
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Types of Complaints Handled by BBB

BBB handles the following types of complaints between businesses and their customers so long as they are not, or have not been, litigated:

  • Advertising or Sales
  • Billing or Collection
  • Problems with Products or Services
  • Delivery
  • Guarantee or Warranty

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BBB Complaint Process

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Complaint Detail(s)

5/21/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: SBLI maintains a website for its life insurance customers. I use it frequently to check status, pay premiums,etc. My first name is "******:, but whein I log in, I see, in large orange letters, the greeting "Welcome, ******!" Over the past month, I've called SBLI customer service several times, but they have not fixed this mis-spelling, which is very annoying to me. My last call was with SBLI rep **** ******* on May 15. **** asked me to send a screenshot of the welcome message to "records@sblicom", which I promptly did, but the message was not acknowledged and nothing has happened. This may seem to be an insignificant issue, but it is important to me, and I do not think it shows adequate customer service on the part of SBLI.

Desired Settlement: Please fix this error ASAP so I won't have to keep looking at it!

Business Response: Good Afternoon,
This issue has been resolved.  I personally spoke with the client and assisted him and creating a new user account with the correct name.  The client will contact me directly if he has any further issues. 

Sincerely,
******* *******

Consumer Response: I have reviewed the response submitted by the business and have determined that the response does satisfy my issues and/or concerns in reference to complaint.

BBB's Final Determination: Consumer accepted resolution offered by the business.

BBB Comments: The consumer indicated to BBB that the complaint was resolved.

1/21/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: In September I was under the impression that I had purchased life insurance for myself and my wife. I was contacted by a rep from SBLI that my policy wasn't active until I paid additional money (this being the second time I had to pay additional due to a price change). Me or my wife have never recieved a notice stating our policies were active, in fact we were sent a letter in the mail stating that our policy was in active. I then email the agent to have the money for both policies refunded. He responded to my email that a refund we be made. I called in December to follow up on my refund and was told that my policy was active and that I needed to make additional payments, by this time I had already recieved a cancellation notice of the policy that I attempted to buy. My wife was told the same. I explained to the agent that I never had an active policy with them and did not want a policy, I only wanted my refunded. He then said it was not his issue it was the "banks" issue. I then called SBLI on 12/28/2012 and spoke with a manager **** *******. I explained my situation to her and she said she would have the money fully refunded. She said she would call me on my cell phone after the holidays when accounting is able to process the refunds. I have not heard from her or her company. This business is attempting to steal from customers seeking their services!

Desired Settlement: I would like every cent refunded from the checks that my wife and I sent to them in good faith.

Business Response: Good Morning,
I have reviewed the attached request.  A refund was sent out to Mr.  ******** on 1/7/2013.  An additional refund is being sent out 1/11/2013 for Mrs. ******** policy as well.  Both policies are now canceled back to the effective issue date and all premiums have been refunded.  The clients should be receiving all premiums within the next few business days.  

I would like to apologize on behalf of SBLI in the delay of processing the request.  Please contact me should you have any other questions or if I can be of any more assistance. 

Sincerely,
******* *******
Customer Service Manager

BBB's Final Determination: Business offered a resolution. Consumer did not pursue further with BBB and the matter was assumed to be resolved

12/2/2012 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I have had term life insurance with SBLI for over six years. They recently required information from my doctor to continue coverage. I sent them the information they requested so that my coverage would not lapse. I just received a letter from them stating that underwriting has denied coverage because I am on ******. I was put on this medication to control mood swings. I DO NOT suffer from anxiety or suicidal thoughts. Ever. I'm sure most Americans are on sone kind of medication for chemical imbalance, so why is my situation any different? I've tried to get in touch with their customer service who only gives me the run around and does not return my calls. OH - but their letter did give me a toll free number to obtain a new quote. This is only to get me to pay a higher rate. They advertise that they are the "no nonsense" insurance company, but nothing could be further from the truth. Their reason for canceling my coverage is nonsense, not to mention rediculous.

Desired Settlement: I would like my policy to be re-instated at the rate I've been paying for the past 6 years. If not, I want as many people as possible to know how SBLI treats their valued customers. I would hope others would make a better descision in choosing a life insurance company than I did and stay away from SBLI.

Business Response: Due to the MA privacy laws we do not reply on the website. The letter included information regarding the client personal medical history and information regarding there policy information.  A letter will be mailed to the client today regarding the complaint received.  The client should receive the letter within the next 3-5 business days.  

Sincerely
******* *******

BBB's Final Determination: Business offered a resolution. Consumer did not pursue further with BBB and the matter was assumed to be resolved

8/25/2012 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I've carried life ins /w company for longer than 15 years, I missed 1 pmt in 4/12 , received reinstatement bill in may, may 30th i sent a check for that it was returned to me on 6/21 12 with a letter declining reinstatement due to history of ****** ******, ******* ********* ( not sure what that means) and ******* use. I was recently diagnosed with ****** ****** in 11/10 had treatments, and have been medically cleared for > than a year.

Desired Settlement: I would like for my original insurance policy to be reinstated. I've carried this policy with them for to many years, and feel that it is WRONG for them to cancle it now because of my recent medical issue.

Business Response: 8/14/2012
 
To Whom it may concern: 
 
SBLI Reference # *********
Issue date 4/15/1994
 
This letter is in response to your recent complaint filed with the Better Business Bureau of MA in regards to your SBLI application for reinstatement of lapsed policy No. *********(“Policy”), in which you requested SBLI to reinstate your Policy. 
 
It is important to note that in order to keep an insurance policy in force it is necessary that timely premium payments are made.  In this regard, your Policy lapsed for non-payment of premium despite SBLI making several attempts to collect
the premium due.  A premium due notice was mailed to your mailing address on March 16th, 2012, thirty days before the premium was due.  On April 30th, fifteen days after the premium was due, we mailed a reminder notice of premium due
to your mailing address.  On May 23rd your policy lapsed, and a lapse notice with a reinstatement application was mailed to your mailing address.
 
On June 4th SBLI received your reinstatement application, you stated you had been treated by Connecticut River Internists; medical records were ordered from this facility and received back in our office on June 18th for review from our underwriting department.  Based on the additional information received your request for reinstatement was declined and letter was mailed to your mailing address on June 20th stating the specific reasons. 
 
In order to approve a request for reinstatement, insured must demonstrate that they are in good health and meet our standards for insurability.  Unfortunately, your more recent health history is outside of our accepted writing guidelines. 
We regret that we could not provide you with a more favorable response to your request for reinstatement of your application.
 
Sincerely,
******* *******
Customer Service Manager
 
CC: **** ** ****
* ****** St
*********** MA *****

BBB's Final Determination: Business offered a resolution. Consumer did not pursue further with BBB and the matter was assumed to be resolved

5/14/2012 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: On February 22, 2012, the SBLI company withdrew the annual premium for my life insurance policy. I have authorized an automatic debit, however, they never notify the customer of the pending debit, which is a once a year premium billing nor do they notify the customer of the amount of the premium, which increases each year. The day AFTER the $497 was withdrawn, February 23, 2012, an annual notification with the premium amount was mailed. Becuase of this I overdrew my checking account and incurred $222 in fees, all of which would could have been avoided if they had had the GOOD business practice of notifiying their customer a few days prior to the automatic debit. When my wife spoke to them, the only answer was "well you have an automatic debit". When asked how I would know when the debit happens, she was told, it happens every year at this time. O.K. not a good answer, but,fine. Then when the rep was asked how we would know the amount, she was silent and said well, you have automatic debit. When asked what they were going to do about the overdrafts, she said nothing, but she would make a note that we were not happy. It is mind boggling to me that it is an acceptable practice to just withdraw an unknown amount once a year with no prior notification.

Desired Settlement: After being a customer for 15 years, I would have hoped for a better answer than "well you have automatic debit". I would also like them to send me a refund for the overdrafts.

Business Response: We are in receipt of this complaint. Massachusetts State Privacy laws preclude us from providing information concerning policy files without the express written consent of our policyowners, or their authorized legal representative. We have been in contact with the complaintant to address his concerns.    

Consumer Response:

The only conversation was I authorized my wife to speak to them to ask why there was no prior notification of the automatic debit.  Their only response was, you signed up for auto payment.  This was true, but WHY AM I NOT NOTIFIED  of the amount prior to the withdrawal, it caused overdrafts in my account.  The withdrawal is a different amount every year.  How am I expected to know how much?  Their withdrawal cost me money and I would expect they be required to notify people of the amount of a withdrawal, as ALL my credit cards, mortgage company, etc do, AND  reimburse me for the charges.

******* *********

 

 

Business Response: Correspondence  in regards to this complaint were mailed to the client directly on 4/20/12.  This information included their policy premium schedule, as well copy of their automatic debit request form.

Consumer Response:

How does a payment schedule at this point help or negate the fact that they withdrew almost $500 for a payment but did not notify me of the AMOUNT to be withdrawn????????  Also, clearly their mailing schedules are off, the last message was on 4/18 saying they wer in contact with me but today, I recieve a response that said they mailed things to me on April 20th.   Can someone explain WHY they are not required to let me know how much my auto debit is supposed to be PRIOR??  Had they done this, I would not have overdrawn my account.  The response "you signed up for automatic debit" in NOT AN ANSWER!!
I can't believe the lack of customer service I, a very long term customer am recieving.
There should be a requirement of prior notification!

Regards,

******* *********

 

 

BBB's Final Determination: After reviewing the position of all parties, BBB determined that the business made a reasonable effort to address the complaint. However the consumer remains dissatisfied.

3/10/2012 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: Company deducted the full annual premium of $180 from our account. We never agreed to this. It was our understanding that the cost would be about $15.00 per month. Because they deducted such a large amount without our consent our bank account was overdrawn and we were charged a $35 overdraft fee. I called the insurance agent and left him a voice mail last week, a week before this happened, but he never called us back.

Desired Settlement: We are upset. We want the $180 premium + $35 overdraft fee refunded and the policy cancelled.

Business Response: Dear. Ms. *******, your complaint to the Better Business Bureau (BBB) has been referred to me for a reply. The complaint received did not provide any detail beyond “Billing or Collection” issues.  So I took the liberty of reviewing the service history associated with the policy listed above.  Policy application received along with EFTS authorization form on Nov 11, 2011.  Policy issued on November 30, 2011 and first draft paid via EFTS.  We received a “rejection notice” from bank that payment was returned –customer advised not authorized.  SBLI subsequently reissued the policy with a 12/28/11 effective date.  Policy issued with Direct Billing Annual Mode.   Based on the above I am assuming that your complaint was the result of the EFTS (auto payment) for the first annual premium.   At the time of sale the agent should have advised you that once the policy was approved and issued that the EFTS form that you signed authorized SBLI to draft for the first premium due.  (Many of our customers prefer this option so that their insurance is effective once the policy has been issued.)   I can only assume that as a result of the information we received that from the “rejection notice” that was not the case.  Since that time, we reissued your policy with a December 28th effective date and have mailed your reissued policy to you.  The policy (which we hope you have received at this point) includes your annual premium notice for the amount due.   I am hoping that I interpreted your complaint correctly, if not, please advise further so that I may resolve this matter.   Regardless, I would appreciate if you confirm that you are satisfied with our resolution to this matter.  

BBB's Final Determination: Business offered a resolution. Consumer did not pursue further with BBB and the matter was assumed to be resolved

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