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Grieving father in life insurance battle

A MAN who lost his son four days after he had insured his life has taken the insurance company to court claiming it tricked him into signing an agreement to collect just 45,000 yuan (US$6,584) instead of the 200,000 yuan listed in the policy.

The Pudong New Area People's Court heard yesterday that the plaintiff, Yan Qiuhua, says the Shanghai branch of the Union Life Insurance Co Ltd acted fraudulently.

The court did not announce a verdict.

Sixty-year-old Yan bought the policy from Union Life for his son on November 22, 2007 and deposited more than 5,000 yuan the next day in a special premium payment account.

But his son died in an accident just four days later. Yan's insurance agent reported the death but Union Life transferred the premium payment from Yan's account on November 28, the court was told.

When Yan asked for payment, the company refused, saying the policy had not taken effect because the insured person had died before the company had collected the premium. But it said it would pay 45,000 yuan in compensation and signed a new agreement with Yan on December 28.

Yan said he did not see the actual policy until February 2008 even though he had repeatedly asked for it. He said the policy was clear and had come into effect from November 23 and therefore he should have been paid the full amount of the insurance.

Yan's lawyer said that when he deposited the premium, he had performed his duty as a policy holder.

Union Life argued that it only took effect after the company had checked it and agreed on the contract.


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