After Decades of Payments, Pensioner Couple Outlive Their Life Insurance

December 11, 2017 Updated: December 11, 2017

After paying premiums for nearly a quarter of a century, a pensioner couple in Australia are having their life insurance pulled from them because they have lived too long.

George and Irene Nesbitt, both 89 years old, have been reportedly told by their insurer that unless they don’t die before Jan. 17 of next year they will get nothing, according to Channel Nine’s A Current Affair. It has happened to the elderly couple despite them having their policy since they were 66 years old.

In that time the Nesbitts have paid AU$31,000 in premiums.

Their cover if paid would have amounted to AU$8,000 each.

The cost of a funeral in Australia varies. For a basic cremation it may cost around $4,000 while a standard burial costs can cost upwards of $15,000 including a more elaborate casket, burial and flowers.

The Nesbitts took their insurance out to cover their funeral expenses to not be a burden to their family.

“I wanted to cover our own funeral, I didn’t want [our children] to layout anything,” Irene said.

“And I was quite happy to think, oh well, we don’t have to worry about it anymore.”

But, it was only last month that they realised that their cover would expire once they are 90 years old.

“I didn’t realise that I didn’t get any money, I just thought it meant their cover, I had to stop paying at that age,” Irene said.

Until Jan. 17 rolls around, the Nesbitts will have to submit further insurance instalments.

“I think it’s disgusting, I never would have paid into an insurance like that, I would have cut it off,” Irene said.

Her children are naturally upset by what has occurred. The TV program spoke with their daughter, Diane.

“They’re 89—both of them—and they’ve worked hard all their life… all they’ve cared about is that we don’t have to worry about their funeral costs,” Diane said.

“This breaks my heart for my parents.”

The couple even face further withdrawals for December and January.

The Nesbitts told the program that they only have a couple of hundred dollars in the bank.

The elderly couple’s insurance provider Colonial is owned by the Commonwealth Bank. They told A Current Affair that they were sorry to learn of the Nesbits’ disappointment, but were unwilling to change the policy’s deadline.

“We are in touch with the Nesbitts to explore if there is any kind of assistance that we can offer,” the statement read.

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