Readers React: Credit card insurance that doesn’t cover what you thought you paid for

Citigroup Reports 1.3 Billion Quarterly Profit
A Citibank branch office in San Francisco in 2011.
(Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

To the editor: Thanks to columnist David Lazarus for bringing up the issue of credit card protection insurance, but I do not believe he goes far enough.

Promoting something that purports to protect the family of the cardholder from financial liability in the event of unexpected death — and then in the fine print disclosing that this is only for death by accident, not illness — is intentionally deceptive. Someone is far more likely to die of natural causes than in an accident, so if you were to buy accidental death and dismemberment insurance labeled as such, you can do so easily and very cheaply.

This deception is not unique to Citigroup. Even worse, these kinds of policies may be sold over the phone, and who knows what is told to and what is withheld from the customer.

Lazarus credits Citi for doing the “stand-up thing” by forgiving a deceased cardholder’s debt only after he contacted it. More likely, Citi just wanted to avoid bad publicity about this deceptive practice.


Hyman J. Milstein, Studio City

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