Many of us have had the hectic experience – after a long day at work, followed by rushing kids around to various practices, then making errands or cooking dinner (if not all the above) – that when you finally get to lay your head down to sleep it comes flying off your pillow because you remember that a your insurance bill is due.
By this time it is too late to visit the office or call to make the payment so you turn on the computer and Google: “pay my bill online”, or something similar. Google search then populates a website that claims it will pay all your bills from one place! Great!! (you think) so, you input your credit card information and pay the processing charge and even get a receipt for the transaction. All is well with the world and you can rest easy now, right? Well – Not so fast!
These “bill payment” sites are often not affiliated with the companies that they claim to take payment for! They may use the logo of a company and even may claim that the company they are describing doesn’t take electronic or phone payments. In most cases this is a 1/2 truth as most companies do not accept electronic payments from that vendor, but they will accept it from you! These bill pay vendors receive your money and then often just write and mail a check to pay your amount due. It is possible that this mailed payment may take weeks to reach the company which you owe the payment to. This can result in late payments, cancellations, lapses in coverage and credit issues for you.
Yes, you might have made the payment and even gotten a receipt, but you didn’t make the payment to the company you owe it to. Instead you have paid an “intermediary” and your payment is still outstanding until the amount due is received from the vendor.
All you wanted was piece of mind to rest easy, but instead your nightmare could be just getting started. Unpaid insurance premiums can result in cancellation and a lapse in coverage, and a lapse in coverage can be costly!!!
When it comes to insurance a lapse could result in rate increases as you may no longer qualify for your old program; or even worse the unavailability of coverage if the insurance product that lapsed is no longer available from the company!!
We want you to be aware that Georgia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company is not affiliated with any of these bill payment services and GFBMIC does not consider payment to be made until we (GFBMIC) receive it. Payment to a bill-payment service does not mean you are “paid”. These services can be convenient for some folks, and they are legitimate, but folks have been surprised when the payments they have made were not received in time. Please be careful!!!
To make sure you’re payment is received on time it is best to remit payment to GFBMIC directly. This can be done online via our website, gfbinsurance.com; you can mail your payment directly to us; you can call Member Services and pay over the telephone (800)633-5432; or you can visit your local county office to make the payment.
There is a lot of great stuff on the internet, but there are a lot of risks as well. We want you, our valued Members and friends, to be aware of what can happen!
Thank you for what you do for Agriculture in Georgia!