By Kurtis Ming

CAMERON PARK (CBS13) — Longtime Costco customers Cheryl and Vic Matkovich have been paying for an important insurance policy through their Costco American Express as extra protection over the last 12 years.

They say their American Express Accident Guard Insurance is important in case something happens when they’re away.

If they die in an accident, the policy they’ve paid $21 a month for through Costco AmEx would cut their grown kids each a check for $150,000.

“Parents always watch out for their kids,” said Matkovich.

But when Costco dumped AmEx for Visa this year the couple got a letter from AmEx, dated June 25 saying their Accident Guard Insurance they’ve had since 2004 will be terminated effective June 23—two days before the date on the letter.

“I was so mad,” said Matkovich.

So she picked up the phone and called American Express. She says they told her, “It’s over lady. It’s over. We canceled you, it’s over.”

Matkovich found herself in an unfortunate spot. She and her husband are now, in their 70s and 80s and says they’re too old to get a new policy.

We contacted Nancy Kincaid with the California Department Of Insurance. She says a company can’t just cancel a policy without notice.

“Insurance is a contract. There’s a law that states the insurer must notify you in writing by a prescribed number of days if they are going to cancel your policy, “said Kincaid.

She says it can range anywhere from as little as 10 days for car insurance to 60 days for life insurance.

We contacted Costco, which sent us to its new credit card partner Citibank.

Citi then pointed us to American Express.

American Express then pointed us back to Citi.

But after pressing AmEx for more information we received an email saying the Matkovich’s have been re-enrolled.

The company admitted some customers got lost when the Costco-AmEx deal ended. But customers “can continue enrollment in these products using another American Express card if they call us promptly.”

Cheryl Matkovich is pleased.

“I’m just a little person that wants to have my insurance continued,” she said.

We asked American Express how many programs and customers were impacted, but the company did not respond to our questions.

To protect and prevent this from happening to you:

  • Make sure all your billing and address information is up to date
  • If you’re paying for insurance policies using a credit card, keep in mind when the card expires to make sure you’re issued a new one before it does

AMEX STATEMENTS

Aug. 16

Coverage for these benefits will continue to be subject to the terms and conditions in the description of coverage and will continue for the period of time for which you have paid a premium (your subscription period). At the conclusion of your subscription period, coverage under this benefit will end.

Aug. 17

Good news! The card members who were enrolled in this program have been re-enrolled and they have backdated the effective date to 6/24/16 so there is no lapse in coverage.

Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

Aug. 18

Enrollment in certain insurance products were disrupted by the transfer of the card account to Citi, because these products were offered only to American Express card members. Former Costco card members, who had one of these products charged to their Costco American Express card, can continue enrollment in these products using another American Express card, if they call us promptly and authorize the charge.

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