OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) — New documents, obtained by News 4, detail what happened after an Oklahoma widow claimed a life insurance policy for her husband following his death.
Oklahoma’s Insurance Commissioner, Glen Mulready, confirmed to KFOR Monday that his team has joined with the Attorney General’s office to investigate the case.
News 4 first told you about Angelia Wright on August 8. She attempted to claim the life insurance policy on her husband, Tommy, who passed away in February.
She had been in contact with Lincoln Financial for months trying to sort out the $50,000 policy, but the insurance company said there were too many “red flags.”
Wright purchased a life insurance policy for herself and her husband six years ago through the Oklahoma Southeast Jurisdiction of the Church of God in Christ.
“I took out insurance because I said if anything ever happened to me or him that will have insurance in place, that that the girls (daughters) would have a problem,” said Wright.
She was paying $70 a month for what she thought was two $50,000 life insurance plans; one for herself and one for her husband.
When she called to claim Tommy’s policy, Lincoln Financial questioned her husband’s work history because the group policy opened by the church organization was for its full-time employees. Tommy was not a full-time worker for the church group.
The new documents showed the policy was terminated in March because the church group stopped making payments. It stated, “employees were not responsible for paying premiums” even though Wright was sending her checks to the church organization monthly.
When we first interviewed Wright, the church organization’s financial advisor called and we asked him why the church claimed Tommy as an employee.
“He actually did work for them because they actually volunteer at that time working through the church,” said Dedrick Adell, financial advisor.
But a volunteer is not a full-time paid employee.
According to Lincoln Financial’s letter, the policy covered the church organization’s full-time employees only. The letter also stated they never received life insurance payments for Tommy.
It also said “when Mr. Wright’s claim was submitted on April 3, 2023, his name was not on the group’s premium listing. On April 25, 2023, we were asked to add him to the premium listing and provided with an enrollment form. The date portion of the form was blank, and the form lists December 1, 2022, as his coverage effective date.”
Tommy passed away on February 27, 2023.
📧 Have big stories come to you: Subscribe to KFOR News Alert emails →
We reached out again to Bishop Malcolm Coby who oversees the Oklahoma Southeast Jurisdiction of the Church of God in Christ to ask him about the latest information in the later. He did not respond to our questions over the phone but said he would send KFOR a video statement. As of air time, that video statement was not received.
The Wright family said they fear hundreds of other members of the Church of God in Christ organization could be impacted.
“That is not just me,” said Wright. “It’s more people, elderly people going to find out they don’t have life insurance.”
Tommy has yet to be buried. The family has had no closure.
Felicia Wright, Angelia and Tommy’s daughter, said after News 4’s first story aired, Bishop Coby told the family he would pay for the funeral but that promise has not be fulfilled.
We also reached out to Lincoln Financial and have not heard back. The company agreed to pay the life insurance policy “in good faith” but the family said it would not accept it and have now hired an attorney.