My dad's insurance agent cancelled the wrong policy. What can I do?

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Both my mom and dad had supplemental insurance policies with Gerber, but my dad found he could get a cheaper policy from a different company. He "cancelled" his policy as of the end of February and had minor surgery in May. The hospital where he had the surgery called and asked why two companies had paid on his claims. After many phone calls and an eternal time on HOLD, we find out the agent had cancelled my mom's policy and not my dad's! So, again, two trips out of town for me (I live 2 1/2 hours away) and numerous phone calls, we get my mom retroactively reinstated, after I paid $850 for the premiums, and the agent promises to get everything reimbursed for my dad. His idea of fixing the problem is to call my 78 year old dad and tell him to call Gerber. When my dad did call, no one from Gerber knew what he was talking about and couldn't help. I started calling the agent who was supposed to fix things to tell him that my dad couldn't fix the mistake he made and his answer is to call me and tell me to call the hospital and get my dad's money refunded. So I called and talked with a very kind lady in billing, who said she would work on the issue this morning. Then I get another phone message from the agent, who needed Gerber's number again because he lost the first one, so he could call Gerber and have them request a refund.
Question 1: Can I sue this agent for the hassle and time I have spent on this and the stress this has given my dad?
Question 2: How are we ever going to make sure Dad gets all of his money back so he can pay back the money I paid for my mom's policy? I'm on a budget, and so are my parents. We should not lose out a single penny because of this mistake.
Any advice you have would be much appreciated.

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I 'd suggest you go directly to Gerber. They had a contract with your folks. Under insurance law they are responsibile in part, for the actions of an agent licensed with them. You would probably be wasting your time chasing the agent.
You may need some type of authorization and policy information. to discuss this with them.

Hope this helps as a starting point. Shoot me an email if I can help further.

Good luck.
Gary
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If you have the equivalent of a State Insurance Commission, contact them with the facts of the case, and address a letter outlining all that to the insurance agency, *with* a cc to the State Insurance Commission, and cc any lawyer you have as well. That was how I got anything out of my mom's unscruplous "long-tem-care" policy. They very clearly provided sublte micommunications that implied to each party that the other parties needed to supply information, so you'd end up waiting for nothing to happen, and just otherwise made it very difficult to wade through the process. So a pretty high percentage of seniors who had no help with it would end up with nothing, or at best be very very delayed in getting anything.

The other fun thing is that when you start trying to help your dad through this, the insurance people will all insist they have a copy of your POA on file in order to work with you. And, of course, there is no reason you can't get a new local agent who will have your business from here on out - the current one is beyond indifferent and incompetent if they try to block you from doing that in any way.
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I don't know the specifics of the insurance part, but geewiz has some great suggestions. I know when my mom overpaid a variety of doctors to the tune of $2k (she didn't understand to wait until her secondary insurance had paid their part), I just kept calling and keeping good notes on who I spoke to, the date and time. I'd ask when a check would be mailed and kept persisting. If they told me it would take two weeks to cut a check, I'd call again in two weeks and one day, to make sure it went out. Then I'd get the check number, to make sure they had actually cut the check. It took a long time, but I got all of the money reimbursed.

Just keep politely and persistently going up the chain of command if you're not getting good answers and make sure you keep notes on who you spoke to. Keep us posted.

I'd also consider whether you might get reimbursement through small claims court for your out-of-pocket expenses (including time and travel). Maybe ask around if you have any friends who have any legal experience. I really don't know if that's an option.

This stuff is SO frustrating while you're going through it. Your parents are lucky to have you helping them!
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Is the agent affiliated with a national company or is he independent? If he is part of a national company, call the office manager where he works, or a corporate office. If he is independent, call your state insurance department.
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