Career Soldier Files Class Action Over Forced Insurance

A career soldier who says he is one of thousands of soldiers illegally forced to pay high premiums for a group life insurance policy they didn't choose is pursuing class-action lawsuits that could total NIS 490 million.

Capt. Ben Naidorf filed two requests with the Tel Aviv District Court yesterday requesting class-action certification.

He wants to sue the Israel Defense Forces, insurance firms Migdal and Clal, and the Hever consumer group representing serving and retired career soldiers, all of which Naidorf says are responsible for forcing career soldiers to pay for the group policy. He says he has been told he is not entitled to cancel the policy.

Naidorf, an engineer who began his army career in 2007, says he never agreed to Hever's group life insurance policy, which costs NIS 1,000 a year. He says career solders were forced to pay higher premiums than indicated in the policy, and is seeking reimbursement for the NIS 490 million he says the soldiers paid over the past seven years.

"Insurance coercion and the inability to cancel [the policy] is against the law," and also violates IDF regulations, Naidorf says in the request.

The insurance payments were deducted from career soldiers' salaries and were not included in the Hever membership fees, contrary to IDF regulations.

In addition, Naidorf says the insurance companies have increased their premiums over the years, forcing soldiers to pay more than indicated on the policy and violating policy terms. He says he has not been provided the complete and updated policy terms.