A life insurance claim lawyer can help if your claim for benefits was wrongly denied by an insurer.
Many insurance companies wrongfully deny payment on claims to beneficiaries of policies, despite their legal and contractual obligation to pay the benefits.
- Most Common Types of Life Insurance Policies
- The Largest Life Insurance Companies
- How Do I Make a Life Insurance Claim?
- What Happens if the Claim is Denied?
- Can I Sue the Insurance Company to Force Payment?
- How do I File a Life Insurance Claim Lawsuit?
Purchasing life insurance is a wise decision. For either a lump-sum premium or a small monthly payment, a person can provide loved ones with financial protection in the event of a death. Many families rely on these payouts to survive financially at the present time and into the future.
Most often, the insurance company will pay the claim without hesitation. However, there are also many cases in which the insurer will deny payment for a reason that is not legitimate. When this happens, you need an attorney experienced in battling insurance companies.
Most Common Types of Life Insurance Policies
There are three common types of life insurance policies sold to consumers. These are:
- Whole Life Insurance lasts for the policyholder’s lifetime instead of a specific number of years as long as the premiums are paid. This policy also provides a fixed premium and fixed death benefit, and builds up a cash value for savings as well.
- Universal Life Insurance is another type of permanent life insurance. With this policy, the insured person is covered for the duration of their life and it includes a cash value component for savings as well. However, payment of premiums is often flexible and you can often increase benefits.
- Term Life Insurance provides benefits for a stated term or period. There is no savings aspect of this type of policy and it just pays off the benefit amount at the time of death.
The Largest Life Insurance Companies
There are many companies that sell life insurance in the United States. The largest ones include:
- American General (AIG)
- Jackson National
- John Hancock
- Liberty Mutual
- Lincoln Financial
- ManuLife Financial
- Massachusetts Mutual
- MetLife, Inc.
- New York Life & AARP
- Northwestern Mutual
- Penn Mutual
- Primerica Life
- Principal Financial
- Protective Life
- Prudential Financial
Other traditional insurers, like State Farm, Allstate, USAA, Citizens also sell life insurance policies.
How Do I Make a Life Insurance Claim?
There are several steps needed to file a life insurance claim. These are:
- Locate the Life Insurance Policy. Hopefully, your loved one will have placed the policy in a location known to you or other beneficiaries. Quite often, these are kept in a safe deposit box or in a file with other important documents. There may be multiple policies for one person, even with different insurers, so make sure to check all possible locations.
- Contact the Insurance Agent. The agent that sold the policy should be helpful in submitting the forms and documents needed to make the claim. If you cannot identify the agent or the person is no longer in business, you should contact the company directly.
- Get a Certified Copy of the Death Certificate and make multiple copies. You can usually get a copy from the funeral home. If not, try the county medical examiner’s office.
- Submit the claim form and death certificate to the insurance company and await payment.
What Happens if the Claim is Denied?
Although it should be a smooth process, don’t be surprised if the life insurance company won’t pay out the claim. Common reasons to deny a life insurance payment include:
- The death happened during the contestability period. Many policies state that the company can investigate the claim within two years of the issuance date to determine if there is a basis to deny payment.
- The type of death was not covered. This could include death from suicide, drug or alcohol abuse, homicide, or prohibited dangerous activities.
- The failure to pay the premium, either by the insured or someone else on the insured’s behalf like an employer or other family member.
- The failure to disclose relevant personal information, such as accurate medical history.
- A change in beneficiary after a divorce or for some other reason.
- The policy was canceled for non-payment of premium.
The insurer will tell you in writing any reasons why it denying the claim. It is required to specifically state the facts and the policy language that forms the basis of the denial.
Can I Sue the Insurance Company to Force Payment?
It may be necessary to sue the insurance company for your denied claim.
The insurance company will argue that denial was legitimately based upon the cause of death or some other basis for excluding payment under the policy language. If the basis is improper, you can file a lawsuit.
How do I File a Life Insurance Claim Lawsuit?
The first thing you need to do is to contact an experienced insurance dispute law firm. These cases require a thorough knowledge and understanding of the laws and regulations that apply to denied or delayed insurance payment cases.
Your attorney will perform a comprehensive review of the complete policy language and the coverage denial letter. It is likely that the review of the medical records will usually be required as well.
If the denial or delay in payment was improper, your life insurance lawyer will file a lawsuit against the insurer. The suit will demand prompt payment of all benefits owing under the policy.
The insurer will contest the lawsuit and push to have the case dismissed. Ultimately, a judge or jury will determine if coverage was in place at the time of death and if the company must pay your claims.
What Happens if I Win my Case?
If you receive a favorable ruling that there was a policy in effect and your claim was wrongfully denied, you will receive the benefit amount stated in the policy.
The court may also award you court costs and attorney’s fees in situations where the denial or delay in payment was egregious.
How much do Lawyers Charge for Life Insurance Claim Cases?
Our law firm will represent you in a life insurance dispute case under our NO FEE PROMISE. This means that you will not be charged any legal fees whatsoever unless we obtain a settlement for you.
You have absolutely no obligation unless we win your case. If you do not win, you owe us nothing!
Contact a Life Insurance Benefits Claim Lawyer
Call us to speak with an experienced lawyer about your case. We will begin working on your case immediately. There are strict time deadlines so act now.
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