Life insurance companies, notably: Unum; AIG, and Gerber Life deny or delay claims for a variety of reasons, from non-payment of premium to application mistakes or misrepresentations, and even the manner of death. Learning more about the ways an insurer could deny a claim can help you understand your options and figure out what to do next.
4 Life Insurance Claim Issues
Non Payment of Premium
If the policy lapsed due to non-payment and the grace period passed, then the insurance company may want to deny the claim. This problem occurs often in the elderly; they simply forget to renew or pay the policy and accidently allow it to lapse. Having premiums directly debited from a checking account or setting up a regular payment arrangement can help ensure that premiums get paid and that the policy remains intact. The insurance company has some responsibility for seeing that policies do not lapse; an experienced life insurance lawyer can help you determine if the insurance company acted properly if your claim has been denied due to non-payment of premium.
Misrepresentation or Mistakes by your Employer
If you are covered by group life insurance through an employer, then the mistakes they make can impact your ability to benefit from the policy. A claim could be denied for a variety of reasons related to the employer; the mistakes made by the Human Resources department could result in a denied life insurance claim after an employee death. Even simple paperwork errors on the part of the employer could be catastrophic and result in a denial.
There is some legal protection for unfairly denied claims; an experienced life insurance attorney can resolve a group insurance denial and ensure that beneficiaries are paid. If you have insurance through your work, always check your documents carefully, not only when you sign up, but whenever there are changes to your benefits plan.
Beneficiary changes can lead to beneficiary disputes, and a subsequent interpleader. Divorce can impact the way a life insurance benefit is distributed. The reality is that the majority of attorneys purporting to know about life insurance claims and disputes don't know all the tricks, which is why a life insurance lawyer with at least 15 years of experience is so critical.
There is language in the life insurance contract that outlines the circumstances that may allow the insurer to try to deny a claim. Every contract is different, but be mindful that an experienced life insurance lawyer can contest denials based upon exclusions.
If you have a claim that has been denied or delayed, an experienced life insurance attorney can help. Every denial should be evaluated; there are almost always ways to fight these, which only a highly experienced denied life insurance claim lawyer would know about. It would be prudent to contact us for a free consultation if your life insurance claim has been delayed.