Life Insurance Lawyer Arizona
Arizona Denied Life Insurance Claims Recently Settled
- Christian Fidelity sickness exclusion $105,200.00
- Sagicor Life COVID exclusion denial $277,000.00
- Western United long delay of benefits $33,000.00
- Arizona Life felony exclusion gun crime $492,000.00
- Fidelity Life dispute between beneficiaries $302,500.00
- Tempe dangerous activity denial benefits $548,000.00
- Bankers Life material misrepresentation $209,300.00
- Denied FEGLI claim won in a couple weeks $250,000.00
- New York Life alcohol exclusion won $120,000.00
- Mesa misrepresentation as to age mistake $735,000.00
- Glendale sickness exclusion cancer found $815,000.00
- Denied life insurance claim Arizona $500,000.00
- Arizona ERISA life insurance claim $248,000.00
- Denied SGLI claim dispute resolved $402,100.00
- Peoria court orders divorce settlement $951,000.00
- Bad faith denial of life benefits AZ $684,000.00
- FEGLI denied life insurance claim $106,900.00
- Jackson National Life interpleader lawsuit $108,200.00
- Denied AD&D claim from heart attack $553,000.00
- Minnesota Life delay of life benefits $104,100.00
- Phoenix lawyer for life insurance claim $472,000.00
- Northwestern Mutual Life accidental death $311,000.00
- ERISA denied life insurance claim appeal $128,000.00
- Genworth Life last minute beneficiary change $250,000.00
- Scottsdale insufficient documents to support $390.000.00
- Globe nonpayment of premiums resolved $106,200.00
- AIG accidental death & dismemberment $414,000.00
- Tucson no coverage at the time of death $379,000.00
- Gilbert had a foreign death claim we won $1,000,000.00
- CMFG misrepresentation alleged on application $102,700.00
- Arizona denied life insurance claim $600,000.00
- Progressive Life prescription drug denial $315,000.00
- TSGLI appeal successfully resolved quickly
- Chandler attorney for insurance denials $729,000.00
- Arizona ERISA life insurance claim $285,100.00
- SGLI we resolved beneficiary issue $400,000.00
- Globe Life suicide exclusion $106,300.00
- Arizona divorce and life insurance $742,000.00
- Hartford Life felony exclusion $250,000.00
- Transamerica Premier Life alcohol exclusion $418,000.00
- Arizona denial of life insurance benefits $831,000
- Lincoln Life autoerotic asphyxiation death $308,350.00
- VGLI claim wife and girlfriend dispute $400,00.00
- Nationwide Life spouse and ex-spouse dispute $253,400.00
What happens when multiple beneficiaries claim life insurance benefits?
The answer may not be as easy as you think
Many people only maintain life insurance because it is a benefit of their employment. In those instances, coverage is often so automated that the insured rarely thinks about their policy at all. In fact, they may only remember that they have a life insurance policy when the insurer contacts them to ask for information or offer details about coverage.
Such was the case for a Kentucky gentleman named Mark. Mark received a $100,000 life insurance policy through his employer. At the relatively young age of 48, life insurance was not a big concern to Mark. He planned on living a full life and never anticipated that anyone would be fighting over his life insurance proceeds for decades to come.
Life had different plans for Mark, however. His case is a cautionary tale for all of us that – regardless of age – we all need to plan for what happens to our estate when we pass. As lawyers who specialize in contesting the denial of life insurance claims, we see situations like Mark’s all the time. Consequently, this article focuses on his case and how, if he had just done some additional planning, he could have saved his loved ones a lot of stress and consternation.
Setting up his policy
As noted, Mark was a 48 year-old man living in Kentucky. Mark had a great job as a civil engineer, had a full roster of friends, and a family who adored him. In 2014, right around the time he accepted a new position with a regional engineering firm, Mark was dating a woman named Olivia. Everyone who knew the couple knew that he was smitten.
Consequently, when it came time for Mark to fill out his new employee paperwork, he had Olivia on his mind. One of the things Mark had to do was to complete enrollment in the firm’s group life insurance plan. As part of that process, he was asked to name a beneficiary of his life insurance proceeds. At the time, naming Olivia as his beneficiary was a no-brainer for Mark. He loved her and even planned to marry her in the near future.
Unfortunately, things didn’t turn out as Mark had hoped. Over the course of the next year, the couple started fighting regularly and, by the time they broke up in November 2015, they basically couldn’t stand one another.
In July 2015 – just months prior to his breakup with Olivia – Mark received an email from his life insurance company. It was the one-year anniversary of his employment with the engineering firm and, as such, they needed him to update his policy information. To facilitate the process, they provided Mark with a link to the company’s website where he could input any new information easily.
One of the things Mark was asked to do was update his life insurance beneficiary, to the extent he wished to make a change at all. In the midst of his relationship struggles with Olivia, he simply left that question blank. It never occurred to Mark that that simple decision would have such a massive impact on the people in his life.
Who is the intended beneficiary?
Unfortunately, Mark was completely unaware that he had very little time left on the planet. In December 2015, Mark died in his sleep of an apparent brain aneurysm. Mark’s employer notified the life insurance company of his death, hoping to facilitate a fast payout of the death benefit for Mark’s chosen beneficiary.
When insurance company representatives reviewed the file, however, they were at a quandary for what to do. Mark had clearly named Olivia as the beneficiary in his 2014 paperwork. In 2015, however, he left the question about his beneficiary blank. According to the policy terms, any time an insured failed to name a beneficiary, the death benefits would simply be paid to his next of kin. In Mark’s case, that was his sister, Linda.
Sure enough, both Olivia and Linda ended up submitting claims for Mark’s $100,000 death benefit. Unsure of who to pay, and not wanting to incur double liability, the insurance company initiated what is known as an “interpleader” lawsuit. In an interpleader action, the insurance company essentially recognizes that it has to decide between two claimed beneficiaries, and asks for the court’s guidance in determining who should receive the policy payout.
Within that action, Olivia and Linda fought each other hard. Importantly, however, Linda hired an attorney who specializes in contesting life insurance claim denials. While Mark’s insurance company hadn’t denied her claim yet, she realized that without specialized representation, she was at risk of a full denial.
Linda’s attorney presented ample evidence to support her claim for benefits. In particular, he noted Mark’s intentional refusal to name a beneficiary in 2015 – and contrasted that with his desire and willingness to name Olivia as the beneficiary a year earlier. The attorney also pointed to the clear policy language directing the life insurer to pay the policyholder’s next of kin in the event he died without a named beneficiary.
For her part, Olivia presented evidence regarding the deep and intense relationship that she had shared with Mark. She argued that in light of their recent breakup, Mark still would have wanted her to receive the policy proceeds.
Ultimately, the court sided with Linda, as her attorney made arguments centered on law and the policy language, as opposed to arguments based solely in emotional appeal. The court ordered the life insurance company to pay the full $100,000 benefit to Linda, with interest.
These sorts of disputes are more common than you might think. If you believe you are the rightful beneficiary to life insurance proceeds but find that someone else is also claiming that right, call us. The sole focus of our practice is life insurance claim denials. We’ll evaluate your case honestly and if we believe you are the intended beneficiary, we’ll fight for your right to receive the benefits your loved one intended for you. Call us today. We’re here to help.