The court upheld a District Court's denial of a one million two hundred thousand policy to a widow because her husband didn't disclose a brain tumor in his insurance app. The policy was initially issued in December 2006. Due to a failure to make premium payments, the policy lapsed in April 2007. On April 20, 2007, the insured submitted a reinstatement form, representing that he had no serious illness, along with the owed premium payments. Generally, if a policy lapses the life insurance company will request that the insured confirm if he is in the same health as before and thus still insurable.
However, the insured failed to answer a question that asked about the date of his last medical treatment and the findings therefrom. American General sent the form back to him and he answered it saying his last treatment was with his personal physician in February 2006 with normal results. The written answer to this question was submitted in May 2007. The actual facts were different. The insured had just recently visited a neurologist and an MRI revealed that he had a large mass on his frontal lobe that was an aggressive form of cancer.
The widow asserted that there had been a contract when the reinstatement was mailed to the company, and it accepted the money. This occurred after the misrepresentation was made. In effect, she was avoiding the misrepresentation argument and focusing solely on contract principles. The issue of whether or not there was a material misrepresentation was one that she clearly would not win. The Court ruled that the rules concerning material misrepresentations voiding a policy equally apply to reinstatement applications. Principles of contract law do not override this analysis.
Even cases where it may seem that there is only one result – denial of a life insurance claim – may be won in court with the help of an experienced life insurance lawyer. If your life insurance claim has been denied, contact our life insurance lawyers as soon as possible. We are a team of legal professionals in the field of life insurance claims. We have helped tens of thousands of clients whose life insurance claims were denied to get the death benefits to which they were entitled. We will fight hard for your right to receive the death benefits.