People buy life insurance for one reason: to make sure their loved ones are taken care of financially in the event of their death. Specifically, payouts from a life insurance policy can be used to pay off the remainder of a mortgage, help children cover college expenses, and assist in funeral and burial costs (among other things). Unfortunately, many life insurance claims are unfairly denied or delayed, which can make the loss of a loved one even more difficult by adding additional financial and emotional burdens.
With all that needs to be addressed and taken care of following a loved one's death, many would-be beneficiaries will make the mistake of accepting the insurance claim denial and trying to move on with their lives. However, all delays and denials can and should be appealed and may be overturned as a result.
We get an extremely high volume of denied life insurance claims from: American Fidelity; American Income Life; AIG; Aviva Life; Banker's Life; CIGNA; Citizen's Life; Colonial Life; Foresters; Genworth; Gerber Life; Globe Life; Great American Life; Greater Georgia Life; Hartford Life; HSBC; Liberty National; Lincoln Heritage; Lincoln National; Metropolitan Life; Minnesota Life; Monumental Life; New York Life; Northwestern Mutual; Reliance Standard; Standard; Stonebridge Life; Sun National; Transamerica; United of Omaha; and Unum.
Why Was Your Life Insurance Claim Denied?
There are countless possible reasons as to why a life insurance claim could be denied. One of the most common reasons is that of a supposed failure to pay premiums. When a life insurance payment isn't made on time or within the company's grace period (if offered), the policy will automatically lapse. If the insured passes away after a policy lapses, the insurance company can rightfully deny the claim.
Another common reason cited for a claim denial is that of the applicant failing to provide complete or accurate information on their initial application. After the insured's death—particularly if the contestability period is still in place—the insurance company will review the applicant's initial paperwork and will be on the lookout for discrepancies that could allow them to deny the death benefits claim. For example, if the applicant reported being a non-smoker on the application but it is determined that he or she was, in fact, a smoker, this could be cause enough to deny the claim.
These are just a couple common examples of reasons a claim may be denied. Some other possibilities include:
- policy exclusions
- alcohol and drug use
- suicide or accidental death
- death in a foreign country
Was the Denial Valid?
The first question you should be asking upon receiving a life insurance claim denial is what was the reason for the denial, and was that reasoning valid? You might be surprised to learn that most aren't. Most life insurance companies count on beneficiaries failing to appeal their decisions. This is why, upon receiving a denial, it is important to consult with an experienced life insurance lawyer) one with at least 15 years of experience) as the money should go to you, not to the stockholders of the insurance company.
Reasons to Retain a Life Insurance Attorney
Life insurance companies don't make money by paying out claims, and your chances of fighting the claim yourself are slim to none. Our highly experienced life insurance lawyers have resolved thousands of cases. We submit a 100-200-page legal brief, and our success rate is almost perfect. Be mindful that those work policies are governed by ERISA, and there is only one appeal, and if it is blown, it is over. Speak to us today.