After a loved one passed away, you filed a claim in order to receive the life benefits. A couple weeks or more goes by, and you get a letter that your claim was denied due to a misrepresentation on the application. You now realize that you need a life insurance lawyer with at least 15 years' experience if you want to have a shot getting your money.
What Constitutes Misrepresentation on a Life Insurance Application?
In most cases, when a claim is denied due to misrepresentation, this means that the insured falsified, lied, or failed to provide certain information on his or her original application for life insurance. For example, many life insurance applications base their rates on the applicant's lifestyle habits and medical history. Therefore, a smoker may be charged more than a non-smoker, and somebody with pre-existing medical conditions may have higher premiums than somebody who is perfectly healthy.
Therefore, if it is determined (or suspected) that an applicant lied about his or her medical history, lifestyle, or other pertinent details on the initial application, this could be a reason for the life insurance company to deny the claim.
If the life insurance company feels that information was misrepresented on an application, they may consider the policy rescinded, which means that it would no longer be valid and the payout may not be provided.
How Contestability Periods Come into Play
Instances of misrepresentation are most frequently investigated if the insured person passes away during the contestability period of the policy. In most cases, a contestability period lasts for two years following the original start date of the life insurance policy. During this period, if the insured passes away, it is all but guaranteed that there will be a delay in the claim, if not an outright denial.
When to Consult with a Life Insurance Lawyer
Cases of material misrepresentation are tricky, and there are many nuances that only a very experienced life insurance attorney will appreciate. This is why it's so important to retain an experience life insurance lawyer. We submit a 100-200 legal brief with our legal arguments, and we are typically successful overturning denials based on material misrepresentation.
If you have recently found out that your life insurance claim has been denied due to a supposed misrepresentation, it's important to meet with a life insurance attorney as soon as possible. There are many fancy life insurance law firm websites on the web, but you need to find out how many years the lawyer has been handling these cases.