Learn What to Do to Dispute a Denied Life Insurance Claim
Being denied a life insurance claim is always a shock. You expect to use those funds to pay for a funeral, pay bills, and try to go on with your life after losing someone you loved. When an insurance company tells you that they are denying the claim and you won’t be receiving the benefits of the policy, you may think this is the end of road. In reality, it is just the beginning. The decision of the insurance provider is NOT the last word. You can appeal their decision and fight for the benefits that are rightfully yours, but it is a complex legal situation and you’ll need the guidance of an attorney experienced in dealing with insurance companies. At our law firm, we’ve worked with hundreds of clients who have fought life insurance companies and won. The first step is contacting our office and scheduling an initial appointment.
The Importance of the First Consultation and What to Bring
After you’ve scheduled a time to meet with one of our attorneys, take some time to gather everything you’ll need for that crucial first meeting. In order for us to evaluate your claim and determine whether you have a valid reason to dispute the insurance company’s denial. At the least, you should bring the following items with you:
A Complete Copy of the Insurance Policy
This is the starting point for any claim against a denied life insurance claim. Most people have had their insurance coverage explained to them by their insurer, but the written and signed policy puts all the details in writing. Our attorneys will review the policy to determine exactly what is and isn’t covered. Insurance companies don’t make money by writing short, easy-to-understand policies. The legal language and the many potential exclusions have a huge impact on your case. Reviewing your coverage with you is the first step in fighting a denied life insurance claim.
All Correspondence from the Life Insurance Provider
The first indication a life insurance policy is denied is usually a formal letter from the insurer telling you that the claim is denied. Sometimes they include a detailed reason why; sometimes they simply say the claim is denied. They are relying on your confusion and your assumption that they “know more” than you do. Reading your denial letter will let us know immediately the circumstances surrounding the denial and allows us to put together a valid defense. If you’ve received additional correspondence from the insurer, bring that as well.
Any Paperwork that Refutes the Insurance Company’s Reason for Denial
There is a long list of reasons for a denied life insurance claim, and these can vary dramatically from one policy to another. If the insurer says your application was incomplete, bring your own copy of the original application. If they claim the cause of death is suspicious, get a copy of the death certificate and found out if there is a coroner’s report your attorney can request. One of the most common reasons for denial is a claim that your premiums weren’t paid. In this case, producing copies or records of each payment can be immensely helpful. If you’re not sure what kind of paperwork you’ll need, ask your attorney.
Notes on Any Conversations with the Insurer
If you’ve already talked to your insurance company, bring any notes you have to your first consultation with a life insurance attorney. Ideally, if the insurance company does call you before you’ve had a meeting with an attorney, you should tell them that you do not want to discuss the claim until you’ve met with legal counsel. And do NOT let an insurance company record any telephone conversations or meetings. They may say that it is for your protection, but it’s not. They are hoping you’ll say or do something that can strengthen their case. By refusing to be recorded, you’re letting them know you won’t be easily dissuaded from pursuing your life insurance claim. If they want to talk to you, tell them to contact your attorney.
Your Attorney is Your Expert
Disputing a denied life insurance claim can be a long, drawn-out process. The company has attorneys working for it whose focus is proving why your claim should be denied. It can be difficult or even impossible to fight back without a life insurance lawyer on your side who is an expert on life insurance law and skilled at disputing denials. Call us today for your free consultation so that you’re fighting the battle on an even playing field.