We pay into our life insurance polices with the reassurance that if something happens, the money will be there for us and for our family members. Then the unthinkable happens. You file a claim only to have the life insurance company delay your request or deny it altogether for reasons that can sound outrageous. You realize you need a life insurance lawyer to get the money to which you are entitled.
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Denied and Delayed Claims Happen More Often Than You Think
First off, you have to understand how insurance companies make money. The way they make money is to collect premiums in the hopes that people will never use the life insurance policy. This is money in their pockets. The moment a person files a claim, the insurance company loses that money. So some insurance companies out there go to extreme lengths to delay or deny insurance claims so they can keep that money.
Reasons For Delaying Your Life Insurance Claim
Delaying the insurance claim will be the first tactic the insurance company may try to deny paying out any money. A family member may have a long-term care policy as they need the money to pay for medical expenses and care. The insurance company will try delaying the claim as long as possible hoping the family member passes away so they won't have to pay the claim.
It is a disgraceful tactic, but it does happen. Some of the excuses you may hear will include:
- Failure to receive proper documents - i.e. medical records, income tax returns, or autopsy reports.
- Beneficiary dispute based on a recent divorce or the suspicious nature of a person's death.
- Independent medical review dispute concerning the evidence of the person's illness or death.
- Investigation due to the suspicious nature of a person's death.
Yet just because an insurance company makes the above claims does not mean you have to sit back and wait. The longer you wait, the harder it will become to dispute any denial to your claim. The insurance company may not have a legitimate reason for these delay tactics, and could be wrongfully delaying your claim hoping you give up without a fight. The moment you receive a letter in the mail concerning a delay in the claim process, contact a life insurance lawyer immediately to help protect your rights.
Reasons For Denying Your Insurance Claim
You follow all the rules, faithfully make the premium payments on time, yet the insurance company may still deny the claim. Unlike delaying tactics where they try to wait you out, a flat-out denial is a way they try to intimidate hoping they give you enough of a reason to not file another claim again. The most common reason they will deny your claim is that they will say the family member misrepresented information when filling out the initial life insurance application.
Misrepresentation simply means that the family member withheld certain information or lied about certain information that would have affected getting life insurance. Topics that the life insurance company will claim where misrepresented on the application may be:
- The person had known about a pre-existing condition but failed to disclose that on the initial life insurance application.
- The person misrepresented their age, race, employment and income status.
- The person didn't disclose medical appointments or checkups.
- The person failed to disclose the prior use of alcohol, tobacco or drugs.
- The person didn't disclose a criminal history.
The list goes on and on for reasons an insurance company will deny your claim. Yet just because they have a reason doesn't make it a legitimate one to your particular circumstances as you may still be able to collect the money owed to you. Again, the moment you receive a denial letter in the mail, contact a life insurance lawyer. They can go over your records to see if you have been wrongfully denied. The lawyer can help you appeal the claim or file a lawsuit to get the money you deserve.