Our life insurance attorneys just resolved a one million dollar foreign death life insurance claim. Life insurance policyholders who often travel or live overseas may encounter higher premiums or eligibility requirements from their life insurance provider. While death in a foreign country is usually covered under a life insurance plan, some insurers may not.
Overseas Death: Common Reasons Why Insurers Deny Claims
Usually, receiving the insurance payout in case of foreign death is easy, but if the insurance company finds anything suspicious, it can lead to delays or complete invalidation of the life insurance claim. This can include any fraudulent information about the location of the policyholder’s death, how long they were gone, or what caused their death in a foreign country.
Some common reasons for denied life insurance claims in case of foreign death are:
- Insufficient Proof of Foreign Death
Life insurance companies face a challenge when examining deaths in foreign countries. Poor infrastructure, restricted access to technology, terrorism threat, and a country’s vulnerability to natural catastrophes affect how quickly insurers can gather the needed documents. This is especially true for underdeveloped and isolated countries. Beneficiaries of a foreign death claim must provide records that satisfy the policy’s criteria.
- Non-Disclosure of Interest in Risky Hobbies
If the policyholder fails to accurately define or mention their participation and interest in risky hobbies or sports, it can become a valid reason for a denial of death benefit payout. Whether deep diving in the ocean or mountaineering on the weekends, it must be stated in the life insurance policy to prevent disagreements.
- Suspicious Death
If the reason for the death is not evident, it means that it’s questionable. Therefore, the insurance company can’t correctly evaluate the insurance claim status. This does not imply that the claim will be dismissed, but it may be postponed subject to how long it takes to investigate the facts concerning the death.
Steps To Take if the Insured Dies Outside the Country
In the event of the insured’s unexpected death, while traveling abroad, you will need to take the necessary steps to ensure that a claim may be filed within the allotted time limit.
- Alert the US Embassy: Report the death to the US embassy if the policyholder was a US citizen. They offer advice on steps to take and arrangements to make.
- Acquire the Death Certificate: It might be difficult to obtain a death certificate, but the US embassy can assist you with the government regulations.
- File the Claim: Improve your chances of receiving a death benefit by gathering all the documents at once and filing a claim within the deadline.
- Make the Arrangements: Reach out to the insurance company to learn how they intend to handle the claim and decide if you want to send the body to the US or bury it abroad. An autopsy might be required if the death was during the contestability period.
- Contact our Life Insurance Attorneys: Best not to try to resolve it yourself.
The Bottom Line
It’s typical for insurance companies to periodically request further paperwork or to delay paying death benefits while conducting an inquiry into a foreign death.
If you or anyone you know is going through a tough time with a denied or delayed life insurance payout due to an overseas death, seek legal help immediately to explore your options. Life insurance attorneys have years of expertise in managing such cases. They can determine when an insurer has wrongly denied payment and write a thorough legal brief to expedite or recover the proceeds.