Life Insurance Lawyer Florida

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What are some ways that a life insurance claim due to lapse can be disputed?
A life insurance claim due to lapse may be disputed in certain circumstances, such as:
  1. Contesting the validity of the lapse: If the policyholder was not given proper notice of the lapse, or if the lapse was due to administrative error or other factors beyond their control, the lapse may be contested.

  2. Challenging the insurer's handling of the policy: If the insurer did not properly handle the policy or failed to follow state or federal regulations, the lapse may be disputed.

  3. Asserting that the policyholder had coverage at the time of their death: If the policyholder made a payment or reinstated their policy prior to their death, there may be grounds to dispute the lapse and assert that coverage was in effect at the time of their death.

  4. Filing a legal action: If all other options have been exhausted, a beneficiary may file a legal action to dispute the denial of the life insurance claim due to lapse.

It is important to note that disputing a life insurance claim due to lapse can be challenging, and it is important to consult with an attorney or experienced professional for guidance.

What are the most common reasons for ERISA denial of life insurance claims?
ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act) is a federal law that sets minimum standards for employee benefit plans, including life insurance plans. The most common reasons for ERISA denial of life insurance claims include:
  1. Failure to provide adequate proof of death: The beneficiary must provide proof of death, such as a death certificate, to the insurance company before a claim can be paid. If the beneficiary fails to provide adequate proof, the claim may be denied.

  2. The insured was not covered under the policy: Sometimes an employee may not be eligible for life insurance coverage under the policy due to not meeting certain criteria, such as not being a full-time employee or not being employed for a certain period of time.

  3. The policy was not in force at the time of death: If the policy had lapsed or was terminated before the insured's death, the claim will likely be denied.

  4. The cause of death is excluded: If the policy contains exclusions for certain causes of death, such as suicide or drug overdose, the claim may be denied if the cause of death falls under the exclusion.

  5. Misrepresentation or fraud: If the beneficiary or insured provided false information on the application, the claim may be denied.

  6. Failure to meet the plan's requirements: The policy may contain certain requirements for filing a claim, such as a time limit for filing or a specific format for submitting the claim. If the beneficiary fails to meet these requirements, the claim may be denied.

Life Insurance Beneficiary Rules and Disputes Florida

2023-2024 Life Insurance Claims in Florida Recently Settled

  • JRC Life alcohol denial $130,000.00
  • AARP coronavirus rejected $103,700.00
  • Denied FEGLI claim Florida $239,000.00
  • Liberty National suicide exclusion $211,000.00
  • Nassau COVID-19 not known illness $116,000.00
  • Stonebridge beneficiary dispute $306,000.00
  • Denied SGLI claim Florida $400,000.00
  • New York Life misrepresentation claim $25,000.00
  • Denied AD&D claim Florida $820,500.00
  • Colonial Penn Life medical records $310,000.00
  • Bank of America nicotine denial $101,400.00
  • Landmark Life benefits rejected $48,000.00
  • Paul Revere autoerotic asphyxiation $205,900.00
  • Bankers Life felony exclusion $23,000.00
  • Dearborn National Life death proceeds delay $11,000.00
  • Great Southern Life asphyxiation death $78,000.00
  • Berkshire Life long delay benefits $36,000.00
  • Garden State Life grace period delay $52,000.00
  • Navy Mutual Life contested beneficiaries $402.981.00
  • Loyal American Life spouse override beneficiary $39,000.00
  • Franklin Life cancer death medical records $85,000.00
  • Trinity Life accidental suicide denied $72,000.00
  • Legacy Life contestable period $239,000.00
  • KY Life girlfriend versus ex-wife $80,000.00
  • Industrial Life medical record issue $62,000.00
  • Chase Life lapse of policy issue $50,000.00
  • Denied Life Insurance Claim Florida $750,000.00
  • American Equity Life health issue $180,000.00
  • Triple AAA Life went to ER not in records $40,000.00
  • US Financial Life self-inflicted injury won $87,000.00
  • Zurich American Life 4 month lapse $30,000.00
  • Southern Farm Bureau power of attorney $76,000.00
  • Country Financial last minute change $35,000.00
  • USAA Life drug exclusion $20,000.00
  • Baltimore Life claim rejected by insurance co $66,000.00
  • Veterans Group Life interpleader lawsuit $407,000.00
  • Fabric Life competing beneficiaries won $50,000.00
  • AXA Equitable material misrepresentation $88,000.00
  • Stonebridge t Life doctor visit on medical records $12,000.00
  • Chubb Life changed by power of attorney $25,000.00
  • Guarantee Security COVID-19 denied $392,000.00
  • First Capital Life long delay of benefits $41,000.00
  • Cigna beneficiary dispute interpleader $322,000.00
  • National Western application misrepresentation $103,500.00
  • Jacksonville material misrepresentation application $750,000.00
  • Globe divorce issue resolved settlement $127,000.00
  • Denied FEGLI claim that we obtained fast $290,000.00
  • FEGLI case Fort Lauderdale beneficiary $130,000.00
  • Port St Lucie foreign death case settled $800,000.00
  • Orlando dangerous activity skydiving case $1,040,000.00
  • Iowa Farm sickness exclusion that we won $258,000.00
  • Clearwater appeal of bad faith denial benefits $609,000.00
  • West Palm Beach mistake social security number $203,000.00
  • Florida denied life insurance claim $2,500,000.00
  • American Heritage illegal drug overdose $215,320.00
  • Denied SGLI claim beneficiary dispute $403,721.00
  • AAA misstatement of age on app $376,000.00
  • Miami denied life insurance claim resolved $5,000,000.00
  • AIG accidental death and dismemberment $407,500.00
  • Miramar alleged fraud successfully resolved $233,000.00
  • Tampa bad faith life insurance claim case $823,000.00
  • Pompano Beach agent answered questions $275,000.00
  • State Farm autoerotic asphyxiation death $305,800.00
  • Nasty divorce settlement court orders $500,000.00
  • National Life interpleader dispute settled $311,250.00
  • Denied AD&D claim due to skydiving accident $240,000.00
  • Cape Coral bad faith life insurance case $840,000.00
  • Palm Bay delay asking for medical records $213,000.00
  • A suspicious circumstances death $105,000.00
  • Boca Raton caregiver versus daughter $707,000.00
  • American Heritage death felony exclusion $150,000.00
  • SGLI Life beneficiary change to brother $400,000.00
  • Palm Beach dispute by ex-wife of policy $3,500,000.00
  • Miami Gardens missed question on application $414,000.00
  • Hialeah nonpayment of premiums case $230,000.00
  • Denied life insurance claim Florida $840,000.00
  • AARP lapse of the policy in nursing home $209,000.00
  • CIGNA life self-inflicted injury denial $231,900.00
  • Gainesville policy less than 2 years old $303,000.00
  • Tallahassee ambiguous policy language $472,000.00
  • Pioneer Security spouse and ex-spouse $330,000.00
  • Citizens foreign death exclusion Russia $245,000.00
  • Vero Beach contested the beneficiary $113,000.00
  • American Income undue influence caregiver $517,000.00

Interpleader Lawyer Florida

Florida Life Insurance Law

How life insurers use purported suicide to deny claims

There may be no more devastating event in life than the loss of a loved one due to suicide. Friends and family members are often left wondering why the death occurred, what they could have done to prevent it, and how they will possibly go on following the tragedy.

Notwithstanding those devastating impacts for survivors, suicide has become an increasingly unfortunate reality for many Americans. Indeed, according to one study, the rate of suicide in the United States jumped nearly 25% between 1999 and 2014. Even still, many experts believe a great number of suicides go unreported or misclassified in autopsy reports.

The interplay between suicide and life insurance has always been a tenuous one. This is especially true as life insurance companies try to deal with an ever-increasing onslaught of claims stemming from suicide. This article explores some of the hot topics surrounding suicide and life insurance. It also provides information for beneficiaries who have had claims denied when suicide is an issue.

The suicide exclusion in life insurance policies

On a purely intellectual level, most of us can understand why life insurance companies would not want to make death benefit payouts to the beneficiaries of policyholders who committed suicide. After all, it is not a far stretch of the imagination to see how an individual – distraught from financial struggles, depression, and other issues – might use a life insurance policy as a financial security blanket for his survivors.

Imagine, for example, a middle-aged husband and father of three who lost his job in the recession. The bills are piling up, the mortgage on the house is near foreclosure, and there doesn’t seem to be a good job opportunity anywhere on the horizon. If you could kill yourself to get your family a multi-million dollar life insurance death benefit that would lift them out of the financial hole, more people might consider that option than we like to admit.

From the life insurer’s point of view, however, this is a worst-case scenario. What profit-generating insurer would allow a policyholder to exert complete control over policy payouts? That is essentially what life insurance companies would be doing if they indiscriminately paid death claims when the cause of death was suicide.

Consequently, life insurance companies have built in a couple of policy exclusions that lessen their risk of paying death benefit payouts anytime suicide might be involved in the insured’s death. The first is what is known as an outright “suicide exclusion.” These provisions prohibit the payment of death benefits when the insured commits suicide at any point during the policy term.

The second is the “contestability period.” These provisions basically say that if the insured dies within the first two years of the policy – including if the cause of death is suicide – then the life insurance company does not have to pay a death benefit at all.

At face value, both of these provisions seem reasonable. Insurance companies want to discourage people from using their services as a macabre form of financial planning. Unfortunately, life insurers have twisted these provisions to work to their advantage – even when the death at issue did not come by suicide.

The suicide excuse from life insurers

As attorneys who specialize in contesting the wrongful denial of life insurance claims, we are never surprised when insurance companies issue claim denials that are “justified” by the insured’s alleged suicide – even in cases where the autopsy report deemed the death a result of an accident or natural causes. Indeed, insurance companies play these tricks all the time.

One illustrative case came out of Atlanta. The life insurance policyholder was a man named Allen. Allen held a $1 million life insurance policy that named his sister, Brenda, as his sole beneficiary. The policy contained an outright suicide exclusion that allowed the insurer to avoid paying a death benefit if Allen committed suicide at any point during the policy term.

Four years after the policy was issued, Allen went windsurfing for the first time in his life. As a novice to the sport, he was unsure exactly how to secure his body to the surfboard for maximum safety. As a result, he simply did not connect himself to the board in any appreciable way.

Two hours into his first windsurfing excursion, Allen experienced an unexpected wind surge. Friends watched in horror from the shore as Allen was swept away from his surfboard and into the swirling whitewater of the river. Much to their dismay, his body was recovered on the shore three days later. The coroner ruled his death an accidental drowning.

When Brenda submitted a claim to Allen’s life insurance company, she was surprised to receive a denial letter in the mail. In fact, the justification for the denial was even more shocking – the insurer proclaimed the incident a self-inflicted death that fell squarely within the policy’s suicide exclusion. Specifically, the insurer claimed that if Allen hadn’t wanted to die, he would have appropriately harnessed himself to the surfboard.

Brenda immediately contacted an attorney specializing in the denial of life insurance claims. He quickly recognized that the insurance company was trying to wrongly invoke the suicide exclusion clause to deny an otherwise valid claim. After a detailed consultation with the attorney, Brenda decided to sue the insurance company for the benefits she believed Allen intended for her.

Ultimately, Brenda prevailed in court. There was simply no evidence on the record that suggested Allen had any suicidal ideation. While he may have made a poor decision in ignoring available safety equipment, that – in and of itself – was not enough to warrant his death a suicide for purposes of the life insurance policy.

Life Insurance Contestability Period Florida

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Every day in our practice, we see insurance companies playing tricks like these to avoid policy payouts. If you have experienced a claim denial based on a life insurance company’s determination of suicide, call us today. We successfully contest claim denials like these all the time. We’re happy to review your case and help get the benefits you deserve.