Life Insurance Lawyer Indiana
Insurance companies don't make money by paying out claims. We will fight your denial and win. We resolve all denied life insurance claims and life insurance beneficiary disputes, and can handle any interpleader lawsuit.
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Settled Life Insurance Claims in Indiana
- Mass Shooting death denial $102,100.00
- Indiana denied life insurance claim $1,300,000.00
- Denied SGLI claim change beneficiary $401,090.00
- Nassau coronavirus denial we resolved $105,800.00
- Accidental Death & Dismemberment $950,000.00
- Kansas City Life lapse of policy $25,000.00
- CUNA Mutual sickness exclusion $58,000.00
- Senior Life felony exclusion shooting case won $102,500.00
- Indiana interpleader lawsuit resolved $650,000.00
- Denied life insurance claim in Indiana $525,000.00
- Income Life interpleader lawsuit $300,000.00
- Veterans Group delay of payment $403,600.00
- Boston Mutual prescription drug denial $105,000.00
- Haven Life premiums not deducted $69,000.00
- Indiana contesting a life insurance beneficiary $105,000.00
- Bestow Life self-inflicted injury $220,000.00
- Catholic Life rejected claim health $102,000.00
- USAA Life illegal drug rejection $10,000.00
- ALCPA Life delay of benefits paid out $40,000.00
- Delaware Life sickness exclusion denial $13,000.00
- Lincoln Memorial coronavirus denial $220,000.00
- AAA autoerotic asphyxiation death $102,700.00
- Denied SGLI claim resolved by us $401,120.00
- AIG AD&D policy was denied $435,000.00
- Transamerica death not accidental $407,200.00
- AXA exclusion for alcohol death $208,100.00
- Villanova Life denial of benefits $18,000.00
- State Farm autoerotic asphyxiation $151,800.00
- Indiana dispute among beneficiaries $620,000.00
- Denied FEGLI claim resolved by us $222,000.00
- Denied FEGLI claim dispute won $285,000.00
- CNO sickness exclusion resolved $297,000.00
- Evansville nonpayment of premiums $539,000.00
- iA Financial Life delay of payment $25,900.00
- Veterans Life insurance claim settled $403,200.00
- Denied life insurance claim Indiana $850,000.00
- SGLI contest between beneficiaries $400,000.00
- Denied SGLI claim change beneficiary $402,400.00
- Kentucky Central Life denial of benefits $280,000.00
- Globe application misrepresentation $102,500.00
- Fort Wayne mistake on the application $711,000.00
- Indiana divorce and life insurance $640,000.00
- Christian Fidelity Life denial resolved $229,000.00
- Denied AD&D claim van accident $590,000.00
- Met life accidental death claim denial $313,250.00
- Indiana Farm Bureau suicide exclusion $144,000.00
- American General late filed claim $111,600.00
- South Bend divorce settlement court order $754,000.00
- Indianapolis denial of life benefits case $2,300,000.00
- Bloomington alleged fraud we resolved $812,000.00
- Indiana denied life insurance claim $557,200.00
- Colonial Life interpleader lawsuit $206,000.00
- Indiana bad faith life insurance case $863,000.00
- USAA life divorce ex-spouse settlement $418,000.00
Indiana Life Insurance Law
Life insurers often misuse the provision excluding coverage for deaths resulting from illegal acts
Most people understand the basics of a life insurance policy. The policyholder pays premiums to the life insurance company. In exchange, the life insurer pays the policyholder’s beneficiary when the policyholder dies. Of course, insurance companies would go broke if they had to pay a death benefit every time one of their insureds passes away.
Consequently, life insurance companies have created policies that are full of exclusions. Exclusions absolve the insurer from paying a death benefit if the insured dies in certain ways that are defined within the policy. For example, a life insurance policy might contain exclusions for suicide, undisclosed medical conditions, or inherently dangerous activities.
One exclusion that life insurance companies like to invoke is the illegality exclusion. These provisions come in many forms, but they basically say that the insurance company is not obligated to pay a death benefit if the insured dies while engaging in an illegal act. One obvious example would be where the policyholder was shot to death while in the middle of trying to kill someone else.
Not all cases are so clear cut, however. This article explores one recent case out of Michigan where a life insurance company tried to improperly invoke an illegality provision in order to deny a claim. Fortunately, the beneficiaries retained an attorney who specializes in the wrongful denial of life insurance claims. As a consequence, the beneficiary was ultimately paid the death benefit his wife intended for him.
Use of alcohol and life insurance claim
The case involved a 34 year-old woman named Erin. Erin had a life insurance policy that she received as a benefit of her employment with a large law firm. The policy called for a $2 million payout upon her death. Erin named her husband, Trent, as beneficiary under the policy.
It also contained several policy exclusions. Among them was an exclusion that relieved the life insurance company from its obligation to pay a death benefit if Erin died as the result of the “illegal use of alcohol.”
Sometime around Christmas in 2014, Erin went to a holiday party sponsored by her law firm. While there, she consumed several cocktails. This was unusual for Erin as she was not a regular drinker and certainly not a heavy drinker. Some of her colleagues noticed that she was getting a bit tipsy and implored her to take a cab home that evening.
Given that Erin’s judgment was impaired, she decided to drive herself home. Around 9:00 that night, she got behind the wheel of her BMW and headed for her condo, which was located some 35 minutes from the party. Fifteen minutes into her drive, Erin lost control of the car going around a curve. She wrapped her BMW around a telephone pole and forced two other cars off the road.
By the time paramedics arrived at the scene, Erin was already dead. The autopsy would later reveal that Erin was driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.11%. This was just slightly above the legal limit of 0.08%. Her family, friends, and colleagues were devasted to learn of the news. This was especially true for her husband, Trent.
A surprising life insurance claim denial
Shortly after Erin’s death, Trent made a claim for death benefits under Erin’s life insurance policy. Approximately one month after he submitted the claim, he received a unequivocal claim denial in the mail. The insurance adjuster who penned the letter was concise in her reasoning for the denial:
While we are sympathetic for your loss, we regret to inform you that we are unable to pay a policy benefit at this time. Your wife’s policy excluded coverage in the event her death resulted from the “illegal use of alcohol.” Given that Erin died while driving under the influence of alcohol (and with a blood alcohol level above the legal limit of 0.08% in Michigan), we have no choice but to deny your claim at this time.
Trent was devasted by this news. Shortly before Erin’s death, he had given up his career as a doctor to pursue his life-long dream of becoming an artist. Erin’s policy would have allowed him to continue pursuing that dream – which is something he and Erin very much wanted. A friend suggested Trent contact a lawyer specializing in the denial of life insurance claims.
There was no illegal use of alcohol
Fortunately, the attorney immediately spotted the flaw in the life insurance company’s reasoning. Erin didn’t die from the “illegal use of alcohol.” Given that she was well above the drinking age of 21 and drinking at a private indoor gathering, her consumption of alcohol was perfectly legal.
What Erin arguably died from was the illegal use of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. Erin’s life insurance policy, however, did not exclude coverage under those circumstances.
With Trent’s approval, the attorney took Erin’s life insurance company to court. Ultimately, Trent prevailed and was awarded the full policy benefit, with interest. The court completely agreed with Trent’s attorney that Erin had not engaged in the “illegal consumption of alcohol” and that, consequently, the life insurer’s invocation of that provision was wrongful.
Unfortunately, Trent’s experience is far from unusual. Even in instances where insurance companies know their claim denial reasoning is faulty, they will deny claims anyway. This is because they know that many grieving beneficiaries are simply too depressed to take on a fight against a large insurer.
As attorneys who specialize in the wrongful denial of life insurance claims, we see this behavior by insurance companies day in and day out. We’re not fooled and we’re not intimidated by their tactics. To the contrary, we’ve built a successful track record of contesting claim denials just like the one outlined in this article.
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If you have recently had a life insurance claim denied on the same or similar bases, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here to help.