Life Insurance Lawyer Kansas

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What is insurance bad faith as it relates to a denied life insurance claim?
Insurance bad faith is a legal term that refers to a situation where an insurance company has acted in a way that is dishonest, unfair, or in breach of its duties to its policyholders. When it comes to a denied life insurance claim, insurance bad faith can occur when an insurance company unreasonably denies or delays payment of a valid claim, or fails to fulfill its obligations under the policy.

Specifically, insurance bad faith may occur in the following situations:

  1. Unreasonable denial of a claim: If an insurance company denies a life insurance claim without a valid reason or justification, this may constitute insurance bad faith. For example, if the insurer denies a claim based on an incorrect interpretation of the policy language or without conducting a thorough investigation of the claim, this may be considered bad faith.

  2. Delayed payment of a claim: If an insurance company unreasonably delays payment of a valid life insurance claim, this may also be considered bad faith. For example, if the insurer drags out the claims process or fails to respond to inquiries from the policyholder or their beneficiaries, this may be considered an unfair delay.

  3. Failure to disclose policy provisions: Insurance bad faith may also occur if an insurance company fails to disclose important provisions of the policy to the policyholder, such as exclusions or limitations on coverage. This may result in the policyholder or their beneficiaries being caught off guard when a claim is denied based on an undisclosed policy provision.

  4. Failure to communicate: If an insurance company fails to communicate with the policyholder or their beneficiaries in a timely and transparent manner, this may also be considered insurance bad faith. For example, if the insurer fails to provide updates on the status of a claim or fails to respond to inquiries, this may be considered unfair or deceptive.

If a life insurance claim is denied due to insurance bad faith, the policyholder or their beneficiaries may be entitled to damages above and beyond the value of the policy. This may include compensation for emotional distress, attorney fees, and punitive damages intended to punish the insurer for its bad faith conduct.

In conclusion, insurance bad faith is a legal term that refers to an insurance company acting dishonestly, unfairly, or in breach of its duties to its policyholders. If a life insurance claim is denied due to bad faith, the policyholder or their beneficiaries may be entitled to damages beyond the value of the policy.

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Life Insurance Beneficiary Rules and Disputes Kansas

2023-2024 Life Insurance Claims in Kansas Recently Settled

  • Mass Shooting life insurance claim denied $109,490.00
  • Chase Life coronavirus exclusion $40,300.00
  • SGLI claim denied beneficiary dispute $405,638.00
  • AD&D claim denial alcohol exclusion $523,000.00
  • Sentinel Life prescription drug denial $25,000.00
  • Whole Life felony exclusion crime $31,000.00
  • Paul Revere Life material misrepresentation $14,000.00
  • Great Southern Life heart attack death $125,000.00
  • All American Life incontestability period $50,000.00
  • Puritan Life alcohol and drug exclusions $88,000.00
  • AVMA Life sickness exclusion resolved $52,000.00
  • Colonial sickness exclusion settlement $212,400.00
  • ERISA appeal successfully resolved $119,000.00
  • Globe commission of a felony exclusion $109,200.00
  • Mutual autoerotic asphyxiation death $305,600.00
  • Prudential accidental death AD&D $519,300.00
  • Topeka interpleader lawsuit resolved $1,000,000.00
  • Kansas divorce and life insurance case $750,000.00
  • Central United prescription drug overdose $312,750.00
  • Denied SGLI claim disputed beneficiary $403,230.00
  • Kansas foreign death claim resolved $802,000.00
  • Overland Park competing claimants case $405,000.00
  • Kansas denied life insurance claim $925,500.00
  • Denied FEGLI claim settled quickly $407,300.00
  • AAA alcohol exclusion vehicle death $116,000.00
  • Federal denial material misrepresentation $309,150.00
  • Transamerica self-inflicted injury exclusion $129,340.00
  • Lawrence policy less than two years old medical $504,000.00
  • Denied AD&D claim felony exclusion resolved $690,000.00
  • Kansas City divorce court orders settlement $815,000.00
  • Olathe allegation of fraud successfully resolved $202,000.00
  • AIG contestable period medical records $142,000.00
  • Baltimore Life denial of benefits paid to our client $280,000.00
  • State Farm foreign death problem resolved $158,000.00
  • North American lapse in nursing home $180,000.00
  • Shawnee long delay due to medical records $103,000.00
  • Atlantic American delay for two years we resolved $260,000.00
  • RiverSource 2 year contestable period resolved $107,000.00
  • Denied life insurance claim Kansas $1,350,000.00
  • Wichita mistake on the application $640,000.00
  • Guarantee Trust interpleader case $250,000.00
  • Kansas bad faith life insurance case $714,000.00
  • SGLI beneficiary dispute ex-wife $400,000.00

Interpleader Lawyer Kansas

Kansas Life Insurance Law

A recent case provides guidance on when premium payments are deemed to be made

Life insurance is a very important estate planning tool for many Americans. Essentially, a life insurance policy can mean the difference between financial security and hopelessness when a trusted breadwinner passes away unexpectedly. As such, it is critical for most families to keep their life insurance policies in good standing.

There are a very few reasons why a life insurance company can cancel a valid policy. One of those reasons, of course, is the non-payment of policy premiums. Even in those instances, however, the life insurance company has to give its policyholder ample notice of nonpayment and the opportunity to reinstate the policy in the event payments are so late that the policy lapses.

Unfortunately, it is in the life insurance company’s best interest if the policy does lapse during the policy term. It is not hard to understand why. So long as the policyholder paid premiums for some time, those premiums equate to pure profit if the policy lapses and the insurance company is relieved from ever having to make a policy payout.

Given these circumstances, it is not surprising when life insurers actively try to avoid policy reinstatement efforts. Such was the case with one recent couple on the East Coast. This article explores their plight and also discusses why it is so important to have the right professionals on your side when things go awry with a life insurance policy.

Late payments to life insurance company

The couple involved in the case at hand were named Harry and Linda. The two had been married for 35 years and were very proactive about estate planning. This was especially true since Linda had spent her entire adult life as a homemaker. If Harry were to die before Linda, he wanted to make sure she had sufficient financial security.

One of the couple’s estate planning strategies was to maintain a large life insurance policy on Harry’s life. For over a decade, the couple was diligent about paying the monthly premiums to keep Harry’s policy active.

In the summer of 2012, however, Harry got suddenly and unexpectedly ill. Doctors weren’t sure what was wrong, but since Harry was unconscious most of the time, they kept him in the hospital for weeks on end. Not surprisingly, Linda was right by his side.

Even after Harry was released from the hospital, he needed months of intense caretaking. Due to what doctors came to believe was some sort of brain aneurysm, Harry had to re-learn how to walk, talk, feed himself, and take care of his most basic needs. Understandably, Linda struggled to keep up with the daily tasks necessary to keep Harry alive.

She also struggled to keep their household together. For months on end, Linda never got around to opening the couple’s mail, even though she kept telling herself she’d get to it. In fact, mail piled up for some six months as she fought to keep Harry alive.

The shock of a life insurance cancellation notice

Finally, Harry’s condition deteriorated to the point that he was put into hospice care. While this was a tough milestone for Linda, the additional care Harry was receiving allowed her to try to catch up on household tasks that had been long neglected.

One of the first things Linda did was begin opening her large pile of mail. While she suspected she would find some overdue bill notices, she had no idea what was going on with Harry’s life insurance policy. Essentially, the company had given notice of late payment, given notice of impending cancellation, and finally terminated Harry’s policy. The termination notice, however, gave Harry the chance to reinstate the policy so long as he did so by December 30.

When Linda read that notice, it was December 29. She quickly figured out the full amount of past-due premiums, wrote a check for that amount, filled out a form indicating Harry’s desire to reinstate coverage, and dropped the full packet off at the nearest post office. In that moment, Linda felt lucky she found the cancellation notice in time to save the policy.

Was the life insurance policy cancelled?

Just two weeks after Linda mailed the reinstatement paperwork, Harry passed away. Linda quickly submitted a claim for death benefits under Harry’s policy. Much to Linda’s surprise, the claim was denied. The claim denial letter read as follows:

Although we acknowledge that you attempted to reinstate Harry’s policy prior to his death, you did not do so in a timely manner and the policy was never reinstated. The deadline for reinstatement was December 30 and our office did not receive your paperwork until January 3.

Something about this correspondence did not sit right with Linda. She contacted an attorney specializing in the wrongful denial of life insurance claims and read him the letter. The attorney immediately saw the flaw in the insurer’s reasoning. According to state law, it didn’t matter when the insurance company received the reinstatement paperwork. What matters was when the paperwork was deposited in the mail (i.e., postmarked).

In this case, of course, the paperwork was postmarked on December 29 – one full day before the reinstatement cutoff. Linda’s attorney sent a stern letter to Harry’s life insurance company with full citations to relevant law. Within three weeks, the insurer reversed its claim denial decision and issued Linda a check for the full policy amount.

This case is important because it illustrates that life insurers are willing to ignore basic tenants of law if they think they can avoid paying valid benefits. If Linda hadn’t obtained a specialized attorney, she may have walked away from a large sum of money her husband intended for her.

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If you have received a recent claim denial that you want to discuss, give us a call. We’re here to help.