Life Insurance Lawyer Virginia

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How does the grace period for a life insurance policy work, and how does it relate to a denied life insurance claim due to lapse?
A grace period is a specified amount of time after the premium due date during which a policyholder can make a premium payment without losing coverage. The length of the grace period varies depending on the insurance company and the policy terms, but typically lasts 30 days.

If a policy lapses due to non-payment of premiums, the policyholder may be able to reinstate the policy during the grace period by paying the overdue premium. However, if the policy lapses and the policyholder does not make a premium payment during the grace period, the policy will be considered lapsed and the coverage will end.

If the policy lapses due to non-payment of premiums and the policyholder dies during the grace period, the death benefit will still be paid as long as the overdue premium is paid before the claim is submitted. However, if the policy lapses and the policyholder dies after the grace period ends without the overdue premium being paid, the claim may be denied due to lapse.

It's important to note that the grace period only applies to policies that have been in force for a certain period of time (usually three years). If the policy has not yet reached the end of the required period, the grace period may not apply and the policy may lapse immediately after the premium due date. In such cases, the insurer may have the right to deny a claim due to lapse if the policyholder dies after the premium due date without the overdue premium being paid.

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Life Insurance Beneficiary Rules and Disputes Virginia

2023-2024 Life Insurance Claims in Virginia Recently Settled
  • Nationwide COVID-19 death denied $210,000.00
  • SGLI Army refused to pay out beneficiary $400,000.00
  • Franklin Life heart problem not disclosed $397,000.00
  • Mass shooting Virginia denied life claim $540,000.00
  • FEGLI would not pay out the claim $289,000.00
  • Oxford sickness exclusion resolved $33,000.00
  • Lapse the policy of deceased $57,000.00
  • Ameriprise coronavirus death denial $108,000.00
  • Great Southern contesting a beneficiary
  • Christian Fidelity missed four payments $59,000.00
  • Western United suicide vs accident $120,000.00
  • United Republic sickness exclusion $101,100.00
  • Denied Virginia life insurance claim $750,000.00
  • Kentucky Central lapse of policy won $55,000.00
  • Colonial Penn interpleader filed and won $113,000.00
  • Wrong age on the application resolved $20,000.00
  • AFLAC Life self-inflicted injury vs accidental $98,000.00
  • SGLI Navy issue regarding who gets paid out $400,000.00
  • Midland National missed several payments $37,000.00
  • Bestow Life power of attorney changed it $144,000.00
  • Virginia life insurance claim delayed $320,000.00
  • Our Life Covered missed a few payments $10,000.00
  • First National Life high blood alcohol content $88,000.00
  • Colorado Bankers lapsed the policy of deceased $71,000.00
  • Mass Mutual medical not disclosed $421,000.00
  • ERISA appeal another win by us $169,000.00
  • Amalgamated sickness exclusion $205,000.00
  • Globe autoerotic asphyxiation death $114,000.00
  • Virginia denied life insurance claim $2,200,000.00
  • SGLI sister versus ex-wife dispute $400,000.00
  • The Hartford felony exclusion crime $217,000.00
  • Denied life insurance claim Virginia $945,000.00
  • FEGLI appeal legal brief successful $153,000.00
  • Banner interpleader lawsuit won $275,000.00
  • Virginia divorce and life insurance $518,000.00
  • Transamerica alcohol exclusion $314,000.00
  • AARP policy not in force allegedly $107,000.00
  • Liberty contestable period resolved $217,000.00
  • Virginia bad faith life insurance claim $741,000.00
  • Prudential accidental death AD&D $427,300.00

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Virginia Life Insurance Law

While many American adults have life insurance policies in place, few ever think about their policy once it has been obtained. In fact, most policyholders never even read or review their actual policy language. Instead, once the certificate of insurance is received, most people don’t even think about their life insurance until they have to make a premium payment.

Often, this presents no problem for the insured. All they typically care about is that they have coverage and that a designated loved one will benefit from the policy payout when they pass away. Again, so long as the premium payments are made, that can be a sufficient level of attention to give to a life insurance policy.

What many people forget, however, is that there are several life events that trigger a real need to go back and revisit your beneficiary designation. For example, if your wife is your beneficiary yet you two have gone through a bitter divorce, don’t you think you’d want to name someone new to benefit from your death? Likewise, as you have children, you may want to name them as full or partial beneficiaries.

For many people, however, the thought simply never enters their mind. Such was the case for one man who forgot to name a new beneficiary after his wife died. But for a dying declaration about his intent and his intended beneficiary’s act of hiring a specialized lawyer to help with a claim denial, the man’s policy could have been rendered useless. This article explores his situation in detail.

Life insurance was the last thing on his mind

Jason was the type of person others would describe as “steady.” He got a job with a local credit union right out of college and ended up working for that same establishment for over three decades. Early in his employment, Jason was offered the chance to participate in a group life insurance plan through his employer.

He applied for a policy and was accepted into the program. At that time, Jason was 25 years old and he named his new wife, Pam, as his beneficiary. The credit union paid all of the premiums due under the policy. Consequently, Jason rarely gave his life insurance a second thought.

Fast forward thirty years. Jason and Pam were still married. Jason was now the president of the credit union. They had four children and seven grandchildren. They still lived in the first house they purchased, which was just two blocks from the credit union. It was a simple life, but one they both loved.

As Jason and Pam entered their mid-50s, the couple was looking forward to Jason’s planned retirement at age 62. They even went so far as to buy a large, vintage trailer which they planned to fully restore and then use for traveling the country. The very furthest thing from either of their minds was Jason’s life insurance policy.

Unfortunately, Pam died unexpectedly of a heart attack at the age of 60. Jason was so overcome with grief that he really didn’t think about much aside from the plans he and Pam had made that would never come to fruition. Perhaps not surprisingly, Jim very quickly fell into his own serious illness. Four months after Pam died, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and given a prognosis of six months to live.

A declaration of intent just before death

As Jason toiled away in the hospital, his oldest son, Tom, began to take care of his father’s affairs. One of the things Tom discovered was that, following Pam’s death, Jason had never named a new beneficiary under his life insurance policy. Unfortunately, Tom made this discovery at a time when Jason only had a few days to live. Jason remained lucid, however, and Tom was determined to get everything in order.

Tom wasn’t able to print a “Change of Beneficiary” form from the life insurer’s website. Thus, he had his dad write up a short statement that simply said, “Being of sound mind, I would like to express my intention to change the beneficiary under my life insurance policy to my youngest daughter, Antonia.” Jason signed the statement and Tom had it witnessed by two other people.

Just a few days later, Jason passed away. Because things had been so touch and go at the end, Tom had not yet sent the written statement of intent to the life insurance company. Within weeks of his father’s death, however, Tom helped his younger sister file a claim for benefits. Tom sent the statement as part of the claims submission packet. Given that the statement was so clear and was witnessed by two separate witnesses, he really didn’t anticipate any problem with payment.

Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned. The life insurance company sent a claim denial letter directly to Antonia. In it, they claimed that because: (a) Jason’s original beneficiary, his wife, had predeceased him; and (b) Jason’s new beneficiary designation was not made on the insurer’s specific form, there was no clear beneficiary under the policy. Accordingly, the company claimed that it could not pay the claim.

Antonia was a smart young woman. She immediately contacted a lawyer specializing in life insurance claim denials and explained the circumstances. While the lawyer recognized that the case would be much clearer had Jason been able to fill out a Change of Beneficiary form, he also believed the written statement was great evidence of Jason’s intent. He filed an administrative appeal with the insurance company. After an internal hearing and additional investigations, the insurer eventually paid Antonia’s claim in full.

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If you have a life insurance policy and aren’t sure who your beneficiary is, you should make sure the policy reflects your current intentions immediately. If, on the other hand, you are an intended beneficiary who has been denied benefits by a life insurer, please call our firm as soon as possible. We fight claim denials every day and would be happy to assess your case at no charge.