Policyholders in California and nationally who secure life insurance coverage do so for reasons of paramount importance.

At the most fundamental level, of course, an individual procures coverage for the assurance it provides that loved ones – spouses, children and any additionally named beneficiaries – will be protected in the future.

That is unquestionably a big deal, especially when a primary income earner is no longer on the scene to ensure continued family stability. An existing policy takes center stage at that point, helping beneficiaries stay financially afloat.

It does so in myriad ways. Surviving loved ones use insurance monies to stay current on mortgages, enabling home-linked continuity for a family. Policy proceeds pay debts, buy food, fund educations and more.

And they invaluably confer an ability on survivors to act in an unhurried and rational manner concerning critically important matters, rather than in haste and absent a financial safety net.

Those stated benefits and more are what drive the universal popularity and perceived utility of life insurance policies. They are unquestionably a planning tool of highest importance, and they routinely benefit beneficiaries in critically important ways – when they are contractually honored by insurance providers.

That isn’t always the case, as we prominently note on our website at the proven and national ERISA Law Center. We underscore therein that insurance routinely “come up with plenty of reasons” to deny life insurance claims.

One of those is centrally grounded in policy language, which is typically hyper-complex and layered in ambiguity. Life insurance policies are one-sided instruments in that they contain terms and provisions that are akin to a foreign language for lay persons and are often fluidly manipulated by providers to skirt contractual duties.

We will have more to say about insurance policy readabilitay and linked implications for policyholders and beneficiaries in our next blog post.