Get What You Paid For
People often spend many years paying for life insurance premiums to get the peace of mind that their loved ones will have financial security after their passing. Because of this, it can be a massive shock when an insurance company denies a survivor’s claim for a life insurance payment. Not only are the intended beneficiaries left without the financial security they deserve, but the wishes of their loved one who passed away are also not honored.
At ERISA Law Center, we understand the emotional distress and frustration caused by denied life insurance benefits. Based in Fresno, California, we help survivors throughout the 9th Circuit (including Arizona, Washington, Nevada, Hawaii and Oregon) secure the financial resources their deceased loved one intended for them to have.
Understanding The Different Types Of Policies
When discussing life insurance policies, it is important to understand the different types of policies you might be dealing with. There are two primary types of policies:
- Term life insurance offering protection for a specific period of time
- Permanent life insurance, including whole or variable plans
In addition to whole and variable plans, there are several other types of permanent life insurance policies, including universal, variable universal and survivorship life insurance which covers two lives at once and pay out after the second insured individual passes away.
A term policy is more affordable than a permanent policy. Term policies have a set expiration date with terms lasting up to 30 years. A permanent policy, such as whole life insurance, tends to be more complex with extra fees and features and can be six to 10 times more expensive than a term life policy. A permanent policy lasts as long as the premium is paid and has no expiration date.
With so many life insurance options, it easy to see why it is essential to have experienced legal counsel on your side if your loved one’s policy is contested. At ERISA Law Center, we have experience dealing with all types of policies and understand what is necessary to protect your life insurance claim.
Has Your Life Insurance Claim Been Denied?
If your insurance company denied your life insurance claim, you need an experienced attorney at your side to help you secure the payment you deserve. Insurance companies can come up with plenty of reasons to deny your claim, but our knowledgeable lawyers can help you pick their reasoning apart.
In California, life insurance companies have the legal duties to treat claims with good faith and avoid unfair dealing. They must investigate your claim and reach a decision whether or not to pay within a reasonable time frame, and not use unfair claims practices like dragging out the process longer than necessary or purposely misrepresenting the facts. If the company denies your claim, they explain its reasons in writing to the beneficiaries. If the insurer does not follow its legal duties, affected beneficiaries could have a claim for bad faith insurance. Evidence of bad faith practices by the insurer can therefore be crucial leverage in reaching an acceptable settlement of a denied claim.
There are a variety of reasons a life insurance policy could be denied. Some common reasons include:
- Death of the insured during the two-year contestability period of the policy start date resulting in the insurer discovering information not included on the initial application
- Nonpayment of premiums or premiums not being paid on time resulting in a lapsed or terminated policy
- Lack of a designated beneficiary on file
- Changes made to a policy after a divorce involving children
- Ambiguous policy exclusions included on the policy stipulating situations the policy will not cover
An insurer trying to claim that the circumstances of the insured’s death invalidate the life insurance policy is a common one. Some death scenarios that might cause an insurer to deny a life insurance claim include:
- Suicide within two years of the policy start date
- Involvement in criminal activity at the time of death
- Death resulting from risky hobbies not disclosed on application such as skydiving or auto racing
Whatever the reason for your life insurance claim denial, it is likely we have seen it before in litigation and in disability appeals. With over 35 years of experience with these kinds of matters, we have established a reputation for success by recovering 94 percent of our client’s insurance claims. Our experienced attorneys know what it takes to show that the insurance policy covers the circumstances of the passing in question.
Our skilled ERISA attorney works with clients nationwide in reviewing their cases, to see if a simple misstatement on an application or another type of oversight is the cause of the denial. Often, discovering and fixing these hard to find, but relatively simple, mistakes can clear up the problem. Otherwise, a thorough understanding of the terms of the policy and the underlying facts of the claim gives us a solid backing for appealing a denied claim.
We know how stressful it can be to pursue a life insurance claim while also grieving the loss of a loved one, and we want to make things as easy as we can for you. Our legal team will guide you through the process step by step to reduce the burden of your legal battle.
Our Experience Can Make The Difference In Your Life Insurance Claim
We remain available to our clients during all hours of the day so that you are never alone in your claims process. If you need help in earning the life insurance benefit you deserve, contact us online or by phone at 866-360-0983, 559-549-6490 to set up your free case review today with a member of our legal team at our Fresno office. We work with clients remotely via Zoom. Our legal team is committed to helping you secure the financial security your loved one intended for you to have.