Category: Life Insurance Claims
Life insurance claim

Misrepresentation On a Life Insurance Policy

Alleged misrepresentation is one of the top reasons life insurance companies deny beneficiaries’ claims for the death benefits. Find out from the nations’ top life insurance lawyers what misrepresentation is, why insurance companies deny these claims, and what you can do about it should your claim be denied for this reason.

We have gotten many life insurance claims paid when they were initially denied due to alleged misrepresentation on the part of the policyholder, by appealing the life insurance claim denial. If your claim was denied due to misrepresentation, call us. We will discuss your case with you free of charge!

What Material Misrepresentation In Life Insurance Is

“Material misrepresentation” is a lie, mistake, or omission that leads the life insurance company to believe something that is not true about the policyholder, assess the policyholder at less risk of dying within the policy term, and give the policyholder a lower premium payment than they would if they knew the truth.

What Happens When Misrepresentation On a Life Insurance Policy Gets Discovered

Life insurance companies “rescind” life insurance coverage if they discover that the policyholder misrepresented themselves in their initial application for life insurance or their medical questionnaire. A rescinded life insurance policy gets treated as if it never existed.

How Misrepresentation Leads to Policy Claim Denials

When life insurance companies rescind a policy because the policyholder misrepresented themselves on the initial application for life insurance or medical questionnaire, it is as if the policy never existed. A life insurance company will deny a beneficiary’s claim for death benefits on a rescinded policy.

Premium payments are based on the likelihood the policyholder will die within the policy term. Those at more risk pay higher premiums than those at less risk. Life insurance companies assess policyholders’ risk of dying within the policy term based on the information they provide in the initial application and medical questionnaire.

As a matter of public policy, life insurance rescission is intended to deter life insurance applicants from lying or omitting facts on their application to get a lower premium payment.

Examples of Material Misrepresentation

Example #1: Peter intentionally lies about not smoking on his life insurance application, He dies from lung cancer. The life insurance company rescinds the policy and the beneficiaries get nothing.

Example #2: Pauline dies of a heart attack. The coroner says she died of a heart attack due to coronary artery disease. Pauline did not disclose her coronary artery disease on her initial application or medical questionnaire because she did not know she had it. The life insurance company rescinded the policy due to alleged misrepresentation and denied her beneficiary’s claim for death benefits, but the beneficiary’s attorney was able to show that Pauline had no knowledge of her condition. The beneficiary got the payout.

Example #3: Phil lies about his age on the life insurance application knowing he will get a lower premium. He dies and the life insurance finds out his true age from the death certificate, rescinds the policy, and denies his beneficiary’s claim for the death benefits. 

Example #4: Phryne mistakenly transposes her birth year from 1968 to 1986. She has dyslexia, which she does disclose. She dies, and the life insurance company rescinds the policy and denies her beneficiary’s claim for death benefits. The beneficiary’s attorney fought back and was able to show that the mistake was not intentional and therefore not fraud or misrepresentation. The life insurance company paid Phryne’s beneficiary the death benefit minus what she would have paid in premiums had the life insurance company known her true age.

Example #5: Pearl dies in a skiing accident while on the black diamond trail. Pearl failed to disclose that she was a skier on her life insurance application. The life insurance company rescinded the policy and denied her beneficiary’s claim for death benefits. 

When a Life Insurance Agent Makes a Misrepresentation

Unfortunately, life insurance agents’ mistakes in filling out applications for their clients often cause the life insurance company to rescind a policy for misrepresentation and deny beneficiaries’ claims.

For example, if a life insurance agent mistypes something, or ignores an obvious medical condition such as when their client uses a walker or a wheelchair, that mistake or omission is not the fault of the policyholder. In these cases we can get our client beneficiaries paid!

How a Life Insurance Lawyer Helps Your Case

Often, a mistake or omission is not material, in that it has nothing to do with the death of the policyholder, or it is not misrepresentation, meaning that it was an innocent mistake, the agent make the mistake, the question was confusing, or the policyholder had no knowledge of the missing or incorrect fact.

Our life insurance lawyers know the law in every state in the nation. We know that when the mistake or omission was not the fault or the intent of the policyholder, we can get our clients paid. We investigate thoroughly and uncover the truth for our clients. 
If your claim was denied due to alleged misrepresentation, we will do that for you, too. Call us for your free, no-obligation consultation. Know that we only take cases on a contingency basis to minimize costs to you, and that we only get paid when you do!

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What Happens to Life Insurance with No Beneficiary?

Learn from the nation’s top life insurance lawyers where death benefits go when there is no life insurance beneficiary or the beneficiary predeceases the policyholder.

If you are an heir of a policyholder who did not list you as a beneficiary, we may be able to help you. Call us for your free, no-obligation consultation.

What a Life Insurance Beneficiary Is

A life insurance beneficiary is a person or entity named by the policyholder to receive the death benefit if the policyholder dies within the policy term. 

A policyholder may name an individual, a business, a trust, or a non-profit as a beneficiary. Usually the beneficiary must be identified by full legal name, residential address or place of business, and social security number or tax identification number.

Why Designating a Life Insurance Beneficiary is Important

If a policyholder fails to list a beneficiary or fails to keep their beneficiary designation up to date, the death benefits will not go to the person or entity they intended. 

If a policyholder is going to the expense and trouble of purchasing life insurance, they must take care to name a primary beneficiary as well as secondary or contingent beneficiaries in order to ensure their intent is realized upon their death. A policyholder should also update their beneficiary designations if they marry, divorce, their relationships change, or if any of their beneficiaries die.

What Happens if a Life Insurance Policy Doesn’t List a Beneficiary

Although it might seem unusual, as the entire purpose of having life insurance is to make sure loved ones receive the death benefit, sometimes a policy does not list a beneficiary. This can happen when the policy is very new, the beneficiary designation is in the process of being changed, or the policyholder attempts to change or partially completes the change of beneficiary and suddenly dies.

If the policy does not list a beneficiary, the death benefits will pay to the policyholder’s estate. An “estate” is the sum of all of the policyholder’s assets upon their death and is administered by an executor.

Why You Don’t Want You Death Benefit to Go to Your Estate

If a life insurance policy pays to the policyholder’s estate, the death benefits will be subject to the claims of the policyholder’s creditors. Those creditors may include medical professionals and hospitals or hospice for end-of-life medical expenses, credit cards, and other personal debt of the policyholder.

The executor must pay these bills before the policyholder’s heirs receive any inheritance from the estate. The policyholder’s heirs will therefore inherit less money than they would have if the policyholder had named them as life insurance beneficiaries.

Who Receives Payment if a Beneficiary Dies Before the Policy Holder

If the primary beneficiary dies before the policyholder, the secondary or contingent beneficiary or beneficiaries receive the death benefit. If the policyholder failed to name secondary or contingent beneficiaries, or the secondary or contingent beneficiaries also died before the policyholder, the life insurance company pays the death benefit to the policyholder’s estate.

Talk with an Experienced Life Insurance Lawyer Today

Life insurance payout can get complicated when there is no beneficiary. If your loved one died, had life insurance, and there is no life insurance beneficiary or the beneficiary designation is unclear, talk with the life insurance lawyers at Boonswang Law to discuss your case. We’ve helped thousands of clients get the payout their loved one intended, and we can help you too. 

A Guide to Handling Your Life Insurance Claim Denial Appeal

A Guide to Handling Your Life Insurance Claim Denial Appeal

A Guide to Handling Your Life Insurance Claim Denial Appeal

You think you know how life insurance works – your loved one purchased a life insurance policy so that if something should happen to them, you would get a payout. Unfortunately, the process is rarely that straightforward.

Like any other business, life insurance companies seek to make a profit. They only make money for their shareholders when they collect more in premiums than they pay out in death benefits. For this reason, they are quick to deny claims that are later proven to be valid.

Was your life insurance claim denied? We make it our business to get out clients paid. Call us to discuss your case.

First, Get the Life Insurance Claim Denial in Writing

If your life insurance claim was denied over the phone, ask to have it in writing. As a life insurance beneficiary, you are entitled to a full explanation of why your claim was denied, in writing. The letter should outline the reasons your claim was denied as well as applicable policy provisions, legal theories, and regulations or statutes. 

When you receive the denial letter,  the life insurance company should also include instructions for disputing the denial. The claims appeal process may also be explained on the life insurance company’s website. Appealing a denied life insurance claim may be an internal process or may involve filing an administrative law case or a legal complaint. 

Second, Understand Why Your Life Insurance Claim was Denied

While the denial letter should explain the reason your life insurance claim was denied, many denial letters are simply form letters with no specificity. Contact the life insurance company and ask for a complete explanation. If they refuse to provide a written explanation for your claim denial, contact an experienced life insurance attorney for help.

Common reasons life insurance companies deny claims include:

An experienced life insurance attorney will investigate and find out if the reason given for denial of your claim actually applies. In many instances, a claim that is initially denied may be paid when an investigation shows that the insured was not at fault.

For example, if the insured was eligible for disability waiver of premiums and did not receive that waiver, the lapse in coverage was not the insured’s fault and you should still get the death benefits. Similarly, if the life insurance company cannot show that they sent the legally-required lapse notices to the insured, you should still get paid.

Maybe the insured made an innocent mistake on their medical questionnaire that the insurance company now alleges was fraud intended to get the insured a lower premium payment. In these cases, the insurance company may settle for paying the death benefits minus what the insured would have paid in premiums had the insured not made that error.

All too often, life insurance companies are quick to deny claims that are valid. Do not take no for an answer! 

Third, Seek the Help of a Life Insurance Beneficiary Lawyer

There can be no doubt that working with an experienced life insurance attorney will improve your chances of getting a life insurance payout. Life insurance lawyers generally work on contingency, meaning that there is no out-of-pocket expense to you and that they do not get paid unless you do. Your initial case consultation will be free of charge.

Life insurance is highly regulated at both the state and federal levels. Sometimes the laws of more than one state apply. Group life insurance through an employer is governed by ERISA, requiring that you file a formal administrative appeal. In addition to investigating the circumstances of the claim denial and helping you locate and obtain information and documentation, your life insurance lawyer will know and follow all applicable regulations, laws, and legal procedures. 

The life insurance company has a team of lawyers on their side, working to further their interests. Shouldn’t you have a team of experienced life insurance lawyers on your side too? 

Call us today at 1-855-898-4158 for your free, no-obligation consultation.

Why Your Life Insurance Claim Takes So Long

Why Your Life Insurance Claim Takes So Long

Why Your Life Insurance Claim Takes So Long

Usually life insurance companies take 30-60 days to process a beneficiary’s claim for death benefits, but often payouts get delayed. This article explains the various circumstances under which a life insurance may reasonably delay paying your claim.

If none of these reasons seem to apply to your claim, contact the experienced life insurance lawyers at Boonswang Law. We have helped thousands of life insurance beneficiaries nationwide get their payout, and we can help you too. You may even be entitled to interest on your claim for death benefits due to the delay! Call us today to discuss your claim – free of charge!

Why Life Insurance Companies Delay Claims

Life insurance companies can reasonably delay paying life insurance claims for the following reasons:

Reasons a Life Insurance Claim Delays

The Insured Died During the Contestability Period

If the insured dies within the first two years of the policy term, called the “contestability period,” the life insurance company has the power to investigate the insured’s responses to the questions on the initial application and medical questionnaire. This investigation can delay the beneficiaries’ payout.

If an investigation shows that a fact was omitted or is untrue on the insured’s application for life insurance or medical questionnaire, the life insurance company has the power to rescind the policy – meaning, the policy gets cancelled as if it never existed. Life insurance rescission exists as a matter of policy to deter those applying for life insurance to lie to get a lower premium payment. However, many times, innocent mistakes are harshly punished with rescission and the beneficiaries get nothing.

In cases of rescission, we are often able to get our beneficiary clients paid by showing that the insured had no intent to deceive, or by showing that the omitted or mistaken fact had nothing to do with the insured’s cause of death. In these cases we often settle with the life insurance company for the amount of the death benefit minus what the insured would have paid in premiums had the life insurance company known of the omitted or mistaken fact.

If your life insurance claim is being delayed or was denied due to alleged misrepresentation and life insurance policy rescission, call our experienced life insurance attorneys for help. Do not take no for an answer!

Click here if the policyholder died after the contestability period.

The Beneficiary Files a Claim Late

If there are multiple beneficiaries and one does not file their claim at the same time as the others, that delays payment of the other’s claims. Also, if a beneficiary takes months or even years after the death of the insured to file their claim, the life insurance company will take time to look into it.

Death Due to Homicide

If the insured was murdered, the life insurance company will wait to pay a claim until the beneficiary gets cleared of the crime by police. This often delays the payout, as a murder investigation can take some time.

Inaccurate or Insufficient Documents

If the beneficiary does not submit a death certificate, or does submit a death certificate but it does not contain the information the life insurance company requires, this delays payment of beneficiaries’ claims. 

Delay in payment of death benefits is frequently a problem when the insured dies overseas. Foreign documents that do not contain the same information as a domestic death certificate will be insufficient proof of death for the insurance company. Often, a beneficiary has to go back and forth with the foreign government involved to try to get the insurance company the documentation they need.

If your claim is being delayed because the insured died in a foreign country, call us. Our experienced life insurance attorneys help you get what you need to get your payout.

The Beneficiary Changed Shortly Before the Insured’s Death

If someone challenges an eleventh-hour beneficiary designation due to duress, fraud, or lack of competence, the life insurance company will delay paying any claims until confirming the rightful beneficiary.

Vague Wording Designating Beneficiaries

Those with life insurance must be very specific when naming beneficiaries, otherwise problems arise identifying them and there will be a delay in payment until they get identified.

For example, Frank has a life insurance policy and dies within the policy term, leaving 2 children from a previous marriage, one out-of-wedlock child from a brief relationship, and another child from his second marriage. Frank calls his second wife’s son his son, but he has not formally adopted that child.

Frank designates “all of my children” as his life insurance beneficiaries. Who does he mean? All four children? Not the one born out of wedlock? Not his second wife’s son? You can see how problems arise. 

The Primary Beneficiary has Predeceased the Insured

When the primary beneficiary dies before the insured, the proceeds pay out to the secondary or contingent beneficiaries. Identifying and locating these beneficiaries can delay everyone’s payout.

The Policy Lists No Beneficiary

If the primary beneficiary predeceases the insured, there are not two primary life insurance beneficiaries, and there are no secondary or contingent beneficiaries, the death benefit will likely pay out to the insured’s estate. If the insured intended to change the beneficiary but did not complete the process, this will also delay payment of death benefits until the rightful beneficiary gets identified.

If the insured lived in a state that has a  life insurance evocation-upon-divorce statute and failed to update the beneficiary designation to someone other than the ex-spouse, then there is no beneficiary and the death benefits pays to the insured’s estate.

There is a Beneficiary Contest

If someone challenges the beneficiary designation for any reason, that will delay payout until the rightful beneficiary gets identified. Life insurance beneficiary disputes happen when:

  • The insured changed beneficiaries just before death under duress
  • The insured changed beneficiaries just before death lacking competence
  • Someone other than the insured changed the beneficiary designation
  • The insured changed an irrevocable beneficiary designation
  • The insured failed to name an ex-spouse as a beneficiary per a court order
  • There is evidence that the insured intended beneficiaries but did not complete the process
  • The insured failed to name a spouse or ex-spouse as a beneficiary in a community property state

If you are a life insurance beneficiary and someone is challenging that designation, call us. We can help you defend your position. Similarly, if you think you should be a life insurance beneficiary but are not, we can help you contest the beneficiary designation.

How to Speed Up a Life Insurance Claim Payout

  • Have the Death Certificate Ready
  • Contact the Life Insurance Company as Soon as Possible After the Death of the Insured
  • Include All Required Documents When You File Your Life Insurance Claim

How a Life Insurance Lawyer Helps

The experienced life insurance lawyers at Boonswang Law will discuss your claim with you, advise you as to your rights to the death benefit, and if you are entitled to get a payout, negotiate with the life insurance company to get your payout and if necessary, litigate against the life insurance company.

We take life insurance cases on contingency only, meaning that we do not get paid unless and until you do. Trust us to handle your life insurance claim. Call us today at 1-855-347-1279 for your free consultation.

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Has Your Life Insurance Policy Been Rescinded?

Has Your Life Insurance Policy Been Rescinded? 

Find out from the experienced life insurance lawyers at Boonswang Law how a life insurance policy gets rescinded, and what to do if you are a beneficiary of a rescinded life insurance policy.

If your claim for death benefits was denied because the life insurance company rescinded the policy, do not take no for an answer – call us. We will fight to get you the death benefits you deserve – at no up-front cost to you!

Rescinded Policy – a Common Reason for Claim Denial

A rescission notice is somewhat different than an outright claim denial, lapse, or termination. A life insurance company alleges it has cause to rescind coverage for material misrepresentation when the insured makes a false statement, error, or omission on their initial application for life insurance and medical questionnaire, that the insurance company relied upon when writing and issuing the policy.

The insurance adjusters use the information the insured submits on their application and medical questionnaire to determine the risk that the insured will die within the policy term. If the insured is at high risk of dying within the policy term, they pay higher premiums than those at lower risk. 

The life insurance company will allege that it relied upon the false statement, error, or omission in issuing life insurance coverage, and rescind the policy. A rescission notice essentially goes back in time to the day life insurance coverage started and the policy is null and void. 

In the rescission notice, the life insurance company must offer to return all premiums paid.

What Should You Do if You Get a Rescission Notice?

Your rescission notice should clearly state the reason or reasons they are rescinding your policy. Know that a life insurance policy cannot be rescinded if:

  • The alleged false statement, error, or omission is immaterial, or in other words, trivial, such as a minor mistake in an applicant’s contact information.
  • The insured did not know about a medical condition at the time the application and medical questionnaire were completed.
  • The insured did not have the intent to deceive.
  • The question the life insurance company alleges was falsely answered was vague or a compound question

If you get a rescission notice and you believe the reason the life insurance company rescinded your policy is incorrect or does not apply, contact your life insurance company immediately. A simple mistake on your part or their part can usually be rectified without further problem. However, if the life insurance company insists on rescinding your policy, you can contact a life insurance attorney for help. If you want the recission to stand, you should insist on a refund of all premiums you paid.

What Should You Do if You Are a Beneficiary of a Rescinded Life Insurance Policy?

If the insured dies within the first two years of coverage, called the Contestability Period, the life insurance company will investigate all of the facts the insured provided in their application and medical questionnaire. If they find any false statements, errors, or omissions, however trivial, they will rescind the policy and deny beneficiaries’ claims for death benefits.

Most errors and omissions are innocent. The life insurance company must show that the error or omission was done with the intent to deceive the underwriter and pay lower premiums. We have been able to help many clients across the nation get death benefits paid on rescinded life insurance policies because there was no intent to deceive on the part of the insured.

A beneficiary’s case is even stronger when the alleged misrepresentation had nothing to do with the insured’s cause of death, i.e., is immaterial. But even if it does, we have been able to settle with life insurance companies and get our clients paid the death benefit minus what the insured would have paid in premiums had the alleged misrepresentation not occurred.

Rescinded Policy? Call the Life Insurance Lawyers at Boonswang Law for Help

More often than not, policies are unfairly rescinded for any mistake or omission the insured made, even if the insurance agent who completed the application made the mistake, not the insured. 

If your claim was denied because the life insurance company rescinded the policy, call us. We have helped many life insurance beneficiaries get a payout on a rescinded life insurance policy, and we can help you too. Call us at 1-855-347-1279 for your free, no-obligation consultation.

Is a Life Insurance Policy a Marital Asset?

Is a Life Insurance Policy a Marital Asset?

Is a Life Insurance Policy a Marital Asset?

A life insurance policy may count as a marital asset, depending on what law or laws control the policy. Whether or not it is a marital asset, an insurance policy will be subject to both federal and state insurance law as well as community property law.

Life insurance beneficiary rules for spouses and ex-spouses can be complex and confusing. If you are or think you should be named as a beneficiary on a life insurance policy owned by your spouse or ex spouse, call our experienced life insurance lawyers at 1-855-240-9160 for help getting your claim for death benefits paid. We have helped beneficiaries nationwide fight to get their payout, and we can help you too. Your initial consultation is free of charge, and we don’t get paid unless and until you do.

Whole Life Insurance is Almost Always Considered a Marital Asset

If your spouse paid premiums on a whole life insurance policy during your marriage, the value of that policy qualifies as considered a marital asset when you divorce and it is subject to the property settlement agreement.

Whole life insurance policies, unlike term life policies, accrue value as the insured pays premiums. It may then get cashed out and the proceeds divided according to a property settlement agreement. Alternatively, it can be left intact and the portion the non-insured spouse is entitled to get paid in some other way from the parties’ other marital assets.

How the court splits the proceeds from a whole life insurance policy will depend upon whether the marital assets are subject to equal or equitable distribution. This varies state-to-state.

When Term Life Insurance Death Benefits Are a Marital Asset 

Term life insurance policies do not accrue present value as premiums get paid. Rather, term life policies pay out only if and when the insured dies within the policy’s term. At that point, the death benefit pays to the named beneficiary.

State law provides the definition of “marital asset”, and it varies state-to-state. In community property states, life insurance qualifies as a marital asset if the premiums were paid with income earned during the course of the marriage. The nine community property states are:

If you live in one of these states and your spouse or ex-spouse died, and you were not the named beneficiary, call us – you may have a claim to some or all of the death benefits. Beneficiary contests are not easy to win. You will need an experienced life insurance attorney by your side to fight for what you are due.

How Revocation-Upon-Divorce Statutes Affect Life Insurance Beneficiaries

About half of the states in our nation have so-called “revocation upon divorce” statutes that automatically remove an ex-spouse as a life insurance beneficiary when the divorce is final. If a divorced policyholder wishes their ex-spouse to remain as beneficiary or the court requires them to name their ex-spouse as beneficiary, they must follow their state law procedure for renaming them as beneficiary.

Note that a will does not supersede a beneficiary designation. A policyholder must follow the procedures of their life insurance company and state law in order to designate or redesignate a beneficiary.

How ERISA Affects an Ex-Spouse Beneficiary

Federal ERISA law controls employer-provided group life insurance policies and overrides state law when they conflict. This means that in revocation-upon-divorce states, the named beneficiary will receive the death benefit even if they are the insured’s ex-spouse. 

How Life Insurance Secures Child Support or Spousal Support Payments

A revocation-upon-divorce statute affects an ex-spouse beneficiary in a number of scenarios. First, if the ex-spouse or the children of the marriage are support obligees and the insured was a support obligor, the insured may be under court order to maintain life insurance for the benefit of the support obligees should the insured die. In that case, the support obligees should contest the beneficiary designation.

If the insured was required to name you as their life insurance beneficiary but failed to do so, call us for help. We can help you get the payout you deserve.

Spouses and Ex-spouses – Call an Experienced Life Insurance Lawyer for Help if You Should Be a Life Insurance Beneficiary

What happens when the insured moves to a different state after getting divorced? What happens when the insured converted their employer-provided group life insurance policy to an individual policy, or if that conversion was ineffective through no fault of the insured? What happens when the insured changes an irrevocable beneficiary designation?

You may still get the death benefits. Our experienced life insurance lawyers have helped spouses and ex-spouses across the nation navigate the complex interplay of federal and state insurance and family law, file their interpleader action, and get the death benefits they are due. Call us today at 1-855-347-1279 to discuss your case, free of charge.

Can You Sue a Life Insurance Company

Can You Sue a Life Insurance Company

Can You Sue a Life Insurance Company?

In short, yes, you can sue a life insurance company. Life insurance lawsuits occur because life insurance companies refuse to pay claims or delay payment on claims for death benefits. Someone who was an irrevocable beneficiary to a life insurance policy might also sue the life insurance company if the beneficiary designation was changed.

If you are or should be a life insurance beneficiary and you are thinking of suing a life insurance company, call us. Our experienced life insurance lawyers have helped beneficiaries nationwide file life insurance lawsuits and get the payouts they deserve.

How Life Insurance is Supposed to Work

Life insurance companies pay out death benefits to beneficiaries after the death of the insured – or at least that is the way that life insurance is intended to function. It is rarely that straightforward. 

Insurance companies are like any other type of business in that their purpose is to make profits. They only make profit when they collect premiums and delay or deny beneficiaries’ claims. We have had cases where an insured paid policy premiums faithfully for years yet the insurer refuses to honor the policy after his or her death and denies beneficiaries’ valid claims.

A life insurance policy is more than just a promise to pay after the death of the insured. It is a legally binding contract, and the insurer is legally required to abide by its terms. When an insurance company engages in bad faith efforts to delay or deny valid claims, the insurer can be held accountable for the beneficiaries’ losses. 

A life insurance lawsuit gives those who are being treated wrongly by insurance companies the opportunity for recourse. The experienced life insurance lawyers at Boonswang Law can help you file and litigate a lawsuit against an insurance company. Call us today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.

Filing a Life Insurance Lawsuit

Can you sue for life insurance proceeds? Yes, and you should sue the life insurance company if your claim is being unfairly delayed or denied. 

Suing the Life Insurance Company for Breach of Contract

A life insurance policy is a contract between the life insurance company and the insured. The insured’s beneficiary has standing to file a sue the life insurance company for breach of contract if they do not receive the death benefits. However, know that in breach of contract cases, damages (the money judgment you can obtain) are limited to the face value of the policy.

Suing the Life Insurance Company for Bad Faith

In the alternative, beneficiaries whose insurers unfairly delay or deny legitimate claims should consider suing the life insurance company for bad faith. Rather than a breach of contract action, a bad faith claim is a tort lawsuit that allows the beneficiary to obtain the life insurance payout to which he was originally entitled and, in some cases, recover money in excess of policy limits for damages caused by the insurer’s wrongful acts.

A bad faith life insurance lawsuit is possible because the law reads an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing into every insurance contract. Although the contract may not explicitly state such a covenant, the law requires insurance companies to act fairly and in good faith in processing and paying claims.

The good-faith rules recognize the special dependence that the inserted has on a life insurance company. The insured pays for life insurance coverage for months or years, trusting that the policy will take care of his family or loved ones upon his death. The insurance company can be subject to severe penalties if the insurer unjustly tries to avoid its obligation to the policy’s beneficiaries.

Getting Help Filing a Life Insurance Lawsuit

Filing a life insurance lawsuit can be complicated, but Boonswang Law is here to help you. Our practice is dedicated to fighting for life insurance beneficiaries who are treated wrongfully, and we have a strong track record of success. Our skilled life insurance attorneys are prepared to litigate your bad faith claim before a judge or jury. We have also helped many clients avoid the stress of trial by negotiating with the insurance company to pay out, without litigating in court.

Your consultation is free and our attorneys do not charge for legal services unless we are able to secure compensation for you from a settlement with the life insurance company or a judgment from a life insurance lawsuit. Call us today at 1-855-898-4158 to discuss your case.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Life Insurance Payout?

How Long Does it Take to Get a Life Insurance Payout?

How Long Does it Take to Get a Life Insurance Payout?

You filed your life insurance claim – how long should you expect to wait to get your payout? What happens when a life insurance payout is delayed? Find out here. 

If you feel you’ve waited too long for your life insurance claim to be paid, contact us for your free, no-obligation case consultation. We take cases on contingency, which means we do not get paid unless and until you do. Our goal is to get you the payout your loved one intended.

Are You a Life Insurance Beneficiary?

In order to receive death benefits, you must be a named beneficiary on a life insurance policy. The insured will have designated you and perhaps others as primary beneficiaries or as secondary or contingent beneficiaries.

An insured can name anyone they wish as their beneficiary, including friends, relatives, their spouse or ex-spouse, business partners, and charities or other organizations. The insured can allocate percentages of the death benefits to be shared, or can designate equal distribution among all beneficiaries. 

An insured has the power to change beneficiary designations at any time, as long as they are of sound mind. Problems occur when an insured fails to follow procedure or fails to complete an intended beneficiary change, casting doubt upon who is the intended beneficiary and perhaps causing a beneficiary dispute or beneficiary contest. 

If you believe you should have been a beneficiary to a life insurance policy, but for some reason you are not, or if you were a life insurance beneficiary but you suspect the beneficiary designation was changed fraudulently or under duress, call us. Beneficiary disputes are notoriously difficult to win when you are not the named beneficiary. Having an experienced life insurance lawyer will improve your chances of prevailing and getting the payout your loved one intended.

Have You Filed Your Claim for Death Benefits?

If you are a life insurance beneficiary, you must file a claim when the insured dies. You will not receive a payout automatically. The life insurance company will require a completed claims form as well as other documentation such as a death certificate. 

Often payouts are delayed because there is a delay in obtaining the death certificate. If you are still waiting to receive a death certificate, you can begin the claims process by calling the life insurance company and speaking with a claims representative. Know that the life insurance company will not process your claim until they receive proof of death.

Once you have submitted your claims form and the required documentation, the life insurance company should process and pay your claim within thirty to sixty days.

Reasons Why Life Insurance Claims Are Delayed

There are several circumstances under which a life insurance company will delay payout. If, however, the delay is unreasonable the life insurance company may owe you interest on the death benefits. Call us if your life insurance payout is delayed – we can help you get paid.

The Insured Died Overseas

If the insured died while traveling abroad, your life insurance payout will be delayed until the life insurance company obtains sufficient proof of death. It is your responsibility to provide that proof. Unfortunately, foreign death certificates are often missing information the life insurance requires and getting that information can be difficult.

We have helped many beneficiaries obtain the proof of death they need to complete their claim for death benefits. Call us for help if the life insurance company is delaying payment of your claim because of insufficient proof of death.

The Insured May Have Died from Self-Inflicted Injuries

If the cause of death looks like suicide and suicide is excluded from coverage, the life insurance company will delay and perhaps deny your claim, initially. It will be your responsibility to investigate and show that the death was not a suicide.

Many causes of death look like suicide but are later proven to be accidental, such as:

We have helped many beneficiary clients show that the insured’s death was not self-inflicted, or that the insured did not intend to kill themselves. Call us if your claim is being delayed or was denied because the insured allegedly died from self-inflicted injuries.

The Insured Died During the Two-Year Contestability Period

The first two years following the purchase of a life insurance policy is called the Contestability Period. During this time, the life insurance company has the power to investigate the insured’s application and medical questionnaire and deny claims for death benefits if they find errors or omissions. This investigation will delay your payout.

The Insured Was Murdered

If the insured’s death was a homicide and you are a suspect, your payout will be delayed until the police investigation is complete. If you are not a suspect, the life insurance company will require a statement from the police confirming that. This is to ensure that the perpetrator is not a beneficiary of the insured’s life insurance policy.

A Beneficiary Cannot Be Found

If you are a co-beneficiary or a secondary beneficiary to a life insurance policy, and the primary or other beneficiary cannot be found, the life insurance company will delay your payout until they find that beneficiary or determine that the missing beneficiary predeceased the insured.

There Is a Beneficiary Dispute

If someone contests your designation as beneficiary, your payout will be delayed until the outcome of that dispute is decided by the courts. A life insurance beneficiary dispute can take months or years to resolve. 

Unreasonable Delay May Earn You Interest on the Death Benefits

If your claim for death benefits has been pending for more than thirty days, whether you have heard from the life insurance company or not, contact our experienced life insurance beneficiary attorneys for help. We have helped beneficiaries nationwide get paid with interest when their life insurance payout was unreasonably delayed.

Call today at 1-855-898-4158 to discuss your case during your free, no-obligation consultation. 

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Contesting Life insurance Beneficiary Last-Minute Changes

While almost any life insurance policyholder has the power to change their beneficiary designation at any time, a last-minute beneficiary change may indicate fraud, duress, or lack of competence. That the beneficiary change was made shortly before the death of the insured should raise suspicions that the new beneficiary may have made the change, the new beneficiary may have pressured the insured into making the change, or the insured did not understand what they were signing due to Alzheimer’s or dementia.

This is a horrible situation for the intended beneficiary or beneficiaries because you will have to fight an uphill battle to show that the beneficiary designation was changed due to fraud, duress, coercion, or lack of competence, or that a signature was forged. Our life insurance claim attorneys have helped many families file their interpleader action, get to the bottom of a last-minute beneficiary change, and prove that the change is invalid. 

Let our life insurance lawyers help you get paid the benefits that the insured always intended that you receive, not someone else. Contact us to schedule your free, no-obligation case evaluation. We will represent you on a contingent basis, meaning we do not get paid unless you do. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!

How Our Life Insurance Attorneys Contest a Last-Minute Beneficiary Designation

We’ve seen fraudulent beneficiary changes all too often. A frail elderly person is convinced to hand over power over finances and other decision-making to a new love interest, a caretaker, or a relative who then changes the life insurance beneficiary to themselves. We have also had cases where the insured was susceptible to coercion and was manipulated into making the beneficiary change. 

You want to challenge a last-minute beneficiary designation change. Our life insurance lawyers can help you. First, know that every life insurance company does things differently. Next, know that state law governing these matters varies. For example, the life insurance beneficiary rules in NY differ from the life insurance beneficiary rules in Florida, the life insurance beneficiary rules in Texas, and the life insurance beneficiary rules in California

Our life insurance beneficiary lawyers have helped beneficiaries of life insurance policies across the country get paid, and we can help you too.

Our Life Insurance Lawyers Find Witnesses to the Beneficiary Change

Most beneficiary designation changes are required to be witnessed. We investigate to see if this change was indeed witnessed. 

If not, the change is invalid. If so, we can then depose those witnesses and get information under oath about the circumstances surrounding the change.

Our Life Insurance Legal Team Inspects the Beneficiary Change Forms

Life insurance companies have their own forms, procedures, and requirements for making a beneficiary change. If a beneficiary designation form was completed incorrectly or contained a mistake, that can invalidate the change. If the requirements were not met or the insured did not follow the procedure in submitting the last-minute beneficiary change, that can also invalidate the change. 

Common problems that invalidate the insured’s beneficiary change include:

  • Mistakes on the beneficiary change forms;
  • Misspelling of a beneficiary’s name or other errors in personal information;
  • Beneficiary change forms not witnessed or notarized;
  • Beneficiary change forms not sent to the correct address;
  • Beneficiary change forms not received by the life insurance company before the insured’s death.

Our Life Insurance Attorneys Represent You in the Interpleader

An “interpleader” is a legal action that is initiated by the life insurance company when the new beneficiary and the removed beneficiary file a claim for the same death benefits, and the removed beneficiary challenges the change in designation. 

The purpose of an interpleader is to determine who is the rightful beneficiary, and that is why an interpleader is commonly called a “life insurance beneficiary dispute.” 

Both the new beneficiary and the removed beneficiary should have experienced life insurance beneficiaries representing them in the interpleader. The law is nuanced, and it can be difficult to prove that the insured did not have the requisite competence to change beneficiaries or that the insured was under duress or threatened or coerced to make the change. 

Revocable vs. Irrevocable Life Insurance Beneficiaries

Most policyholders have a “revocable” beneficiary designation, which means they have the power to change their beneficiary designation at will and at any time. The only policyholders who are unable to change their beneficiary designation are those under a court order or an “irrevocable” beneficiary designation.

For example, as part of the property settlement agreement between divorcing parties, a family law judge might order that the support obligor maintain life insurance and name the support obligees as beneficiaries in order to guarantee that income stream. In some cases, the judge will order that the insured designate the support obligees as “irrevocable beneficiaries,” meaning that the obligor cannot “revoke” or change the beneficiary designation.

If the insured changed beneficiaries at the last minute and one of these circumstances applies, our life insurance lawyers can likely have that designation overturned.

Contact Our Life Insurance Attorneys Today for Your Free Consultation Regarding the Last-Minute Beneficiary Change

Are you considering contesting a life insurance beneficiary designation? Are you defending in a beneficiary dispute?

Our life insurance beneficiary lawyers have helped clients across the nation recover millions of dollars in death benefits to date. Let us help you. Whether you are the removed beneficiary or the new beneficiary, we will fight vigorously for your right to the death benefits. Contact us today.

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Life Insurance Company Not Paying Full Amount?

This article will explain the common ways in which life insurance companies underpay valid beneficiary claims for death benefits and the reasons why.

If your claim is denied for a valid reason, there may be a way to negotiate a settlement for part of the claim depending upon the reason that the claim was denied. In some instances, settling for a portion of the death benefit is better than getting no payout at all.

If your claim is delayed, you may be entitled to interest. Do not let the life insurance company make money from keeping you waiting for your payout. Get your entire payout, including claim interest.

Our life insurance attorneys can help you if your life insurance claim is delayed or denied. If you are a life insurance beneficiary anywhere in the United States, we can help you get paid. Call us for your free, no-obligation case evaluation. We do not get paid unless you do.

Life Insurance Companies Only Make Money When They Don’t Pay Life Insurance Claims

Life insurance companies are like any other company – they are responsible to their shareholders to make a profit and provide dividends on their investment.

For this reason, life insurance companies will use any excuse to deny or delay paying a life insurance claim for death benefits. Life insurance companies hope that beneficiaries are unaware that they can fight the delay or denial, and will just take no for an answer.

We get beneficiaries’ claims paid every day. Call us for help, and we may be able to get you paid, too.

A Life Insurance Company May Initially Deny a Life Insurance Claim Due to Lapse or Termination, But You May Be Entitled to All or Part of the Death Benefit.

If your life insurance claim was denied because the insured failed to pay premiums and the policy lapsed or terminated, you may still be able to get paid.

Why? Because often the reason that the life insurance policy lapsed or terminated was not the fault of the insured. For example, if the insured was hospitalized and never received the mandated notices of lapse from the life insurance company, the policy may still pay out less the premiums that the insured was responsible for paying. 

Lapse When the Insured Should Have Had Disability Waiver of Premium

If a life insurance policy lapses due to nonpayment of premiums, the insured was entitled to a waiver of premiums due to disability, and the insurance company did not approve the waiver, a beneficiary may be entitled to the full amount of the death benefit.

Lapse Due to Employer’s Improper Administration of Group Life Insurance

If the insured maintained group life insurance through an employer, there are several ways you can get paid the death benefits despite lapse or termination:

  • Employer failed to provide mandated notices for conversion to private policy;
  • Employer failed to provide mandated premium waiver application if the insured became disabled; and/or
  • Employer stopped paying premiums for any improper reason.

Beneficiary problems with employer group life insurance are common. In these cases, a beneficiary may be entitled to the full amount of the death benefit payout.

A Life Insurance Company May Initially Deny a Claim for Death Benefits Due to Misrepresentation, But You May Be Entitled to All or Part of Your Claim.

A life insurance company will deny a claim if there is any indication that the insured misrepresented themselves on the initial application or medical questionnaire, even if the alleged misrepresentation had nothing to do with the cause of death. 

However, there are circumstances under which the beneficiary can get the death benefit minus what the insured would have paid in premiums if the life insurance company knew of the missing fact.

Common mistakes or omissions that a life insurance company will call a misrepresentation include:

  • Misstating year of birth;
  • Misstating address;
  • Misstating employment;
  • Misstating marital status;
  • Omitting a health condition of which the insured was unaware;
  • Omitting any medical condition because the question on the application was unclear;
  • Failing to disclose a past medical condition because the question was unclear.

These are all examples of information that factor in an insurance adjuster’s assessment of the risk that the insured will die within the policy term, and policy premiums are calculated accordingly. 

Those at greater risk of dying within the policy term will pay higher premiums than those at less risk. For example, if an insured misstated their year of birth, such as transposing digits from 1967 to 1976, they will pay less in premiums than if the adjuster knew their real age because someone born nine (9) years later is less likely to die within the policy term. 

In this case, as long as there is no indication that the insured intended to commit fraud, a top life insurance law firm can help you negotiate with the insurance company to be paid the death benefit minus the amount in premiums that the insured would have paid if the insurance company knew their real age.

If Agent Mistake or Negligence Caused the Alleged Misrepresentation, You May Be Entitled to the Entire Death Benefit

It is common for an insurance agent to fill out an application for the insured when the insured visits the agent’s office or the agent comes to the insured’s home to sell a policy. The agent will typically access the life insurance company’s online application, ask the insured questions, and type in the answer.

Under these circumstances, mistakes or omissions are not the fault of the insured and do not constitute misrepresentation:

  • The agent makes a mistake;
  • The agent fails to ask a question and answers it themselves;
  • The agent receives a truthful answer from the insured but inserts a different answer;
  • The agent coaches the insured to answer incorrectly;
  • The agent fails to ask about obvious medical conditions, such as the insured being in a wheelchair, having a cast on their arm, or needing a respirator to help breath;
  • The agent fails to ask follow-up questions if the insured answers in such a way as to indicate there is an underlying medical condition (for example, if the insured takes insulin) but has not disclosed that the person has diabetes.

An experienced life insurance beneficiary attorney can investigate the alleged misrepresentation, and if any of these circumstances apply, you may still be paid a portion or the entire death benefit.

An Insurance Company May Delay Paying a Life Insurance Claim – You Are Entitled to Interest!

Common Reasons Why a Life Insurance Company Will Delay Payout

Life insurance companies must pay claims within a “reasonable” time, otherwise they must pay the beneficiary interest on the death benefit. Typically that means insurance companies will pay valid claims within 30-60 days, but if they delay paying a claim any longer, contact us. We can help you get paid your entire life insurance claim, which could include interest.

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 to access their national network of local crisis centers that provide free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Don’t Take No For An Answer! Our Experienced Life Insurance Lawyers Can Help You Get Paid.

If your life insurance claim has been delayed or denied, we can help. You may still be entitled to partial death benefits, the entire death benefit, or the entire death benefit plus interest. Know that if we take your case, we expect to win! Call to schedule your free, no-obligation case evaluation as soon as you get the sense that you are not getting paid on a life insurance policy.

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