Life Insurance Lawyers

No Cost Until You Are Paid

The Life Insurance Lawyers of Boonswang Law Resolve Life Insurance Disputes and Get Claims Paid

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No Cost Until You, The Beneficiary, Receive Your Life Insurance Claim Payout

For over 20 years, our team of life insurance lawyers has helped beneficiaries receive the life insurance benefits they are owed.

A life insurance policy is purchased in order to protect families from financial hardship, ensure dependents do not suffer because of an untimely death or make it possible for co-owners of a business to continue operations after the loss of a partner. Unfortunately, sometimes life insurance companies do not fulfill any of these promises.

Life insurance companies often fail to pay the benefits owed under life insurance policies. Such practices are wrong, illegal and you do not have to stand for it.

Was your life insurance claim denied? Call us. Our life insurance lawyers have appealed more life insurance denials than any other law firm in the country and we have a reputation for getting our clients paid. 

When you entrust your appeal of claim denial to Boonswang Law, know that we will:

  1. Take care of the entire claim denial appeal process for you.
  2. Review the reasons for the claim denial.
  3. Review all of the policy documents, including the initial application and medical questionnaire.
  4. Investigate the facts underlying the reasons alleged.
  5. Push the insurance company to pay out or settle with you.

We are well-versed in all of the nuances of life insurance law. Our experience has allowed us to recover tens of millions of dollars for our beneficiary clients over the years. Let us help you get the life insurance benefits you are owed!

Our Life Insurance Lawyers Will Help You Fight Your Life Insurance Claim Denial

Can life insurance companies refuse to pay a claim? Yes, and they commonly do.

Why would an insurance company deny a claim? Because insurance companies only make money when they don’t pay death benefits! This practice serves the shareholders only, and unjustly thwarts the insured’s intent to provide a payout for their loved ones. Denying death benefit claims also adds to the burden of the insured’s beneficiaries, who are already suffering from grief over their loss.

It is all too common for companies to deny life insurance claims without bothering to investigate the facts underlying the initial reason for denial. It is just not in their interest to do so. In this case, you need the experienced attorneys that handle insurance claims of Boonswang Law.

At Boonswang Law we fight the insurance companies on your behalf, and if they won’t investigate and discover the reason they should pay you, we investigate and find it for you. And if it turns out that the insurance company wrongfully delayed payment, or delayed payment in bad faith, we can even get you interest on the amount of the claim!

Here’s how it’s supposed to work:

  • The holder of the life insurance policy pays monthly premiums to the life insurance company to maintain the terms of his/her life insurance contract
  • When the person passes on, the beneficiary listed on the life insurance policy is supposed to receive a life insurance benefits from the life insurance company
  • Many life insurance companies do everything possible to make money by collecting premiums and avoiding paying out claims
  • Some beneficiaries do not receive payment from the life insurance companies or their claims are unjustly delayed
  • Unfortunately, this means that many families who have lost loved ones not only have to contend with their devastating loss, but also with the stress of dealing with a life insurance company that is unfairly denying payment to a beneficiary.

Our Life Insurance Lawyers Know the Common Dishonest Tactics Life Insurance Companies Use

Understanding the dishonest tactics of insurance companies is important so you will know if you need legal help due to an unfairly denied life claim.  Insurance companies sometimes employ unfair tactics to delay or deny claims.

Here are just a few tactics that life insurance companies use to try to avoid paying out death benefits:

  • Misrepresentation: Even though a policyholder pays monthly premiums for life insurance, his/her family or beneficiaries can be denied payment of life insurance if the insurer claims misrepresentation. This can often be on very shaky grounds that an experienced life insurance attorney will recognize and can fight.
  • Self-Inflicted Injuries: Insurance companies may deny life insurance payments by claiming that the injury was self-inflicted.
  • Retroactive Cancellation: Insurance companies may cancel a policy retroactively to ensure that the claim does not have to be paid or look for ways to contest coverage so a beneficiary will be deprived of the death benefit. Again, our firm has handled countless cases involving retroactive cancellation and we can help you.

These illegitimate practices are common and all too often insurance companies are not held accountable. Those who may have been depending upon the insurance company to pay the death benefit so they can pay their bills and start a new life could be left with nothing.  Contact us today and don’t give up on getting what you deserve.

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What You Can Expect from Our Team of Life Insurance Lawyers

Upon acceptance of your case, our team of experienced life insurance attorneys will:

  • Review policy terms and provisions to determine coverage and exclusions
  • Review denial letters and correspondence from an insurer to identify reasons for a delay or denial
  • Negotiate with your insurer to get you a payout on a life insurance policy when there is a dispute
  • Pursue a claim in court against an insurer that is acting unreasonably or dishonestly in delaying or denying the payment of a valid life insurance policy
  • Investigate claims and allegations made by an insurer in denying a policy to refute or cast doubt on those claims

Insurance companies are staffed by experts, consultants and lawyers who look out for the insurer’s profit margin. The more premiums an insurer can collect, and the less benefits the insurer can pay out, the better the company does. The insurer’s interests are at odds with yours and you need your own advocate looking out for you as you make your claim after a death.

Our Life Insurance Clients’ Most Frequently Asked Questions

Can a spouse contest a life insurance beneficiary?

Yes.  Divorce and remarriage often leave current and former spouses without the death benefit they expected.  If your husband or wife’s ex-spouse is trying to claim his or her death benefit, a life insurance lawyer can help you fight to recover your rightful share of your husband or wife’s insurance policy.

Can a beneficiary claim a lapsed policy?

Insurance companies will try to get out of paying claims whenever they can, and they won’t make it easy to claim a policy that has lapsed.  However, it may still be possible. Some policies have clauses that waive premiums if a person becomes disabled. Other times, premiums missed in the last few months of life because of severe illness can be excused by a grace period, especially of the policyholder was a long-time client of the insurer.  While nothing can be guaranteed when dealing with insurance companies, a life insurance lawyer can fight to recover benefits even if premium payments were missed and a policy lapsed.

Can a last-minute insurance beneficiary change be contested?

Possibly.  The policyholder is well within their rights to change beneficiaries at will so long as they are alive, of sound mind, and not under duress.  The only exceptions are those designated irrevocable beneficiaries. This status is often granted to children and spouses, and neither divorce nor estrangement changes this status.  An irrevocable beneficiary must consent to any changes to the policy that affect their benefits, and depending on the policy terms, any changes to the policy at all.

If you were named as an irrevocable beneficiary but the insurance company says you were removed from the policy, this change can almost certainly be contested.

In many cases, last minute changes are made without the policyholder’s knowledge. Fraud in the form of last-minute beneficiary changes often happens to senior citizens suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia, who are tricked into signing papers they couldn’t possibly understand to name a distant relative or a caretaker as a primary beneficiary.  Such fraudulent changes can be contested.

Who can change the beneficiary of a life insurance policy?

Generally, only the policyholder can change or designate beneficiaries.  Some power of attorney documents allow agents of the policyholder to make such decisions, but doing so would bring sharp scrutiny to the agent if their decision is challenged by a former beneficiary or representative of the estate.

How to find out if a deceased person had life insurance?

Unfortunately, there is no single database of life insurance policies and many older policies are no longer retained by insurance companies or buried in decades-old paper files.  If you expect your spouse or relative carried a life insurance policy but nobody knows the details, the best place to start are their financial records and mail. There will generally be annual or monthly payments notices, bank statement and other documents related to the policy which may indicate where the policy was taken out, and other identifying information.  You can also check with the Unclaimed Property office in your state. After a period of time, if no beneficiary can be found and the deceased had no will or estate plan, their death benefit will be sent to the agency in your state that handles unclaimed property, and if you can prove your relationship you may be able to claim the benefit with the help of a life insurance lawyer.

How to find out if a life insurance policy was paid out?

To find out if a life insurance policy was paid out, you will need contact information for the insurance company and the personal identifying information about the deceased.  However, insurance companies generally do not provide that information to non-beneficiaries. If you believe you are owed all or a portion of the death benefits, you should contact a life insurance lawyer to assist you in obtaining additional information.

Additionally, the agent who assisted in obtaining the policy can confirm if the policy has been collected yet.  If the answer is yes, but you are a beneficiary and have received no payment, you should contact a life insurance lawyer immediately.  While it’s possible that the policyholder simply changed their beneficiary without telling you, fraud and coercion are also common reasons for unexpected changes to a policy’s beneficiaries.

What happens to life insurance policies with no beneficiary?

Most life insurance policies list a beneficiary, but there are several ways a policy could have no beneficiary at the time of the policyholder’s passing.  In some cases, the policyholder simply outlives their sole beneficiary. This often happens with widows who never updated their own policy after their spouse died.  Adult children of the deceased are often surprised to find their parent’s policy lists no beneficiary or lists a dead person as the sole beneficiary. What happens next depends on the policy and state law.  Sometimes either the state law governing the policy or the policy itself will establish an order of succession, starting with the spouse or children of the policyholder. Other policies will send the benefit to the policyholder’s estate.  In either case, a life insurance lawyer can help you make a claim if your loved one’s policy lists no beneficiary.

How does money get split between beneficiaries?

Life insurance money can either be split per capita or per stirpes.  If a policyholder has named his beneficiaries to split the proceeds per capita, they each receive a percentage share.  A common form of this arrangement would see a wife paid 50% and her adult children each paid 25% of their father’s death benefit.  Awarding beneficiaries per stirpes means benefits are paid out equally to each family branch and its descendants from the percentage allotted the named beneficiary, while per capita means the children of the named beneficiary receive nothing if he or she dies before the policy is claimed, and the other beneficiaries split his or her share.

More often, however, the beneficiary designation form on file with the insurance company will indicate exactly how the money will be disbursed and to whom.

Can a life insurance beneficiary be changed after death?

No.  Only the policyholder (and in limited cases their power of attorney) can designate or change the designation of beneficiaries, and they must be alive to do so.  If someone comes forward with paperwork showing a beneficiary designation was changed after the date listed on the policyholder has already passed, you should retain a life insurance lawyer to represent you, as this individual is likely trying to defraud you.

Can I share life insurance benefits with my siblings?

Sometimes, a parent or grandparent will choose to leave their full insurance benefit to just one of their children.  It could be a matter of trust, but more often they took out life insurance after the birth of their first child and never updated the policy.  If, say, a brother was the sole beneficiary but wanted to split his father’s death benefit with his two younger sisters, he could not designate them as beneficiaries; only the policyholder can do that.  However, nothing would stop him from giving a share of his death benefit as a gift to his siblings. A downside to doing this is the possibility that the gift to your siblings will create tax liabilities.  With the recent doubling of estate exemptions to $11.4 million for 2019, a federal tax bill is unlikely, but many states may assess a tax on the money as a gift or inheritance. You should consult a financial planning professional for advice if you plan to share your life insurance benefit.

What happens if I name a minor as my beneficiary?

Where a minor is named as the beneficiary of a policy, the court will likely appoint someone to act as custodian of the child’s inheritance until they turn 18.  However, even if you anticipate this issue and name a custodian, there is little to prevent this individual from using the money as they see fit, either lavishing the child and squandering their inheritance or refusing to dip into the funds for anything but absolute necessities.  Few parents would wish for either scenario to come to pass. The best way to make a minor your beneficiary is to create a trust and name the child as the beneficiary of the trust. While this permits you much greater control of how your death benefit is spent for your child’s benefit, it creates a complicated tax situation and an estate planning attorney should be consulted as well.

Contact Our Team of  Life Insurance Attorneys Today

Has your loved one’s life insurance death benefits claim been denied? Contact us for a free consultation at Boonswang Law. Our life insurance lawyers have helped clients like you recover the funds they legally deserve from insurance companies. If you don’t receive the full amount from the policy that’s due, there is no fee for us. We are here to help you.

There Is No Cost Until We Recover Your Claim. Contact Us Today!








How Life Insurance Payouts Typically Work

This is how the process of getting a life insurance payout is supposed to work, though life insurance companies may attempt to find reasons to delay or deny your claim. This is especially common when the policy was purchased within the past 2 years

During this first two years of a life insurance policy, errors, misrepresentations, or omissions can void the life insurance policy altogether, and suicide is generally not covered. Within this period, insurers will frequently delay claims in order to conduct a thorough investigation of the insured’s medical records.

Even outside of this two-year window, life insurance companies may deny your claim due to nonpayment of premiums or for violations of arbitrary, overly specific provisions on the policy. If your claim has been unjustly delayed or denied, it’s prudent to contact an experienced life insurance lawyer for a free consultation.If you’re not sure whether your loved one had life insurance to begin with, there are several options available. For instance, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) runs a “Policy Locator Service” in which the NAIC will contact insurance companies on your behalf. You can also pay private companies such as Policy Inspector to speak directly with insurers and search for a missing policy.

The Process

Step 1: Gather information

The first step in claiming your loved one’s death benefit is to look through their records for information on the policy. It’s helpful to have a complete copy of the policy when filing your claim, but this is not entirely necessary. Bank statements, updates from the insurance company via mail, and tax documents can all help you gather information about the policy. Employers may also have documentation on any group life insurance policies that were purchased as part of an employee benefit plan. If nothing else, you should at least know which insurance company to contact.

Step 2: Contact the life insurance company

The next step is to contact the insurance company directly and let them know that the insured has passed away. In order to locate the policy, they will need the insured’s date of birth and social security number, and/or the policy number. They will then send you claim forms and tell you which documents they need to have before processing your claim. If the policy is through an employer, contact the employer’s human resources or benefits department with the information instead of contacting the insurer.

Step 3: Fill out claim forms

The sooner you fill out the claim forms, the sooner the insurance company can process the claim. If you need the death benefit as soon as possible, you’ll want to fill out claim forms shortly after receiving them. Each insurance company has its own process for claimants, but you will always be required to send a copy of the insured’s death certificate. Insurance companies typically accept claim forms by mail or through an agent, but some also allow claims to be filed online.

Step 4: Wait for a response

Each state has its own rules for when life insurance companies need to pay their claimants. For instance, SC Code § 38-63-80 dictates that if an insurer hasn’t processed a claim within 30 days of submission of claim forms, the insurer will also have to pay interest on the death benefit. Although it doesn’t provide a strict deadline, this statute incentivizes insurance companies to pay within the initial 30-day period. Generally speaking, your claim should be processed and your benefit paid within 1-2 months after submitting claim forms. Some companies say it takes as little as 10-14 days for the average, uncontestable claim.

If your claim is approved, the insurance company will typically provide multiple options for payment. You may elect to receive the benefits all at once in a lump sum payment, or to distribute them out over time through annuities. Using an annuity system can allow the policy to collect interest, but this interest is generally taxable. A notable exception occurs on life insurance policies with spendthrift provisions, in which the insurer holds onto the benefit and distributes it via prespecified installments.

Examples of Life Insurance Claims We Have Recovered

  • Our client’s life insurance claim was paid when the claim was initially denied due to misrepresentation because the fact that she took mediation for a heart condition was not disclosed on the application. We were able to show that although the insured disclosed it to the agent, the agent told her that was not important and failed to record it.
  • Our client’s life insurance claim was paid when the insured was comatose for over a year prior to death, and the family did not receive the notices or premium due and of lapse of the policy.
  • Our client’s life insurance claim was paid when her husband named his son as sole beneficiary. Community property laws in California dictate that the surviving spouse is entitled to half of the death benefit when the premiums are paid with community funds.
  • Our client’s life insurance claim was paid when the insured’s employer changed the benefit plan but failed to give the insured the required notices of discontinuation or suspension of coverage under ERISA, and the policy terminated.
  • Our client’s life insurance claim was paid when the insured was approved for long-term disability benefits and employment was terminated, but the employer failed to provide the required conversion notices under ERISA.
  • Our client’s life insurance claim was paid when the agent mistakenly took out two funeral benefit policies for the wife, not one each for wife and husband, the deceased.
  • Our client’s life insurance claim was paid when the claim was denied because the application listed the age of the insured as seven (7) years younger than he was. 
  • Our client’s life insurance claim was paid when the daughter of the insured made herself the insured’s power of attorney and changed the life insurance beneficiary to herself.
  • Our client’s life insurance claim was paid when the insured’s beneficiary designation was “all children of insured” and one of the children contested the eligibility of our client because she was adopted by the insured.
  • Our client’s life insurance claim was paid when the insured made mistakes on his application, but those mistakes were not made with intent to deceive and did not have anything to do with the death of the insured.
  • Our client’s life insurance claim was paid when the claim was denied due to lapse, but the insured was only three days late in paying a premium payment and died only three days later.
  • Our client’s life insurance claim was paid when the insured died in Ghana and her claim was delayed two years. 
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