Life Insurance Lawyer Serving South Carolina
The Life Insurance Law Firm – Boonswang Law
Boonswang Law’s Team of South Carolina Life Insurance Lawyers Will Fight for Your Right to Your Life Insurance Payout
Call us today and talk with a SC life insurance lawyer to find out how to get your life insurance claim paid
You probably think you know how life insurance works – someone purchases a life insurance policy to ensure that their dependents are taken care of in the event of their death. If the policyholder dies within the policy term, the beneficiary or beneficiaries receive the death benefit.
Unfortunately, the process is rarely that simple. Life insurance companies don’t make filing a claim easy for life insurance beneficiaries because, frankly, they only make money when they collect premiums and DON’T pay claims!
Many beneficiaries find the process to be confusing, or even worse, successfully file their claim only to learn that the life insurance company denied it. Let us help you. We have decades of experience helping life insurance beneficiaries in South Carolina get their claims paid. Our experienced SC life insurance lawyers will help you fight back and get the payout your loved one intended you receive.
Boonswang Law’s Team of Life Insurance Lawyers have represented Clients throughout South Carolina, Including these Cities and the Surrounding Areas:
Common Life Insurance Claim Denial Reasons in South Carolina
Life insurance companies, like any other type of company, are concerned with profits. They only make money for their shareholders when they collect premiums and deny claims or delay paying death benefits. They try to use these reasons, among others, to deny life insurance claims in South Carolina:
Retroactive Cancellation of Policy Due to Policyholder’s Alleged Misrepresentation
A policyholder must disclose all personal information, including health, hobbies, and lifestyle habits, on their initial application for life insurance. Life insurance adjusters base the premiums payment on this information, using it to calculate the risk to them that the policyholder will die within the policy term. Those at greater risk of dying within the policy term pay higher premiums than those at less risk.
If a policyholder dies within the policy term and the life insurance company discovers the policyholder made a mistake or omitted information on that initial application, the life insurance company will likely retroactively cancel the policy, claiming that the policyholder purposefully misrepresented themselves to get a lower premium payment. They will then deny the beneficiaries’ claims.
Boonswang Law has decades of experience with types of cases and can help you if the life insurance company denies your claim for this reason. Don’t let an innocent mistake or a medical condition the policyholder didn’t know they had keep you from getting your payout.
The Policy Lapsed or Terminated
Life insurance companies maintain coverage in exchange for the policyholder’s premium payments. If those premiums are unpaid for any reason, this can cause coverage to lapse, resulting in subsequent beneficiary claims being denied.
This is not the end of the story, however. Life insurance lapse and termination is highly regulated under state and federal law, and if the life insurance company or the employer administering the policy failed to adhere to those regulations, it may not be the fault of the policyholder that premium payments were not made. In these cases we can often get our beneficiary clients paid.
Issues with Interpretation of the Policy Terms and Provisions
We have seen this problem frequently. Life insurance companies will (purposely?) misinterpret provisions of the policy in an attempt to deny a life insurance claim.
If you think this is happening to you, hire a SC life insurance attorney to fight back. We have frequently gotten our beneficiary clients paid after their claim was initially denied for this reason.
Suicide or Other Excluded Death
Life insurance policies will have a list of causes of death that are excluded from coverage, called “exclusions.” Death as a result of suicide is frequently excluded from coverage, as is death from acts of war or terrorism.
This being said, we have found that life insurance companies will attempt to wrongfully classify someone’s death as a suicide or other excluded cause of death so that they can deny the beneficiary’s claim. In these cases, we thoroughly investigate the cause of death and if we can show that the cause of death was not excluded from coverage, we can get our beneficiary clients paid.
What You Should Expect When You Work With Boonswang Law’s SC Life Insurance Lawyers
You probably have never worked with a life insurance lawyer and are wondering what an experienced life insurance lawyer can do for you that you cannot do for yourself. Work with us and you will experience these benefits, among others:
- We review the applicable policy and explain coverage and exclusions to you
- We review denial letters and any other documentation you’ve received from the life insurance company to find out the reason or reasons for denial of your claim
- We investigate the reasons the life insurance company denied your claim
- We negotiate with the life insurance company’s team of lawyers to get you your payout
- We vigorously litigate your claim in court if the life insurance company won’t pay
Frequent South Carolina Life Insurance Questions
How Do I Determine Whether Someone Had a Life Insurance Policy?
There is no nationwide list of every person who has purchased a life insurance policy. You will have to investigate on your own.
Contact their employer to ask if they offered group life insurance coverage as a benefit of working there. Also, look through old documents in search of life insurance paperwork and review bank statements to locate evidence of paid insurance premiums. Search desk drawers and the contents of safe deposit boxes for evidence of a life insurance policy.
Can I Still Receive Death Benefits if the Life Insurance Policy Lapsed?
Perhaps. First, life insurance policies typically have a grace period for unpaid premiums, so you may still be able to receive death benefits even if the policyholder missed a payment. Second, in cases where the lapse was not the fault of the policyholder, we have been able to get our beneficiary clients paid.
If you are a beneficiary of a lapsed life insurance policy, the SC life insurance lawyers at Boonswang Law can help you understand what your rights are.
My Life Insurance Claim Was Denied, How Long Do I Have to Contest the Denial?
You have sixty days if the policy is group life insurance through an employer. Otherwise, it is prudent to file your claim denial dispute as soon as possible after getting the denial letter in order to have the best chance of finding and preserving evidence supporting payment of your life insurance claim.
Having a life insurance lawyer handle your dispute is highly recommended so you can feel confident that everything is being done correctly.
If I am the Only Beneficiary, Am I Allowed to Share the Death Benefits with My Siblings?
Yes! It is surprisingly common for policyholders to list only one of their children as a beneficiary on their life insurance policy with the expectation that they will share. Although the beneficiary will not be able to add their siblings to the policy after the policyholder’s death, there’s nothing stopping them from sharing their benefits once the benefits pay out.
What Happens If a Life Insurance Beneficiary Predeceases the Policyholder?
If the primary beneficiary dies before the policyholder, the death benefits will be paid to the secondary or contingent beneficiary. If the policyholder did not designate a secondary or contingent beneficiary, the benefits may pay to the policyholder’s estate.
What Happens When a Policyholder Designates a Minor as a Life Insurance Beneficiary?
If the beneficiary is still a minor when the policyholder dies, the courts will usually choose a custodian to oversee the minor beneficiary’s death benefits. However, nothing can really be done to stop the custodian from using the minor’s payout for their own use.
If someone wants a minor to receive the death benefit, they should consider setting up a trust, designating the minor as the beneficiary of the trust, and appointing a trustee to administer the trust and act as the minor’s fiduciary. We suggest hiring an estate planning attorney to help you understand the legalities of setting up a trust.
Who Can Change a Life Insurance Beneficiary Designation in SC?
Only the policyholder can legally change the beneficiary on a life insurance policy. In some instances, a person who has power of attorney over the policyholder may make changes to the policy.
Can You Contest the Beneficiary Designation If it was Changed Just Before the Policyholder’s Death?
You should know first that policyholders can change the beneficiary designation at any time as long as they are of sound mind and not under duress when they make the changes.
Irrevocable beneficiaries, however, are an exception to this role. The term irrevocable beneficiary usually refers to the policyholder’s spouses and children. Divorce or estrangement does not remove this status. An irrevocable beneficiary must approve all policy changes that affect their benefits. Some policies may even require them to consent to all changes.
If an insurance company notifies you that you were removed as an irrevocable beneficiary from a life insurance policy, you may be able to contest this.
Can the Life Insurance Beneficiary Designation Be Changed After the Policy Holder's Death?
No under any circumstances. The policyholder generally is the only person who can make changes to the policy. If you receive paperwork showing that the beneficiary changed after the policyholder’s death, it is most likely fraudulent.
When Should a Spouse Contest a Change in Life Insurance Beneficiary Designation from Them to Someone Else?
With a divorced or remarried policyholder, confusion may arise over who gets what, and this is governed by state law and varies state-to-state. A SC life insurance lawyer can explain what you’re entitled to as the policyholder’s spouse or former spouse.
Discuss Your Case with the SC Life Insurance Lawyers at Boonswang
Trust Boonswang Law to help you during this difficult time. Call us today at (855) 865-4335 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation. We will make the process go as smoothly and as effectively as possible for you.