Life Insurance Lawyer Serving West Virginia
The Life Insurance Law Firm – Boonswang Law
Trust the West Virginia Life Insurance Lawyers at Boonswang Law to Fight For You
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Our life insurance lawyers have decades of experience fighting for West Virginia life insurance beneficiaries.
Someone purchases a life insurance policy to ensure your financial well-being. In doing so, they probably expected that if they died within the policy term, you would automatically receive the death benefit.
Unfortunately, it rarely works that way. Just like any other type of business, life insurance companies must make money for their shareholders and are concerned with their bottom line. For this reason, they often deny or delay payment on valid life insurance claims.
If your life insurance claim was denied or is being delayed, the WV life insurance lawyers at Boonswang Law can help you fight back and get your payout.
Our West Virginia Life Insurance Lawyers Have Helped Beneficiaries from these Cities and the Surrounding Areas:
Common Reasons Life Insurance Claims Get Denied in West Virginia
Alleged Misrepresentation by the Policyholder
Every life insurance policyholder must complete an application and medical questionnaire. The life insurance company calculates the policyholder’s risk of dying within the policy term by considering a policyholder’s age, weight, occupation, level of education, health, and lifestyle habits such as drinking alcohol or smoking. Policyholders who are at greater risk of dying during the policy term pay higher premiums than those who are less at risk.
If a policyholder makes a mistake or fails to disclose information on the application or the medical questionnaire, the life insurance company will allege that they misrepresented themselves in order to get a lower premium payment. This allows the life insurance company to retroactively cancel the policy and deny your claim.
Call us if your claim was denied due to misrepresentation. We have gotten many of our clients paid when the life insurance company alleged the policyholder misrepresented themselves.
Policy Lapse Due to Nonpayment of Premiums
In exchange for timely payment of premiums, life insurance companies provide coverage to policyholders. If for any reason payments are not made, life insurance coverage may lapse and terminate and the life insurance company will deny beneficiaries’ claims.
You might think that is the final word on the matter, however, beneficiaries can often get paid on lapsed policies. Every state regulates the termination of life insurance coverage, and often life insurance companies and employers who provide group life insurance coverage to employees fail to follow those regulations, resulting in nonpayment of premiums that is not the fault of the policyholder.
If your claim was denied due to lapse, we may be able to get you paid. Call us to discuss your claim.
Cause of Death Excluded from Coverage
“Exclusions” are causes of death that are not covered under a life insurance policy. These will be expressly listed and will vary from company to company and policy to policy. Death from self-inflicted injuries and death due to terorism or acts of war are common exclusions in life insurance policies.
If there is even a remote possibility an exclusion can apply to a policyholder’s death, know that the life insurance company will try to use it to deny your claim. In these cases, we investigate and can often show that the exclusion does not apply, and we get our beneficiary clients paid.
The Policyholder Died While Traveling Overseas
When a policyholder dies outside the U.S., life insurance companies frequently delay payment on claims for death benefits because of a delay in receiving a death certificate, or because a foreign death certificate contains insufficient information regarding the policyholder’s death.
If the life insurance company is delaying payment on your life insurance claim for this reason, contact us. We can help – and the life insurance company may owe you interest!
What You Can Expect When You Work with a West Virginia Life Insurance Lawyer at Boonswang Law
It is likely that you have never needed to work with a life insurance lawyer before. You may even wonder if you need a lawyer to help you with your life insurance claim. Here’s what we do for our beneficiary clients, among other things:
- We review the policy provisions to determine coverage and exclusions
- We review the denial letter and any other correspondence from the life insurance company
- We thoroughly investigate allegations made by the life insurance company in denying or delaying your claim for death benefits
- We negotiate with the life insurance company’s lawyers to get you a payout
- We vigorously litigate your claim in court when the life insurance company is acting unreasonably or dishonestly in delaying or denying the payment of your valid life insurance claim
Every life insurance company employs a team of experts, consultants, and lawyers all looking out for the companies’ profit margins. The more premiums a life insurance company collects and the fewer death benefit claims they pay out, the more profit they make for their shareholders. In other words, the interests of the life insurance company are at odds with yours and with the policyholder’s.
You can count on the West Virginia life insurance lawyers at Boonswang Law to fight back to get you the death benefits you were meant to receive. And, there is no up front cost to you – we only accept life insurance claims on a contingency basis.
Common Life Insurance Questions in West Virginia
How Long Does It Take to Receive a Life Insurance Payout?
A life insurance company should pay the beneficiary within 30-60 days of the beneficiary submitting the claim for death benefits.
If this time has passed and your claim has not been paid yet, contact us. When a life insurance company unreasonably delays payment on a life insurance claim, they may owe you interest on the death benefit.
What Can I Do if My Life Insurance Payout is Delayed?
We can help you by investigating the reason for the delay. If the delay is unreasonable, meaning, the life insurance company had no valid reason for waiting to pay your claim, you may be entitled to interest on the death benefit. Call us to discuss your case.
What Should I Do if the Life Insurance Company Denies My Claim?
You should fight that denial. Why? Because life insurance companies frequently deny valid claims for death benefits.
When you receive the denial letter you should also receive documents explaining how to contest the denial with the life insurance company. Call us – we can help you fight back.
Will My Claim Be Paid if the Life Insurance Policy Lapsed?
It is possible to get paid on a lapsed life insurance policy.
You must contest the denial, investigate, and determine what caused the lapse in coverage. If the lapse was not the fault of the policyholder, it is possible to still get a payout. For example, if an employer failed to give the policyholder conversion papers or improperly administered the policy, or the life insurance company failed to send the policyholder any of the lapse notices that are required under the law, the life insurance company will pay the beneficiary’s claim.
Call our WV life insurance lawyers if your life insurance claim was denied due to lapse. We will investigate and get you paid if at all possible.
Who Can Change a Life Insurance Beneficiary in West Virginia?
Only the policyholder. A policyholder can change their beneficiary designation any time they choose, to whomever they wish.
If you suspect a beneficiary change was made fraudulently or under duress, you can contest it. Fraud cases can be very difficult to prove. Contact an experienced life insurance beneficiary attorney for help litigating this.
What Happens if a Beneficiary Dies Before the Policyholder?
If the primary beneficiary died before the policyholder, the life insurance company will pay the death benefit to the secondary beneficiary or the contingent beneficiary. If the policyholder did not designate secondary or contingent beneficiaries, the death benefit can pay out to the policyholder’s estate.
Unfortunately, when the death benefits pay to the estate they are subject to the claims of the policyholder’s creditors. To avoid this and ensure that beneficiaries receive the full amount of the death benefit, policyholders should designate secondary beneficiaries and keep their beneficiary designations up to date.
What Happens When a Minor is a Life Insurance Beneficiary?
A minor cannot directly receive death benefits. A court will have to appoint a conservator to administer the funds on behalf of the minor beneficiary. Unfortunately, there is little that anyone can do to prevent a conservator from using the funds for their own benefit.
If a policyholder wants a minor to receive the death benefit, they should set up a trust with the minor as beneficiary of the trust, and name the trust as beneficiary of the life insurance policy. This way, they can select who will act as trustee. Consult with an estate planning attorney if you wish to set up a trust for a minor life insurance beneficiary.
Can a Life Insurance Beneficiary Designation Change After the Policyholder’s Death?
No! A beneficiary designation change after the date of the policyholder’s death is fraudulent. Contact an experienced life insurance beneficiary attorney immediately.
When Should a Spouse Contest a Life Insurance Beneficiary Designation?
If you are a spouse or ex-spouse of the policyholder, and you were supposed to be the named beneficiary for any reason but someone else was named, you can and should contest it. For example, some policyholders are under court order to designate their ex-spouse as beneficiary to insure support payments.
Contact us if you were supposed to be a beneficiary on a life insurance policy but someone else was named instead – we can help you.
How Do I Find Out Whether Someone Had Life Insurance?
If you suspect someone had a life insurance policy, you will have to investigate on your own because there is no nationwide database of all policyholders.
Consider searching the contents of a safe-deposit box or desk drawers for evidence of a policy. You can also look through the recent mail for premium notices, and inspect bank account statements for evidence of premium payments.
Call Experienced West Virginia Life Insurance Lawyer at Boonswang Law to Discuss Your Claim
We have been helping life insurance beneficiaries throughout West Virginia for decades. Our goal is to get you your entitled death benefits in a timely and efficient manner.
Contact us today for your free, no-obligation consultation. We are ready to fight for you!