Articles Tagged with: life insurance information

Life Insurance Companies & Your Medical Records

You would think that because you pay life insurance premiums, your beneficiaries will automatically get their payout if you die within the policy term. It is rarely that simple. 

Life insurance companies only make money when they collect premiums and don’t pay death benefits, so they look for ways to deny your beneficiaries’ claims. They may investigate your medical history to find out if you had any undisclosed illnesses, conditions, medications, or surgeries they can use to rescind your policy due to alleged misrepresentation. If the policy is rescinded, the life insurance company won’t pay.

Noted national life insurance lawyer Chad Boonswang explains how this happens and what to do about it in this comprehensive article. If your life insurance claim was denied due to misrepresentation, call the life insurance lawyers at Boonswang Law for help with your life insurance claim denial appeal. We have helped life insurance beneficiaries across the nation get the death benefits they deserve. Call us today to discuss your case.

Do Life Insurance Companies Check Medical Records Following a Policyholder’s Death?

The short answer is yes, they can. As part of most life insurance contracts, the policyholder agrees that their representative provides the life insurance company with medical records if requested. The clause may also state the circumstances under which the life insurance company will request medical records, such as:

Life insurance companies are supposed to check medical records before issuing a policy when a policyholder’s answers on the initial application and medical questionnaire indicate there may be further medical issues, or if the life insurance company needs more information about the policyholder’s health before underwriting a policy.  In reality, they rarely do so.

Do Life Insurance Companies Need Permission to Obtain Medical Records?

Yes. Under the Access to Medical Reports Act (1988) and the Data Protection Act (2018), the policyholder’s executor or other representative must provide the life insurance company with the policyholder’s medical records. The life insurance company cannot obtain medical records on their own without a representative’s consent.

That said, there are private services which provide life insurance companies with prescription histories and lab test results for a fee, without your permission. Also, life insurance companies can obtain anything in the public record, such as a DUI or a bankruptcy filing. 

Life insurance companies are motivated to collect all information possible to assess the risk a policyholder will die within the policy term and they charge premiums according to that risk. They may subscribe to a service such as the Medical Information Bureau (MIB) for this purpose.

Life insurance companies are also motivated to investigate a policyholder’s cause of death if the policyholder dies within the contestability period or of undisclosed illness, disease, lifestyle habit, or condition. Obtaining the policyholder’s medical records is part of that investigation.

How Many Years of Medical Records Can Life Insurance Companies Check?

When initially underwriting a life insurance policy, life insurance companies sometimes check up to 10 years of an applicant’s medical records. If a policyholder dies under suspicious circumstances, the life insurance company looks at the medical record they have and the record generated by the policyholder from the date that they applied for life insurance coverage to the date that they died.

Why Life Insurance Companies Want to Check Medical Records

Life insurance companies look at medical records to ascertain whether the policyholder died of an undisclosed injury, illness, disease, condition, or lifestyle habit. If the policyholder failed to disclose what eventually caused their death, the life insurance company denies their beneficiaries’ claims due to misrepresentation.

Life Insurance Companies Demanding Medical Records

Life insurance beneficiaries rarely have a choice – they must provide the life insurance companies with the medical records they demand to have their claim for death benefits processed and paid. 

If the life insurance company is asking for consent to view medical records, they are probably looking for something to give them cause to allege the policyholder lied on their application and  rescind the policy and deny your claim due to misrepresentation.

Life Insurance Company Asking for Health Care Providers of Policyholders

Most policyholders must provide life insurance companies with the name and contact information of their primary care physician as well as any medical provider they regularly see, or they’ve seen in recent years. This facilitates gathering medical information on the policyholder before issuing the policy as well as after death.

Talk with a Life Insurance Lawyer for Help

If your life insurance claim was denied due to misrepresentation and policy rescission, call us for help. We discuss your case with you free of charge.

Know that many claims which get denied due to misrepresentation are paid after we look into it and show the policyholder did disclose everything they knew or the policyholder made an innocent mistake. Don’t take no for an answer. Call us to get your life insurance claim paid.

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Vanishing Premium in Life Insurance Policies

What is a vanishing life insurance premium? Is it a good thing? Perhaps, for some people. Learn about vanishing life insurance premiums from noted life insurance lawyer Chad G. Boonswang, Esq. in this informative article.

If your claim was denied due to nonpayment of life insurance premiums or policy lapse, call the experienced life insurance lawyers at Boonswang Law. We have helped beneficiaries nationwide reverse their claim denial and get the payout their loved one intended. Your initial consultation is free of charge, and we take cases on a contingency basis only – meaning that we do not get paid unless and until you do. Contact us today.

Vanishing Premium Definition

Someone owning a permanent life insurance policy may elect to stop paying premiums once the policy accrues enough value to pay dividends or interest enough to cover the premium payment. In other words, the policyholder can elect to have their life insurance policy fund itself if they have a more lucrative place to put the money they otherwise would pay in premiums.

Whole life insurance and universal life insurance.are types of permanent life insurance. 

Term vs Whole Life Vanishing Premiums

Term life insurance is coverage purchased for a specified term, such as 15 or 25 years, during which the policyholder pays periodic premium payments to maintain that coverage. Once the term ends, coverage ends. The policy has no present cash value and only pays out if the policyholder dies within the policy term.

In contrast, whole life insurance does accrue value and stays in effect for the policyholder’s life as long as premiums are paid. Most whole life policies carry a minimum rate of growth, and may grow much more depending upon the performance of the life insurance company’s investment portfolio. If the policy grows in value to the point where either interest or dividends are enough to pay the premium payments, the policyholder can elect to do that.

Vanishing Premiums vs Flexible Premiums

Another type of permanent life insurance is adjustable life insurance, which has flexible premiums and other features. After purchasing coverage, the policyholder can elect to pay more or less in premiums. The policyholder can also alter the amount of the death benefit and the cash value (the portion of the account invested) of an adjustable policy, while a whole life policy having vanishing premiums carries a fixed death benefit.

Flexible premium life insurance comes at a cost – the premiums are much higher than term life insurance and can be higher than for a whole life policy with vanishing premiums. Although you can borrow against the cash value of an adjustable policy the interest on that loan may not be tax deductible. Withdrawing from the cash value of an adjustable policy is a taxable event.

Modern Drawbacks with Vanishing Premiums

Historically, life insurance companies have been overly optimistic regarding the expected performance of their investment portfolio. Some even fraudulently inflated expected returns to attract policyholders. This led potential policyholders to believe that the premium would vanish much sooner than it actually did, so they purchased the policy. The policyholders did not have the information they needed to accurately calculate the cost of the policy and compare it with the cost of a term life insurance policy of equal coverage.

Today life insurance companies are highly regulated. By law they must inform potential policyholders of the risks of purchasing a whole life policy and disclose past performance of their investments, among other things. 

One drawback of a vanishing premium in life insurance is that money is taken from the policy to pay the premium, reducing the amount the policyholder could otherwise realize from the investment. Another is the policyholder having unreasonable expectations regarding the growth of the value of the policy, and not planning to pay premiums out-of-pocket as long as they must.

Who Might Need a Vanishing Premium?

Policyholders concerned about long-term fluctuations in income, such as business owners, entrepreneurs, and self-employed/independent contractors, may need to take advantage of a vanishing premium at some point. 

What to Do If You or a Loved One Has a Vanishing Premium Policy

If you have a life insurance policy with a vanishing premium and that option is available, you must calculate the true cost of using funds from your policy to pay premiums and compare that with what the premium payment could be earning elsewhere. Only then can you determine whether allowing your permanent life insurance to pay for itself makes financial sense to you. 

Of course, if due to your financial situation at the time you do not have the funds on hand to pay the premium, then exercising the option to pay premiums from your policy saves your policy from lapse.

How a Life Insurance Lawyer Helps

Premiums must be paid, and if opting for a vanishing premium, that option must be exercised in writing. If this is not done and the premiums are not paid, the policy may lapse and terminate, and you will lose your paid premiums as well as the accrued cash value. Moreover, the life insurance company will deny your beneficiaries’ claims for your policy’s death benefits.

If your claim was denied due to nonpayment of premiums and policy lapse, call us. There are many reasons for life insurance lapse that are not the fault of the policyholder, and in those cases, we can get our clients paid. Speak to an experienced life insurance lawyer today about your case.

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Forged Signature Life Insurance Policies: What You Can Do

While it is not impossible to forge someone’s signature on a life insurance policy, it is highly illegal and there are safeguards in place to catch such instances. 

This article will explain what forged signatures are, the circumstances under which you can legally take life insurance out on someone else, and what to do if the life insurance company is delaying payment or has denied your claim for death benefits due to an alleged forged signature.

If your claim was denied due to an alleged forged signature on a life insurance application or life insurance beneficiary designation change, call the experienced life insurance lawyers at Boonswang Law to discuss your case, free of charge.

Forged Signature Life Insurance Definition

A forged signature is one made by someone other than the presumptive signor but in their name, with an attempt to pass it off as theirs.

Purchasing a Life Insurance Policy on Someone by Forging Their Signature

Signing the insured’s name on an application for life insurance is insurance fraud and illegal. If you get away with it, which is unlikely, the policy will likely not pay out.

Changing Someone’s Life Insurance Beneficiary Designation by Forging Their Signature

Changing an insured’s beneficiary designation to yourself by forging their signature is also insurance fraud. This could subject you to fines and jail time, and you will have a beneficiary dispute to defend, which is costly.

Can You Get a Life Insurance Policy On Someone Else Without Them Knowing?

Simply put, insuring someone without their knowledge or consent is illegal. Insurance fraud is punishable with fines and imprisonment. If you try, chances are you will be caught.

Why You Shouldn’t Anyway

Aside from being illegal, it would be impractical to take out a life insurance policy with a forged signature because it probably won’t pay out in the end. 

Let’s say that you had all the necessary information on the person you wish to insure and were able to fill out the application and medical questionnaire. The life insurance company will likely flag that application for fraud for a number or reasons. 

First, most life insurance companies require that an applicant for life insurance submit to a medical exam. If they do not, they will require copies of the applicant’s medical records. It is very difficult to overcome that requirement if you are not the applicant themselves. 

Second, the life insurance company will also likely check to make sure the applicant lives where stated and works where stated. Either of these checks will alert either the life insurance company or the person you wish to insure of the fact that you are trying to take out a policy on them. 

Last, in the unlikely event you are able to overcome all these hurdles and you successfully take out life insurance on someone, the policy may not pay in the end. 

If the person you insured dies within the two-year contestability period, the life insurance company’s fraud department carefully inspects the application and medical questionnaire for errors and omissions. Should they find any, they will deny your claim. Even if they die after the contestability expires, you will need an original death certificate to file your claim for death benefits. How are you going to obtain that? 

When You Can Take a Life Insurance Policy Out On Someone Else

You can take out life insurance on someone if you have their consent and an “insurable interest” in them. What is an insurable interest in life insurance?

The exact definition of “insurable interest” varies state-to-state. That said, it is basically your interest in having the insured alive. You have an insurable interest in yourself and your immediate family members. if you rely on someone’s income for support, you have an insurable interest in them. You may have an insurable interest in the life of a friend who is taking care of your child, or a professional caretaker caring for your parents, or a business partner. You may also have an insurable interest in someone to whom you loaned money.

You must show the life insurance company that you have the consent of the insured and that you have an insurable interest in them. The insured will likely need to submit to a medical examination. Then, to get your application for life insurance on that person approved, you must satisfy any additional requests from the underwriting department.

Life Insurance Claim Denied Due to Suspected Forged Signature

A beneficiary’s claim for benefits will be denied or at least delayed if the life insurance company suspects that the insured’s signature has been forged. The life insurance company’s fraud department investigates and compares that signature with other known signatures of the insured. They may contact close friends and relatives to inquire about the signature. 

Proving a Signature Isn’t Forged

If your claim was denied because of an alleged forged signature on life insurance, you can fight back. Find other examples of the insured’s signature to show the life insurance company is one good way to do so.

How a Life Insurance Lawyer Helps

If your claim was denied due to an alleged forged signature, you have more problems than just not getting your payout. You can be criminally prosecuted if the life insurance company suspects you forged the insured’s signature. 

You need an experienced life insurance lawyer by your side to combat these allegations and show that the signature is genuine. Call today to discuss your case with us, free of charge. We take life insurance cases on contingency, which means we don’t get paid unless and until you do. Let us help you get paid and fight any allegation of life insurance fraud.

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Revocable vs Irrevocable Beneficiary

Life insurance policyholders are usually free to designate revocable beneficiaries and change beneficiaries anytime during the policy term, but there are some instances where a policyholder must designate an irrevocable beneficiary, which cannot be changed easily.

Find out the differences between revocable and irrevocable beneficiaries, when and why each type of beneficiary is appropriate, what happens if an irrevocable beneficiary dies before the policyholder.

If you are an irrevocable beneficiary but the beneficiary designation changed, or you are a beneficiary and someone claiming to be an irrevocable beneficiary is disputing the beneficiary designation, call the life insurance lawyers at Boonswang Law for help appealing your life insurance claim denial. Beneficiary disputes are notoriously difficult to win. We can help you, and your initial case consultation is free of charge!

Differences Between a Revocable & Irrevocable Beneficiary

Revocable Beneficiary of Life Insurance

When the beneficiary designation is revocable, the policyholder may change the beneficiary designation at any time without the former beneficiary’s consent or even knowledge. They may even change the life insurance beneficiary just before they die. This is by far the most common type of beneficiary.

Why You Would Designate a Revocable Beneficiary

Generally, policyholders are free to change their beneficiary designations any time during the policy term. This freedom is necessary to account for changes in relationships or if a beneficiary dies and the policyholder must select someone else.

Irrevocable Beneficiary of Life Insurance

An irrevocable beneficiary designation is one that cannot be changed by the policyholder without the beneficiary’s consent. 

If the policyholder seeks to make changes to the policy, such as adding beneficiaries or changing the percentage of the death benefit each beneficiary receives, the life insurance company must inform the irrevocable beneficiary. If the policy gets cancelled by the policyholder or for nonpayment of premiums, the life insurance company must inform the irrevocable beneficiary.

Why You Would Designate an Irrevocable Beneficiary

Policyholders creating life insurance trusts for their minor children often designate that trust as the irrevocable beneficiary of their life insurance policy, to ensure that their children receive a payout when the policyholder dies. 

Some policyholders are child support or spousal support obligors and are ordered by the court to designate their support obligees as irrevocable beneficiaries, to ensure that the obligees receive the income they need should support payments cease because the policyholder died. In these cases, often the divorce decree overrides the named beneficiary. A will does not supersede a beneficiary designation.

Is an Irrevocable Beneficiary the Primary Beneficiary?

Yes. The irrevocable beneficiary is always the primary beneficiary, meaning that the irrevocable beneficiary receives the entire death benefit first. The policyholder may name secondary or contingent beneficiaries, but these beneficiaries only receive a payout if the irrevocable beneficiary predeceases the policyholder.

Removing an Irrevocable Beneficiary

If the policyholder seeks to remove an irrevocable beneficiary, they must obtain the written consent of the irrevocable beneficiary. Usually beneficiary designation forms give the option for an irrevocable beneficiary to sign and give their consent to a change.

Which Type of Beneficiary is Right for You?

Usually, policyholders opt to designate revocable beneficiaries to have the freedom to redesignate beneficiaries as life and relationships change. However, if you have minor children or are a support obligor, you may want to or be forced to name irrevocable beneficiaries.

What Happens if an Irrevocable Beneficiary Dies Before a Policyholder?

If an irrevocable beneficiary predeceases the policyholder, and there are no other irrevocable beneficiaries, the policyholder is free to designate a beneficiary of their choice. In the alternative, the payout goes to any secondary or contingent beneficiaries the policyholder names. If there are no life insurance beneficiaries, the death benefit pays to the policyholder’s estate.

How a Life Insurance Lawyer Helps

If you are the beneficiary of a life insurance policy and someone claims to be the irrevocable beneficiary, or if you are the irrevocable beneficiary and someone else was named, call us. We have helped beneficiary clients across the nation get the payout their loved one intended. Let us help you too. Call us today to discuss your case – free of charge!

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Stranger Originated Life Insurance

Stranger originated life insurance is frequently pitched as a way for older individuals to get a tax-free payout. The arrangement may be called an “estate maximization plan,” a “no cost to the insured plan,” a “zero premium life insurance policy,” or a “new issue life settlement.” Whatever it is called, it requires committing insurance fraud.

If someone approaches you with a life insurance scheme that sounds like this, beware – STOLIs are for the most part illegal. And if you believed you should have been a beneficiary to a life insurance policy and some stranger was named instead, give the life insurance lawyers at Boonswang Law a call. We have helped clients nationwide get the payout they are due.

What Stranger Originated Life Insurance Is

Also called Stranger Owned Life Insurance or STOLI for short, Stranger Originated Life Insurance is a situation in which someone who does not have an insurable interest in the insured pays premiums on a life insurance policy in the name of the insured and is the policy’s beneficiary.

The Purpose of Stranger-Owned Life Insurance

The purpose of STOLIs is to get a tax-free payout. A third party may approach an insurable person and encourage them to apply for more life insurance coverage than their age, earning power, and assets would normally justify. That third party would then pay the premiums. The insured puts the policy into a trust once the contestability period expires and sells it to that third party for a “free” cash payment. That third party then gets a tax-free payout when the insured dies.

This sounds like win-win – the insured and the third party both get a tax-free payout. The losers are the IRS and the life insurance companies. While you may not have much sympathy for these entities, STOLIs contribute to higher taxes and higher premiums for the rest of us.

Is Stranger Originated Life Insurance Legal?

STOLIs are generally illegal but where they are not, they are at the very least unethical. Most are merely schemes to gain tax free money through fraudulent financial reporting.  Forging a signature on a life insurance policy is always illegal.

A third party can create an insurable interest in someone by loaning them money. If the insured died they would leave the loan unpaid, creating an insurable interest.

When Someone Can Take Out a Life Insurance Policy on Someone Else

Policy Owners Must Have an Insurable Interest in the Insured

Legally, someone must have an “insurable interest” in the insured in order to purchase a life insurance policy in their name and name themselves as beneficiary. 

The purchaser of a life insurance policy has an “insurable interest” in the insured when their finances would be adversely affected by the death of the insured. Some states set forth who has an insurable interest in the insured, such as a loving relationship, i.e., spouse, children, parents, or siblings.

The insurable interest requirement ensures that the policy owner/beneficiary has more than a financial interest in the insured. Presumably, someone in a loving relationship with the insured would hope for their long life as well as a death benefit when they die, not just their death so that they can get their payout.

An Employer May Have an Insurable Interest in an Employee

A corporation with an insurable interest in the insured may also own a life insurance policy in the insured’s name, called a corporate-owned life insurance (COLI) policy. COLIs generally require the consent of the insured.

For example, a company may insure a highly-experienced and valued employee so that they have the funds to hire a comparable replacement should that employee die. The insurable interest is the company’s interest in keeping that employee alive and working for them. 

Talk With an Experienced Life Insurance Lawyer

If you thought you were the beneficiary to a loved one’s life insurance policy but a stranger was named instead, call us. You may not get the death benefit after all if the insured committed insurance fraud, but if a stranger took advantage of the insured you may still get paid. 

We take cases on contingency only to minimize out-of-pocket expenses to you. Call us to discuss your case, free of charge!

Can You Have Multiple Life Insurance Policies?

Can You Have Multiple Life Insurance Policies?

Can You Have Multiple Life Insurance Policies?

Yes, you may purchase multiple life insurance policies. Many people who purchase life insurance purchase multiple policies for different reasons. Learn from the life insurance lawyers at Boonswang Law about the types of life insurance policies available, the reasons for owning multiple life insurance policies, why the amount of life insurance you own can be limited, and what alternatives you have to owning multiple policies.

Owning Multiple Life Insurance Policies

When you own more than one life insurance policy, you must complete separate applications and medical questionnaires for each policy. Be sure that the information you provide is accurate and consistent across all policies. If it is not, you risk an allegation of life insurance misrepresentation and the chance your beneficiary or beneficiaries do not get their payout.

Be sure to organize your policies so that you know when premiums come due, and pay them in full and on time. If you miss a premium payment, you risk life insurance lapse and termination, and again, the life insurance company will deny your beneficiaries’ claims. Lapse is one of the most common reasons life insurance companies deny claims for death benefits.

Reasons to Have Multiple Policies

Common reasons to have more than one life insurance policy include:

Limits On Your Life Insurance Amount

The amount of coverage you can purchase will be limited by factors such as your age, health, occupation, and net worth. For example, someone who works at minimum wage and is 65 years old will not be able to purchase a $1,000,000 policy.

When you apply for an additional policy, the life insurance company takes into consideration the amount of coverage you already have when determining the amount of coverage they will offer you.

Differences in Life Insurance Policies

These are the various types of life insurance:

Term Life Insurance

This is the most common type of life insurance. Someone purchases a set amount of coverage for a term, say, 10 or 25 years, and if they die within the policy term their beneficiary or beneficiaries receive the face amount of the policy as a death benefit.

Whole Life Insurance

Whole life insurance can work like term life insurance as far as payouts to beneficiaries goes, but unlike term life, whole life accrues cash value as the insured pays premiums. The insured can borrow against that cash value subject to some restrictions.

Group Life Insurance Through an Employer

Employers often offer life insurance coverage to their employees at no or little cost, as a benefit to employment. The amount of coverage will likely be a multiple of the employee’s annual salary. If the employee leaves their job, they have the option of converting their coverage to an individual policy.

Funeral Expense Insurance

These types of policies typically are inexpensive and have a face value of $10,000 or $15,000. Funeral Expense policies pay end-of-life and funeral expenses.

Multiple Life Insurance Policies Alternatives

Instead of purchasing more than one life insurance policy, one might consider naming a  beneficiary to their savings account, checking account, investment account, retirement account, or pension. For example, someone who has purchased the maximum amount of life insurance coverage they are eligible for should consider these alternatives when planning to provide for loved ones should they die.

How An Experienced Life Insurance Lawyer Helps

If you own multiple life insurance policies, you must organize this documentation so that when you die your beneficiaries will be able to access and understand the coverage you have.

If you struggle to understand multiple life insurance policy coverage, call us. Our experienced life insurance lawyers have helped beneficiaries across the country understand their rights and get the benefits they deserve. Call 1-855-347-1279 today to discuss your case – free of charge!

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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.

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Can Felons and Ex-Convicts Get Life Insurance?

Do insurance companies cover felons and convicts?

Can you get life insurance if you are a felon? Can you get life insurance with a criminal record?

When deciding whether to provide a person with life insurance, life insurance companies weigh the risks associated with that person after they’ve done a background check.  The riskier the person, the less likely the insurance company will provide a policy.

The risks associated with insuring someone include, for example, that person’s medical history.  If someone has been diagnosed with aggressive skin cancer, a life insurance company may choose not to provide this person with coverage because, should the person die in a short period of time, the insurance company will have to pay out the policy sooner than they would like and issuing the policy would be a losing financial proposition.

Insurance companies also examine other risks, such as a person’s job (is the applicant a race-car driver or a telemarketer?), their recreational activities (do they often deep-sea dive or sky-dive?), and even the person’s criminal record.

Can convicted felons get life insurance? Well, if you have a criminal record, insurance companies will likely view you as leading a “high-risk lifestyle” because they believe you are someone prone to making bad choices.

Can felons get life insurance?

Sometimes. Having a criminal record does not automatically bar you from getting life insurance.  (There are some exceptions to this statement explained below in #3.)  When deciding whether to insure a person with a criminal history, insurance companies often consider the following:

  • Whether you were convicted of a felony. This post discusses a person’s ability to obtain life insurance after they have been convicted of a felony.  If you have only been charged with a felony, or you have been convicted of a misdemeanor, this post may not answer your questions.  Contact the Boonswang Law Firm and we will be happy to discuss your specific situation.
  • Whether you were incarcerated. Incarceration is a traumatic experience in and of itself, so it inherently takes a toll on a person’s mental and emotional well-being.  Aside from the psychological trauma that incarceration can have on a person, it can have physical impacts on people as well.  While in prison, people are at a higher risk of contracting diseases that can then lead to untimely deaths down the road.  Additionally, drug use is sometimes associated with incarceration and may also lead to premature death.  Whether you were incarcerated for your crimes, how long you were incarcerated, and how long ago you served your time are all very important information to insurance companies.
  • The nature of your crime. The nature and charge of your conviction is important for two (2) reasons.  First, insurance companies use the nature of your crime to determine how risky your behavior has been in the past.  If you have been convicted of murder, rape, drug trafficking, kidnapping, child molestation, and/or conspiracy to commit any of those crimes, you will likely be barred from obtaining life insurance.  Second, life insurance companies want to know the nature of your criminal conviction because some convictions have higher recidivism rates than others.  Essentially, the company will use this information to determine how likely it is that you will return to prison for another felony conviction.
  • Whether there was a probation period. Under normal circumstances, you will be unable to get life insurance while on probation.  Life insurance companies normally require a period of five (5) years to pass from the date that the probation ended until the date that they will agree to provide a life insurance policy to an applicant.  The more time that has elapsed since your criminal activity, the better it is for your life insurance application.
  • Whether you have changed your life around. One good tip is to write the life insurance company a cover letter in which you explain exactly what happened and specifically how you have improved your life since your felony conviction.  Taking responsibility for your decisions and showing that you now have some form of steady employment, some education, and a connection to service and your community will all increase your chances of getting approved for life insurance.  When it is time to submit a claim, the Boonswang Law Firm can help ensure that your beneficiary receives payment of the death benefit.

Philadelphia’s Life Insurance Lawyers, getting life insurance for convicted felons.

At the Boonswang Law Firm, we are here to help you with all your life insurance questions.  If your loved one had a criminal conviction and you have questions regarding life insurance for felons or accidental death and dismemberment policies for felons, contact the Boonswang Law Firm and we are happy to discuss any of your concerns.

 

 

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Is It OK to Have Multiple Life Insurance Policies?

Can you have too many insurance policies?

There is no law against having multiple insurance policies, life insurance or otherwise. The downsides to having multiple policies have to do with additional costs and hassle of keeping up with multiple policy payments.

Why should you have more than one policy?

  • To account for your loss of income when you pass away and to provide financial protection to your family
  • To cover debt or loans, such as a mortgage or car note’
  • To provide financial security to a business partner and enable your business to continue uninterrupted after you die
  • To cover potential inheritance tax liability against your estate.

Spread the Risk

Additionally, since different policies have different premiums and some insurance companies will deny claims for certain reasons that others would not, having multiple claims would spread the risk of any one claim being denied.

Economically, it could make sense to buy a cheaper policy that has many exclusions, a more expensive but expansive policy, and have the policies differ in years of coverage.

This way, the cost is more distributed and policies are in effect for different situations.

Disclose Secondary Policies

There are, however, steps that need to be taken to make sure that multiple policies pay out in the ways that you intend. The companies you purchase the policies from must each know that you have additional other policies.

Disclosure of your other policies might be on the applications themselves or, if there is not a question that addresses this, you should take steps to find out how the company handles the existence of other policies.

The existence of other policies affects the value of the policy, since there is a limit on value based on age and income, or what other sources of income could be funding a family’s financial obligations after death.

If the other policies are not disclosed, claims could be denied based on material misrepresentation or other reasons.

How to apply for multiple policies?

There are ways to make applying for multiple policies easier.

There are agencies you can hire which will represent insurance companies. This way you can just use one medical exam and packet of records, and avoid spending a ton of time doing repetitive submissions.

However, it is still important to do independent research on each of the policies to ensure that all the information that the agency provides to you is accurate, and that you have taken advantage of all the additional riders that may come with certain policies.

What happens to insurance policies after divorce?

If you are married and intend to plan for situations in which a separation might occur, be sure to consider how the multiple policies and benefits will be divided. In the case of Hall v. Hall, the wife of an insured person who held multiple policies had a divorce decree which split the cash value of the life insurance policies. One of the issues in this case had to do with whether the policies only included the ex-husband and wife’s policies, or the policies of the whole family.

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