What should I do if my life insurance claim is being delayed?
The first thing to keep in mind is that you should act as soon as possible. Often, insurance companies will stall until they deny your claim. Once a claim is denied it usually takes much longer to resolve your claim. Do not make the mistake of thinking that fully cooperating with the insurance company will speed up the process. Don’t just give up, though. Together we can fight the stall tactics that the insurance companies deploy to prevent you from getting your benefits. Every case is different. With your input, we will put together a plan to get you on a path to fair treatment by the insurance company.
How do Insurance Companies Delay Life Insurance Claims?
To intentionally delay your claim, insurance companies may give you the run around while they are “investigating.” During this time, you may notice long periods of no communication, or the insurance company may repeatedly ask you for the same documents time and time again. Our attorneys are ready to help break the logjam for you to help alleviate these issues during what is already a stressful time.
Why do Insurance Companies Delay Life Insurance Claims?
While there are many ways an insurance company may stall with settling your claim, the reason boils down to one simple fact. They are doing whatever they believe they reasonably can to keep from paying you. Typically, when they are delaying your life insurance claim, they are looking for anything that can be classified as a material misrepresentation or any exclusions in the policy. Frequently there is no reason for insurance companies to delay your claim. Most times, if there was a legitimate reason to deny your claim, they would deny it swiftly. Life insurance companies know that if they can make the process as difficult and stressful as possible that most people will give up. But you don’t have to give up. We can work together to turn things around.
Your life insurance company owes you a prompt investigation and timely payments. Unfortunately, a lot of life insurance companies seem to care more about their own bottom line than about your well being. Insurance providers engage in a variety of bad faith tactics aimed at bullying you into accepting a reduced settlement. If your life insurance claim investigation or settlement is being unreasonably delayed, the South Carolina life insurance delay attorneys at The Jeffcoat Firm offer you a no-cost, confidential consultation. Let us determine how we can help you and your family get the help you deserve.
What should I do if my life insurance claim was denied?
If this has happened to you, don’t think that you are all alone. You may need experienced legal representation that will put your needs first and work to overcome the insurance company’s denial. Our attorneys at The Jeffcoat Firm Injury Lawyers will guide you through resolving you claims dispute. Request a free, no-obligation consultation to speak to a member of our legal team today.
What are some common reasons for a life insurance claim being denied?
The Death Happened During The Contestability Period
If an insured dies within the first two years from the date a life insurance policy becomes effective, the insurance company has the right to contest the policy. This period where the insurance company can review your coverage for any false claims or misrepresentations is known as the contestability period.
Only material misrepresentations can result in a policy cancellation. A material misrepresentation is a false claim that would have led the insurance company to not issue you a policy in the first place. Insurance companies may try to use contestability as a chance to deny a valid claim even if a misrepresentation/non-disclosure on the application is not material.
Our attorneys at The Jeffcoat Firm have years of experience in solving cases that involve deaths during the contestability period.
The Death Was a Homicide
Most life insurance policies do not cover murder. If the beneficiary is suspected of murdering the insured, they won’t receive a payout until they are proven innocent or are no longer being investigated. Also, policies are unlikely to pay out if the insured was engaging in unlawful activity at the time of their death.
The Death was a Suicide
Life insurers may contest and deny a claim if death occurred due to suicide within the two-year contestability period. That being said, suicide doesn’t invalidate a life insurance policy, and beneficiaries may receive a refund of the premiums that have been paid.
The Death was Due to Substance Abuse
Life insurers tend to exclude deaths due to drug or alcohol abuse from coverage since they consider them as self-harm. This exclusion can be misleading since it can cover any cause of death that occurs while under the influence of illegal substances, even if the cause of death is not related to the use of such substances.
There is no Beneficiary on File or the Beneficiary Has Changed
Another reason to be denied a life insurance claim is if the insured failed to name a beneficiary. Every policy has provisions regarding who should get the proceeds if there is no designated beneficiary.
Often times, an employer may fail to submit all the necessary documents to the insurance company which then use to make the life insurance void. The law protects beneficiaries from unfairly denied claims in such situations and benefits can still be recovered through the legal process.
Policy has Lapsed
Denied claims due to lapse are quite common and insurance companies often deny a claim even when a claim should be paid by citing unpaid premiums as a reason. As a beneficiary, you have the right to know whether the insurance company sent past-due notices to the appropriate address and whether the insured was clearly warned of the impending lapse.
There are many ways an insurance company can deny your claim. A denied life insurance claim does not mean that you are out of options. Let one of our attorneys at The Jeffcoat Firm assist you in the process and get you the insurance proceeds you deserve.
Additional Insurance Claims We Help With
Denied AD&D Claims
Accidental Death & Dismemberment insurance is not the same as life insurance. AD&D is supplemental coverage that can be purchased in addition to life insurance or as an option in a life insurance policy. AD&D does not automatically kick in whenever the covered party passes. Instead, it is triggered only when a death is the result of an accident. AD&D is meant to cover traumatic deaths such as truck accidents, car accidents, slip and fall accidents, defective product injuries, etc. Death by natural causes, for example, are excluded. Speak with a dedicated AD&D insurance lawyer to review your policy and your claim to determine whether your claim was denied in bad faith.
Denied ERISA Claim
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 also known as ERISA is a complicated and often unfair federal law that gives disability insurance companies an unfair advantage over their claimants. If you obtained either long- or short-term disability through your employer, it is governed by ERISA. ERISA denials are some of the toughest cases to navigate, and you shouldn’t handle it on your own. It is crucial to submit a great appeal once your disability has been denied. Let us help as soon as possible to avoid unnecessary hassle.
Denied Servicemember’s Group Life Insurance Claim
SGLI is a group life insurance for service members. SGLI is like term life insurance coverage that is purchase through employers or agents. It does differ from regular life insurance in that there are not many exclusions. Coverage is guaranteed instantly, and there are no application questions. Also, SGLI has no war-zone clause. The government may deny a SGLI claim based on the status of the Insured at the time of death.
Denied FEGLI Claim
FEGLI or Federal Employees Group Life Insurance is the largest group life program in the world. Most assume that it only covers federal employees, but it also covers retirees as well as their family members. Unlike regular life insurance, you must name a beneficiary to receive benefits. FEGLI claims tend to be complicated and it is unlikely that you are up to date on all of the Laws regarding FEGLI Claims. If you have an impending FEGLI claim, are dealing with a beneficiary dispute, or have had a FEGLI Claim Denial, contact us to for a free consultation.