Life Insurers Ponder How to Underwrite COVID-19 Survivors
Life Insurers Ponder How to Underwrite COVID-19 Survivors
At the DiGeorge Life Insurance Law Firm (www.digeorgelifeinsurancelaw.com), we see all kinds of interesting cases from every state in the country. The first step to winning a denied life insurance claim is to hire the right law firm so do your research. Bigger does not mean better. There are some giant law firms that have lots of commercials on TV and who everyone has heard of. That doesn’t mean they are better at winning denied life claims. Think of two fishing boats. One boat is a beautiful sport fishing yacht and game fish are line hooked and reeled-in, one at a time. The other fishing boat is a giant trawler that lays out miles of net. It scours everything from the ocean keeping a few and discarding the rest. Now imagine that those big firms are like that factory fishing boat. Chances are good that unless your case is a lay-up, they are going to throw it back into the ocean. They keep the easy cases and discard the rest. Find a firm that knows how to win the hard ones! The DiGeorge Firm wins the tough ones. We win cases that have been denied multiple times including cases denied again in the hands of other law firms. When the life insurance companies see an appeal come in on DiGeorge Life Insurance Law letterhead they know we aren’t just throwing mud at the wall. Contact us anytime, day or night for a completely free consultation. Remember, we don’t get a penny unless we win.
It hurts our hearts every time a client calls who has lost a loved one to fentanyl. When it comes to destroying lives and families, fentanyl ranks at the top. Fentanyl is 25 to 50 times stronger than heroin. Black market fentanyl from China and Mexico is cheap and widely available. Narcotics dealers add fentanyl to almost everything they sell. A shocking percentage of our denied life insurance calls are fentanyl related overdoses. Even though the death certificate typically states that the cause of death was an “accidental overdose”, these life insurance claims are initially denied. Many of these initial denials can be reversed when appealed by an experienced life insurance firm. How To Win A Denied Life Insurance Claim
Hidden underneath the huge numbers of fentanyl related cases is a subset of cases where the fentanyl was given to someone intentionally. These people never had an intent to take any drug. The fentanyl was given to kill them. Fentanyl is a very inexpensive and easy way to kill someone without drawing unwanted attention. The bad people in this world already know that the police don’t have the resources to investigate drug overdose cases. When it comes to fentanyl deaths, there’s a built-in prejudice, if not an actual presumption, that the victim knowingly took fentanyl. In many cases, however, the victims were told that the fentanyl was another drug such as ecstasy (MDNA), cocaine or oxycodone. In the western United States, especially in California and Arizona, everyone has heard of “Mexican Oxy”. People think they are taking a real Oxycodone tablet, but it is a fentanyl knock-off. These unsuspecting victims fall asleep and die. In this post, however, I am referring specifically to those persons who were murdered with fentanyl. No accident involved. Straight up intentional murder. Denied Accidental Death Claims
With a fentanyl overdose there’s literally no smoking gun. There is typically just a 911 call reporting that someone is unconscious. There’s no 911 call with someone screaming “shots fired” or yelling “send the police”. There’s never any sign of a struggle or violence. We are seeing cases where the victim was actually targeted, lured and poisoned with the intent to murder them. Auto theft rings and many others are using fentanyl instead of guns. For every murder you hear about on the news involving a gun, I suspect there are at least as many more unreported murders committed using fentanyl. Fentanyl it seems is becoming America’s murder weapon of choice. The people who die from fentanyl will never be on the news and virtually none of the fentanyl overdose deaths will ever be investigated. We closely investigate these cases and sometimes it isn’t an accidental overdose. It’s murder. If you have had a loved one who died from fentanyl and your claim has been denied, don’t hesitate to call or send us an email today.
How To Win A Denied Life Insurance Claim It is estimated that at least two thirds of all life insurance is never paid to the policy beneficiary. So chances are pretty good that if you are reading this Blog Post that you are among the approximately 70% of life insurance beneficiaries who have received a denial letter from their life insurance company. The Application For Insurance is the first place the insurance company will look to escape its responsibility to pay the policy’s death benefits. Usually they zero in on the answers to one of the medical questions. They will obtain your loved one’s medical records and comb through them looking for any possible discrepancies. Some common “easy outs” include items like an entry for COPD or evidence of obesity or any prior drug or alcohol treatment. The first thing to know is that even after getting a denial for an inaccurate answer on the application, these are often winnable cases. These cases are very fact specific and require the skill of an experienced life insurance attorney. If you’ve been denied there’s no downside to letting an experienced life insurance attorney review your case. Feel free to contact the Life Insurance Recovery Team at DiGeorge Law www.digeorgelifeinsurancelaw.com
DiGeorge Life Insurance Law (www.DiGeorgeLifeInsuranceLaw.com) has successfully handled cases where our client had initially used another law firm to fight a denied life insurance claim only for their firm to also be denied. If their attorney is not able to get a policy paid, most people give up and stop pursuing the claim. Although it can be disheartening to receive repeated denials on a life insurance policy that should be paid, persistence often does pay off. There are many cases where getting a second opinion is the first step in getting a denial overturned.
In reviewing cases where another law firm had been hired by the client, we often see that the first attorney framed their legal argument incorrectly or failed to draw the correct inferences from subtle bits of information. In demanding that the policy be paid they did not put forth a winning “theory of recovery”. Establishing the correct theory of recovery is everything when it comes to getting a life policy paid. Obviously there are many life insurance claims that are rightfully denied. This blog, however, is referring specifically to those clients that have legitimate claims, but are still unable to get the policy paid. These clients have good cases; and, as the beneficiary, they are entitled to the policy being paid. Nevertheless, for any of a thousand possible reasons, the life insurance company is refusing to pay.
Establishing a winning theory of recovery means leaving the life insurance company no wiggle room to avoid its contractual liability to pay the claim. On the other hand, demanding payment based upon the wrong theory of recovery almost always guarantees a denial. In fact, insurance company claim agents are thrilled when the client or their attorney asserts the wrong theory of recovery because they will respond to the argument that’s put forth and avoid addressing the circumstances that would establish their legal liability to pay. If you, or your attorney, do not clearly establish the insurance company’s legal liability to pay the claim, the life insurance company is not going to do it for you.
Many life insurance cases turn on key dates. Did a policy lapse for nonpayment? Was a lapse notice sent? Was a payment or partial payment made and accepted before the grace period expired? When did the grace period expire? We recently saw a case where there was a pending lapse for nonpayment and then a payment was made and accepted by the insurance company. Based on the facts of the case, there were two potential dates that could have been argued as being the expiration date of the grace period. The attorney involved wrote a letter demanding payment from the insurance company, but instead of framing his legal argument on one of the two possible dates, he picked a third date as the expiration of the grace period. Unfortunately, there was no way this third date could have been legally correct and the insurance company promptly sent the lawyer another denial on a case that should have been paid.
When someone becomes aware that they are the beneficiary of a life insurance policy, they usually try to file the claim directly with the life insurance company. It seems simple enough, but it is amazing how many things can and do go wrong as the insurance company examines every possible way out of the contract. An alarming number of completely legitimate life insurance policies are never paid out. Good data is hard to find, but it is believed that the majority of term life policies are never paid. It’s not difficult to understand that the life insurance companies will look for every possible opportunity to avoid paying out the policy.
If you run into trouble getting a claim paid, discuss your situation with an attorney who understands the nuances of life insurance practice. Even a good attorney can easily get tripped up if they don’t have significant experience looking at these cases. If you used an attorney who was unsuccessful, we recommend that you let another lawyer review your file. It can’t hurt to get a second opinion. It is possible that you really did have a good case, but the theory of recovery was wrong.