Are You The Beneficiary of a Life Insurance Policy?
Did your mother or father…or your husband or wife name you as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy? Our loved ones make us the beneficiary of their life insurance to help protect us financially when they die. It is a great comfort for someone to know that they are leaving behind some financial protection.
Unfortunately, life insurance companies have different plans for your money. Once a death claim is filed, life insurance companies will do everything possible to avoid paying the claim. We all understand that life insurance companies make money by collecting premiums and they lose money each time they have to pay out a death claim.
Was Your Life Insurance Claim Denied?
Here’s where things get interesting. How do life insurance companies decide which claims will be paid and which claims will be denied? It’s supposed to be a matter of contract law. Yet, surprisingly, claim denials often have little to do with the underlying contractual liability. In many cases, a life insurance company decides which claims gets paid the same way a mugger in the subway decides who to mug.
If someone looks like they will fight back, then the mugger moves on to someone less likely to fight back. Life insurance companies often do the same thing. You are far more likely to have your life insurance claim be denied if the life insurance company thinks you won’t fight back. To a life insurance company, fighting back means hiring a lawyer.
Life Insurance Denials Are Not Random
The poorer you are, the smaller your policy, the more rural your zip code, your ethnicity, your socio-economic status, age, education, etc. all play a role. Most life insurance companies systematically deny death claims that they know should be paid. Their denial letter is usually preceded by a long delay as the insurance company reviews your claim or gathers more information. They are testing you and they are setting you up for a denial. If your claim isn’t paid within a few weeks, call a lawyer before you get the denial. Life insurance companies use all sorts of smoke and mirrors to convince beneficiaries that policy coverage is no longer in effect and therefore they owe you nothing.
Maybe they explain that there was misrepresentation on the application for insurance. For any contestable policy less than two years old this is the standard response. They will claim that there was false information provided regarding a health question for example. Very often, they flat out make it up. Without the aid of a lawyer, beneficiaries have no way to prove otherwise so they give up and walk away without collecting on a perfectly valid death claim. If a lawyer obtains the insurance company’s files, they often find that there was never any misrepresentation and they are able to get the denial reversed. It’s estimated that more than 90% of all beneficiaries whose death claims are denied simply give up without ever contacting a lawyer. Most beneficiaries think they can’t afford to hire a lawyer; but lawyers will take life insurance cases on a contingency basis so the beneficiary never pays anything unless the lawyer is successful.
When it comes to accidental death and dismemberment claims, insurance companies will often use their own medical experts to dispute the accidental cause of death. The insurance company will claim that the deceased actually died of natural causes rather than as the result of an accident. We see these kinds of shenanigans every day.
Claim Denials Unfairly Target Certain Beneficiaries
The bottom line is that life insurance companies treat some of their customers differently than others. Life insurance companies are trying to deny as many claims as possible and they tend to hand out the majority of those denials to beneficiaries who are least likely to hire a lawyer. It is particularly easy for life insurance companies to deny smaller policies because most life insurance lawyers can’t afford to accept very small cases on a contingency. The beneficiaries eventually give up and the life insurance company avoids paying a completely legitimate claim.
Here’s the good news. If you are the beneficiary of a denied life insurance claim, there’s a good chance that you can still get your claim paid, but you must contact an experienced life insurance lawyer to help you.
The life insurance policy lawyers at DiGeorge Life Insurance Law are nationally known for our skillful and aggressive representation of our beneficiary clients. The life insurance companies certainly know who we are. We only handle life insurance cases and we are highly experienced with every cause of death or scenario leading to a denial. Life insurance denials fit patterns that an experienced life insurance lawyer can immediately recognize and dismantle. So, if you have been denied a life insurance claim, don’t just walk away. You can get that denial reversed. Remember, you don’t pay the lawyer anything unless the lawyer is able to get your death claim paid. The life insurance policy lawyers at DiGeorge Law are available to you 24/7. Let us know how we can help.