Year after year, you pay your life insurance benefits. Then it comes time to collect the life insurance, and your beneficiaries are told the company won’t pay.
Life insurance companies often look for excuses not to pay. At the Law Offices of Mark S. Guralnick, our mission is to stop them in their tracks!
Excuse #1. Failure to Disclose Medical Condition. The insurance company may accuse the policyholder of failing to disclose the entire truth about his or her health condition on the life insurance application. If the company finds that the policyholder failed to disclose a pre-existing medical condition, or any important aspect of his or her health history, the company may deny coverage.
This is often not fair. Insurance companies are quick to assume that people are aware of every aspect of their own health history prior to their death. A person may not have fully understood the extent of their condition, or their illness, at the time they completed the insurance application. In fact, the condition in question may not have had anything whatsoever to do with the cause of death. Our law firm fully researches the circumstances, gathers the supporting documentation and fights to prove that there was no misrepresentation on the insurance application.
Excuse #2. Failure to Pay Premium. The insurance company may attempt to claim that the insurance was cancelled due to a lapse in payment. Sometimes this is legitimate if the policyholder simply abandoned the policy and stopped making premium payments. On other occasions, however, this may be a slippery tactic by the insurance company to avoid paying the death benefit.
The Law Offices of Mark S. Guralnick won’t let the insurance company off the hook easily. If they claim that the policyholder’s payments lapsed, where were the notices of lapse sent? Were they sent on a timely basis to a proper address? Was a payment actually sent? If the policy provided for premium-due notices to be sent to a second person, were they, in fact, sent to that person on a time basis and to the proper address? Was there a payment mailing, posting or processing error? Was payment made to an insurance agent or broker who did not transmit it to the company? Did the company have a history of accepting late payments in the past? Was there a grace period, and if so, what was it? Did the life insurance policy permit unpaid premiums to be funded by borrowing against itself? Was there any disability waiver of premium provision available that would excuse payment?
Excuses #3 through #21. Insurance companies have many other reasons why they may attempt to delay or completely deny the payment of a life insurance claim. Some of these excuses relate to the accuracy of the information on the insurance application. Other excuses relate to the nature of the death of the policyholder. Here is a list of some of those other excuses:
Incorrect age listed on application
- Incorrect weight listed on application
- Incomplete or unsigned application
- Inaccurate answers provided during two-year contestability period
- Misrepresentation about smoking habit
- Exclusion based on living abroad
- Death caused by suicide or self-inflicted injuries
- Death resulting from alcohol misuse or while driving under the influence
- Death resulting from unlawful drug use
- Death resulting from dangerous activities (such as hang-gliding, auto racing).
- Death resulting from a private plane crash
- Death resulting as a result of war
- Death resulting from gross negligence or recklessness
- Death caused by committing or attempting to commit a felony or other criminal activity
- Multiple beneficiaries seeking life insurance proceeds
- Last minute change to beneficiary prior to policy holder’s death
- Criminal history revealed or concealed
- Lack of cooperation or documentation by employer
- Lack of payment of premiums by employer
Insurance companies may attempt to assert any one of these reasons to deny a claim. In fact, if a claim has been delayed for an unreasonable period of time, it may be heading toward a denial. You should immediately contact an attorney to intervene on your behalf. The Law Offices of Mark S. Guralnick is ready, willing and able to step up to the plate. Contact us at 1-866-337-2900.