Life & Accidental Death Insurance
About Claims for the Wrongful Denial of Life Insurance and Accidental Death Benefits
A life insurance or accidental death policy should provide financial security to the beneficiaries of the policy after the insured person dies. It is all too common, however, for insurance companies to wrongly deny a claim and refuse to pay out the policy benefits.
If your claim has been wrongly denied, it is important to have an experienced and knowledgeable attorney represent you in the appeal process and, if necessary, in court.
Insurance Claims Are Wrongfully Denied for Many Reasons
A family member’s claims for benefits under a loved one’s life insurance or accidental death policy can be denied by an insurance company for many reasons. Because insurance companies are primarily interested in maintaining their profits, they carefully review every claim to look for any colorable reason to either deny the claim, or delay payment of the benefits. Some of the most common reasons given by the insurers to deny claims include:
- Material misrepresentations or omissions. Sometimes a policy application will include inaccurate or missing information regarding a person’s medical history, employment history or income, or participation in a risky sport or hobby. The insurance company cannot use these mistakes to deny the claims unless the information at issue is “material”, that is, relevant and important to the insurance application.
- Missing or delayed premium payments. Missed or late premium payments are sometimes the fault of the insurance company, or the policy provides for exceptions or waivers of such problems.
- Alcohol or drug use. Often policies have exclusions for deaths related to alcohol or drug abuse, but the insurance companies must be able to establish that the death was the result of those problems.
- Suicide. Insurance companies may attempt to deny the payment of death benefits by arguing that an accidental death was intentional. Such arguments can often be overcome with the testimony of a well-qualified medical expert.
- Illegal activity. This is another potential loophole. And an insurance company may improperly deny a claim by arguing that a death occurred during an illegal activity, even when the activity (such as trespassing or boating without a license) had nothing to do with the death itself.
- Mistakes in the claim paperwork. Insurance companies set deadlines and requirements for filing Proof of Losses and other paperwork and will attempt to deny claims if innocent mistakes are made by family members who don’t have any experience submitting such documentation. Such denials are often improper and can be successfully reversed on appeal.
Menzer Law Can Help
We know how upsetting and frustrating it can be if your claim for insurance benefits following the death of a loved one is wrongfully denied or delayed. At Menzer Law, we know how to take on the insurance companies, expose their improper claim practices and obtain the full range of benefits that you and your family deserve.
Matt Menzer is an experienced and award-winning personal injury and insurance lawyer who is devoted to helping clients win their cases. For more than 25 years, Matt has been holding insurance companies accountable.
If you have any questions about your claim for life insurance or accidental death insurance benefits, please call us for a free consultation at 206-903-1818. If you prefer, you can complete our contact form, and our intake specialist will contact you shortly.