Life Insurance Claim Denied Due to Alcohol Consumption?

Can the life insurance company deny your claim because the insured used alcohol? The short answer is yes, claims for death benefits are frequently denied unfairly when alcohol is involved.

Was your claim for death benefits denied because the insured used alcohol? Was the insured’s death from complications from alcohol abuse? Was the insured intoxicated when they died, but their death had nothing to do with alcohol use or abuse?

In many cases where the life insurance company denied beneficiaries’ claims due to the insured’s alcohol use, we can help you get your claim paid by appealing the life insurance claim denial. Let the experienced life insurance beneficiary attorneys at Boonswang Law fight for you. There is no cost unless we win.

If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol abuse, call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) hotline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) for free and confidential help, 24 hours a day.

Why Insurance Companies Routinely Deny Life Insurance Claims Due to Alcohol Consumption.

Insurance companies make money for their shareholders when they deny life insurance claims. For this reason, they will grasp at any reason, however unlikely, to deny your claim initially.

Does Alcohol Affect Life Insurance?

Yes, alcohol consumption can affect whether a life insurance policy is paid, or whether an applicant for insurance can get coverage.

If an insured discloses on their initial application for life insurance that they use alcohol, the insurance adjuster will take that into consideration when writing the policy. Life insurance companies often justify their life insurance claim denials by arguing that alcohol use can affect the amount in premiums an insured will pay, and may even result in denial of their application.

Will Life Insurance Pay Out for an Alcohol-Related Death?

In some cases, life insurance will pay out after the death of an insured who suffered from alcoholism. If the insured died of causes wholly unrelated to alcohol use or abuse, it is often possible for an attorney to get that life insurance claim paid.

What Can Be the Reasons for Rejection of a Death Claim Due to Alcohol?

Here are the types of death not covered by life insurance when alcohol is involved:

The Policy has an Alcohol Intoxication Exclusion

In about half of all states in the U.S., life insurance companies are permitted to add an exclusion to policies to exclude deaths directly or indirectly related to alcohol use from coverage. If the insured is intoxicated and dies for any reason, the insurance company will deny your claim under this exclusion.

Misrepresentation on the Initial Application and Medical Questionnaire

If the insured omits mention of alcohol use, or fails to disclose past or current alcoholism, and the death of the insured was in any way related to alcohol use, the insurer will likely deny your life insurance claim for death benefits because of alleged misrepresentation on the part of the insured.

We can sometimes resolve these claims for the amount of the death benefit minus the amount the insured would have paid in premiums had the underwriter known that the insured used alcohol.

The Insured Died During the Contestability Period

If the insured dies within two years of purchasing the policy, the insurer will grasp at any reason to deny your life insurance claim, even if that reason has absolutely nothing to do with the cause of death.

For example, if the insured failed to disclose that they used alcohol socially, and then dies of something having nothing to do with alcohol use, such as mesothelioma, the insurer may allege that the insured misrepresented himself and deny your life insurance claim.

We are frequently able to get these claims paid, especially if the death was unrelated to alcohol use or abuse.

The Insured Died While Doing Something Illegal

If the insured died while doing something illegal – for example, drinking and driving – the insurer will deny your life insurance claim under the illegal act exclusion. If the insured had a few drinks at a friend’s dinner party, mistakenly trespassed on a neighbor’s yard on the way home, and was struck by a falling branch and killed, the insurer may use the few drinks to deny your life insurance claim.

Let the Life Insurance Beneficiary Attorneys at Boonswang Law Fight for You!

If your claim has been denied for an alcohol-related reason, do not give up! There are many circumstances under which we can get that claim paid or even negotiate a settlement for you.  Keep in mind that we take cases on a contingency basis, meaning that we do not get paid unless we win. Contact us for your free, no-obligation consultation. Let us help you fight the life insurance company.

Written By: Chad Boonswang
Chad G. Boonswang, Esquire is a litigation lawyer based in Philadelphia, PA. Selected as an ASLA 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 Top 100 Litigation Lawyer, Mr. Boonswang plays to win. As a lawyer, athlete, and scholar, he has always put in the energy, time, and commitment to be the best. After working for several prominent law firms in Philadelphia, including Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads LLP, he founded his own practice in 2002.  Since then Chad has recovered tens of millions of dollars on behalf of his clients from life insurance claims and catastrophic injury cases.  Year after year, he has earned a 10.00 Superb rating on Avvo.

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