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A Guide To COVID-19 & Life Insurance Payouts

If your loved one died of COVID-19, and you are the named beneficiary of his or her life insurance policy, read this guide for problems to look out for and how you can solve them and get paid.

If your life insurance is not paying out, contact us for your free, no-obligation consultation. We have gotten many beneficiaries paid when the insured died of COVID-19, and we can help you as well. And, we don’t get paid unless you do!

Are Life Insurance Companies Denying Payouts for Deaths Related to COVID-19?

Yes, unfortunately.

As a practical matter, know that insurance companies only make money for their shareholders when they don’t pay beneficiaries’ claims. For this reason, insurance companies will find any possible way to initially deny a claim, or delay payment on a claim.

Reports on social media have alerted us to the fact that the insurance companies are giving beneficiaries the runaround when it comes to COVID-19 deaths. Insurance companies have been employing the following tactics:

  • Requiring you to send and re-send paperwork, repeatedly;
  • Requiring you to send extra documentation;
  • Delaying responses to your inquiries;
  • Delaying payment on your claim.

Contact Boonswang Law any of this has happened or is happening to you. We can help you get your claim paid. And, if the delay in paying your claim was unreasonable, the insurance company may owe you interest! We can get that paid too.

Does Life Insurance Cover Death from the Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Yes. As of this writing, there is no pandemic exclusion on life insurance policies. That may change in the future, however, right now an insured is covered for death by COVID-19.

Problems arise in determining and then recording the cause of death, because COVID-19 affects individuals in different ways. The most straightforward way to list cause of death is “complications from COVID-19” but some coroners will specify the complication, such as:

  • Pneumonia
  • Respiratory failure
  • Multi-organ failure
  • Septic shock

If the death was COVID-19 related, review the death certificate and be sure that COVID-19 is cited. Why? So that the insurance company can’t claim that the cause of death was something other than COVID-19, and potentially deny your claim.

The Most Common Reasons Life Insurance Claims are Denied

Misrepresentation on the Application or Medical Questionnaire

If the insured failed to disclose any medical conditions or lifestyle habits that affect his or her ability to survive COVID-19, this provides a reason for the insurance company to deny your claim for death benefits.

For example, underlying conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and chronic lung disease render an insured more vulnerable to COVID-19. The insurance company can and will deny your claim, citing the cause of death as a non-disclosed condition and voiding the policy due to misrepresentation.

Smokers are also more vulnerable to COVID-19. If the insured failed to disclose that he or she smokes or used to smoke, the insurance company will use that to deny your claim.

Contestability Period

During the two-year period following the purchase of a life insurance policy, an insurance company can deny beneficiaries’ claims if the insured made even the simplest mistake on his or her initial application or medical questionnaire.

This means that even if the mistake had nothing to do with COVID-19, your claim can be denied on a technicality. Fortunately, where the mistake or error had nothing to do with the cause of death, we’ve been able to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company.

Call us if your claim was denied because the insured died during the contestability period and  allegedly “misrepresented” himself or herself on the initial application or medical questionnaire.

Common Examples of Mistakes on an Application that Result in Claim Denial

  • Wrong date of birth or age;
  • Failure to disclose past or present disease, illnesses, or conditions,
  • Failure to disclose past or present injuries, surgeries, or disabilities;
  • Failure to disclose past or present smoking, or alcohol or drug abuse;
  • Failure to disclose engaging in risky activities or hobbies;
  • Failure to disclose travel to a risky destination.

If you or someone you know is abusing alcohol or drugs 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.

Lapsed Policy Due to Nonpayment of Premiums

If the insured failed to pay premiums, the life insurance policy will lapse or terminate. An insurance company will deny a claim for death benefits on a lapsed or terminated policy. However, it is common for policies to lapse due to circumstances outside of the control of the insured, and we have gotten hundreds of claims paid in those instances.

For example, if an insured had group life insurance through an employer, and the employer allowed the policy to lapse or failed to provide the insured with the required paperwork to transfer the policy to an individual policy, we can get that claim paid.

If the insured was eligible for premium waiver due to disability and did not receive premium waiver, we can get that claim paid. If the insurance company failed to mail the required notices of lapse and termination to the insured, we can get that claim paid.

How Can a Life Insurance Lawyer Help?

With the legal team at Boonswang Law by your side, you can fight claim denial and you stand a great chance of getting paid. We know all of the insurance companies’ tricks and how to negotiate with them. Don’t give up! We know how to help.

First, gather your paperwork, such as your claim application, the death certificate, and any documents sent to you by the insurance company. Then schedule your free consultation, our skilled life insurance attorneys will review your case and discuss your options with you, at no cost to you. Let us help you get paid!

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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