If you are the beneficiary of a life insurance policy, and your life insurance claim was denied in COVID-related death, don’t take no for an answer. The life insurance attorneys at Boonswang Law have helped thousands of beneficiaries fight insurance companies. Let us help you get paid the money you are owed!

Life Insurance Companies Have No Incentive to Pay You—Even If COVID-19 Was the Cause of Death.

Life insurance is supposed to work like this:

  1. The insured fills out an application and medical questionnaire.
  2. The insurance company writes a policy for the insured that specifies the term of coverage and the coverage amount.
  3. The insured pays life insurance premiums as they come due.
  4. The insured dies within the policy term.
  5. The insurance company pays the death benefit to the named beneficiary or beneficiaries.

However, life insurance companies only make money for their shareholders when they don’t pay beneficiaries’ claims for death benefits. For this reason, insurance companies will find any possible way to deny a claim or delay payment on a claim.

Unfortunately, life insurance companies are now denying and delaying payouts on life insurance claims when the insured died from the coronavirus (COVID -19). Social media is rife with stories about insurance companies::

  • Requiring beneficiaries to send and resend paperwork;
  • Requiring beneficiaries to send extra documentation;
  • Delaying payout because the death is being investigated;
  • Delaying responses to beneficiaries’ inquiries.

Contact Boonswang Law if the life insurance company is treating you this way, or if your claim is in any other way being delayed, or if your claim was denied. Not only can we help you get your life insurance claim paid, but we can also force the insurance company to pay you interest on the death benefits if the delay in paying your claim was unreasonable.

Should Life Insurance Pay When the Insured Dies from the Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Yes. COVID life insurance coverage should not be in question. While newly-written policies may have a pandemic exclusion, there was no life insurance exclusion for COVID in the first nine months of 2020, during which, presumably, the insured died.

However, life insurance companies are taking advantage of the medical community’s relative ignorance regarding coronavirus and alleging that the insured’s cause of death was an undisclosed pre-existing condition or an undisclosed lifestyle habit. Life insurance companies will also take any opportunity to deny a claim during the first two years of a policy, called the contestability period, if there were any mistakes or omissions on the insured’s application or medical questionnaire.

Insurance companies will also delay payment on a claim if they have to investigate the cause of death. While some coroners will record the cause of death as “complications from COVID-19,” others will specify the particular complication, such as pneumonia, respiratory failure, multi-organ failure, or septic shock.

If the insurance company is delaying payment on your COVID life insurance claim, be sure to review the death certificate and confirm that COVID-19 is cited as the cause of death. Why? So that the insurance company can’t deny your claim alleging that the cause of death was something other than COVID-19.

The Reasons Life Insurance Claims Are Denied for COVID

Claim Denied Due to Alleged Misrepresentation by the Insured Who Had Covid

If the insured omitted or lied about having a medical condition or lifestyle habit that could affect the insured’s ability to survive contracting the coronavirus, the insurance company will seize on this as a reason to deny your claim.

Underlying conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and chronic lung disease render someone more vulnerable to COVID-19. Smokers are also more vulnerable to COVID-19.

If the insured did not disclose something on their initial application or medical questionnaire, the insurance company will allege that the death was due to a non-disclosed condition or habit and can and will deny your claim.

Claim Denied Because the Insured Died From Coronavirus During the Life Insurance Contestability Period

During the two-year period following the purchase of a life insurance policy, the insurance company will deny a claim for death benefits if the insured made even a small mistake on their initial application or medical questionnaire. Your claim will likely be denied even if the cause of death had nothing to do with the mistake.

Common errors or omissions that the insurance company will claim is misrepresentation include:

  • 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 current smoking, or alcohol or drug abuse;
  • Failure to disclose engaging in risky activities or hobbies;
  • Failure to disclose travel to a high-risk 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.

This means that even if the insured’s alleged misrepresentation had nothing to do with COVID-19, your claim will be denied on a technicality during the contestability period. Fortunately, in many instances where the mistake had nothing to do with the insured’s cause of death, we’ve been able to litigate a full payout or settlement with the insurance company.

Call us if your claim was denied due to alleged misrepresentation, and the insured had the coronavirus. Let us help you fight back and get paid.

Claim Denied Because the Insured Died of Coronavirus After the Policy Lapsed Due to Nonpayment of Premiums

An insurance company is required to pay death benefits to the beneficiaries if the insured dies within the policy term and has paid all of their premium payments. If the insured does not pay premiums when due, their life insurance policy lapses or terminates. An insurance company will deny a claim for death benefits on a lapsed or terminated policy.

It is very common for policies to lapse due to circumstances outside the insured’s control. We have gotten thousands of claims paid in those instances.

For example, if an insured was hospitalized and did not receive the required lapse notices from the insurance company, we have litigated those cases and gotten the claim paid. 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 to an individual policy, we can get that claim paid. If the insurance company or employer failed to send the notices required by state statute, we can get that claim paid. If the insured was disabled and eligible for a premium waiver, but did not receive a premium waiver and the policy lapsed due to non-payment, we can get that claim paid.

Did the insured die from COVID-19, and your claim was denied because the policy lapsed? Call us. We can determine whether the lapse was the insured’s fault, or the fault of the insurer.

The Life Insurance Beneficiary Lawyers at Boonswang Law Can Help You with Life Insurance COVID Claims.

If your claim is delayed or has been denied, do not give up! We know all of the insurance companies’ tricks and how to fight them. Gather the paperwork you’ve received, your claim application, the insured’s death certificate, and schedule your free case evaluation. We can get claims paid when the insured died after having contracted the coronavirus. Our experienced life insurance attorneys will review your case and discuss your options with you at no cost. Let us help you fight the 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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