Trust Boonswang Law’s Team of Skilled Iowa Life Insurance Lawyers to Fight For You
Discuss Your Life Insurance Claim with a Life Insurance Lawyer in Iowa
Our IA life insurance lawyers have decades of experience fighting for the life insurance benefits of Iowa beneficiaries.
You would think life insurance works this way–your loved one purchased a life insurance policy to ensure your financial well-being, they died within the policy term, and you automatically receive the death benefits.
It is rarely that simple for a life insurance beneficiary to get the life insurance benefits the policyholder intended. Just like any other business, life insurance companies are motivated to make money for their shareholders and are driven by their bottom line. When they collect premium payments and delay or deny claims for death benefits, they are more profitable. For this reason, they often initially deny or delay payment on valid life insurance claims.
Was your life insurance claim denied? Is payment on your claim being delayed? The IA life insurance lawyers at Boonswang Law can help you fight back. Call us to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation. We look forward to discussing your claim with you.
Our IA Life Insurance Lawyers Have Helped Beneficiaries from these Iowa Cities and the Surrounding Areas:
- Des Moines
- Cedar Rapids
- Sioux City
- Iowa City
- Council Bluffs
- Cedar Falls
- Mason City
The Top Four Reasons Life Insurance Claims are Denied in Iowa
Life insurance companies will almost always delay payment on claims for death benefits when a policyholder dies overseas either because of a delay in receiving the death certificate, or because a foreign death certificate contains insufficient information regarding the policyholder’s death.
If the life insurance company is delaying payment on your life insurance claim for this reason, contact us. We can help–and the life insurance company may owe you interest!
Nonpayment of Premiums
Life insurance companies provide coverage in exchange for policyholders’ premium payments. If a policyholder fails to pay premiums as they come due, life insurance coverage may lapse and terminate. Subsequent beneficiaries’ claims will be denied.
You might think that you have no chance to get paid if coverage is not in effect, however, this is not necessarily true. Every state regulates the termination of life insurance coverage, and often life insurance companies and employers who provide group life insurance coverage to employees fail to follow those regulations, resulting in nonpayment of premiums that is not the fault of the policyholder.
If your claim was denied due to a lapse in coverage, we can investigate further and may be able to get you paid. Call us to discuss your claim.
Death Due to Self-Inflicted Injuries
“Exclusions” are causes of death that are not covered under a life insurance policy, and they will be listed in the policy itself. For example, suicide and death due to terrorism or acts of war are common exclusions in life insurance policies.
If there is even a remote possibility an exclusion can apply to a policyholder’s death the life insurance company will try to use it to deny your claim. In these cases, we investigate and can often show that the exclusion does not apply, and we get our beneficiary clients paid.
Policyholders who are at greater risk of dying during the policy term pay higher premiums than those who are at less risk. The life insurance company calculates that risk by considering a policyholder’s age, weight, occupation, health and medical conditions, and lifestyle habits like drinking alcohol or smoking.
If a policyholder omits information or makes a mistake on the initial application for life insurance or the medical questionnaire, the life insurance company may allege that the policyholder misrepresented themselves in order to get a lower premium payment and then deny your claim.
Call us if your claim was denied due to misrepresentation. In many cases, we can settle with the insurance company for an amount that is the death benefit minus what the policyholder would have paid in premiums had the mistake or omission not occurred.
READY TO TALK TO AN ATTORNEY ABOUT YOUR LIFE INSURANCE BENEFITS?
What to Expect From Boonswang Law’s Experienced Iowa Life Insurance Lawyers
You probably have never worked with a life insurance attorneys before. Here’s what we do for our beneficiary clients, among other things:
- We will review the policy terms and provisions to determine coverage and exclusions, and explain these to you
- We will review the denial letter and any other correspondence from the life insurance company
- We will thoroughly investigate claims made by the life insurance company in order to refute those claims
- We will negotiate with the life insurance company’s lawyers to get you a payout
- We will vigorously litigate your claim in court when the life insurance company refuses to settle
To protect their bottom line, life insurance companies employ a team of experts, consultants, and lawyers looking for ways to delay payment of claims or deny claims outright. In other words, the interests of the life insurance company are at odds with yours and with the policyholder’s.
Shouldn’t you have a team fighting for you, too? You can count on the Iowa life insurance lawyers at Boonswang Law to fight the life insurance company and get you the death benefits you were meant to receive if at all possible.
IA Life Insurance FAQ
WHO IS AUTHORIZED TO CHANGE A LIFE INSURANCE BENEFICIARY DESIGNATION?
Only the policyholder, and only while they are of sound mind.
THE BENEFICIARY DESIGNATION WAS CHANGED JUST BEFORE THE POLICYHOLDER’S DEATH, WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT IT?
You can contest the change if you are the former beneficiary and you suspect a beneficiary change was made fraudulently or under duress. Fraud cases are very difficult to prove, so be sure to contact an experienced life insurance beneficiary attorney for help litigating this.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A MINOR IS DESIGNATED THE LIFE INSURANCE BENEFICIARY?
Unfortunately, a minor cannot directly receive life insurance death benefits and the insurance agent should have advised the policyholder of this. If a minor is a life insurance beneficiary, usually a court appoints a conservator to administer the funds on their behalf. Unfortunately, there is little to prevent a conservator from using the funds for their own benefit.
If a policyholder wants a minor to receive the death benefit, they might create a trust with the minor as beneficiary of the trust, and name the trust as beneficiary of the life insurance policy. This way, they can select someone they know is reliable to act as trustee and fiduciary of the minor.
CAN A BENEFICIARY DESIGNATION BE CHANGED AFTER THE POLICYHOLDER DIES?
Never! If the beneficiary designation was changed after the date of the policyholder’s death, that change was fraudulent. Contact an experienced life insurance beneficiary attorney immediately.
THE BENEFICIARY DIED BEFORE THE POLICYHOLDER, WHO GETS THE PAYOUT?
If the primary beneficiary died before the policyholder, the life insurance company will pay the death benefit to the secondary beneficiary or the contingent beneficiary. If the policyholder did not designate secondary or contingent beneficiaries, the death benefit can be paid to the policyholder’s estate. Unfortunately, this means that the death benefit will be subject to the claims of the policyholder’s creditors.
To avoid this and make sure that the entire amount of the death benefit goes to the intended person or people, a policyholder should keep their beneficiary designation up to date.
WHEN SHOULD A SPOUSE OR EX-SPOUSE CONTEST A LIFE INSURANCE BENEFICIARY DESIGNATION?
If they were supposed to be the named beneficiary for any reason, or if they are the irrevocable beneficiary, and someone else was named instead, they should file a beneficiary contest. Contact us if you were supposed to be a beneficiary on a life insurance policy–we can help you.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY LIFE INSURANCE CLAIM WAS DENIED?
You should contest that denial, because life insurance companies frequently deny valid claims initially hoping you will not pursue the matter further. When you receive the denial letter you should also receive documents explaining how to contest the denial with the life insurance company.
Call us if you need to contest denial of your life insurance claim–we can help you fight back.
I AM THE BENEFICIARY OF A LAPSED LIFE INSURANCE POLICY, CAN I STILL GET A PAYOUT?
Possibly. If the lapse was not the fault of the policyholder, it is possible to still get a payout. For example, an employer failed to give the policyholder conversion papers or improperly administered the policy, or the life insurance company cannot prove that they sent the policyholder any of the lapse notices that are required under the law.
Our IA life insurance lawyers can help you if your life insurance claim was denied due to lapse. We will investigate and get you paid if at all possible.
HOW CAN I FIND OUT WHETHER SOMEONE I KNOW HAD LIFE INSURANCE?
Unfortunately, there is no list or database of all life insurance policyholders. If you suspect someone had a life insurance policy but don’t know for sure, you will have to dig around for evidence.
Search the contents of a safe-deposit box and the policyholder’s desk drawers for policy documents. Look through the policyholder’s recent mail for premium notices. Examine bank account statements for evidence of premium payments.
HOW LONG SHOULD IT TAKE TO GET A LIFE INSURANCE PAYOUT AFTER I SUBMIT MY CLAIM?
In Iowa, a life insurance company will pay the beneficiary within 14-60 days of the claim being submitted.
If this time has passed and your claim has not been paid yet, contact us. When a life insurance company unreasonably delays payment on a life insurance claim, they may owe you interest on the death benefit.
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY DOES NOT PAY WITHIN 60 DAYS OF MY CLAIM BEING FILED?
If the delay is unreasonable, meaning, the life insurance company had no valid reason for waiting to pay your claim, you may be entitled to interest on the death benefit. Call us to discuss your case.