Our life insurance lawyers serving ID have decades of experience fighting for the rights of life insurance beneficiaries.
When a policyholder purchases life insurance, their goal is to ensure the financial well-being of their dependents or other loved ones in the event of the policyholder’s death. You would think the process is simple–the policyholder purchases life insurance, pays premiums, and if they die within the policy term their beneficiaries receive the death benefit.
Unfortunately, the process rarely goes that smoothly. Many beneficiaries find the claims process to be confusing, or even worse, figure out how to file their claim only to learn that the life insurance company denied their payout.
Life insurance attorneys fight the insurance companies to get beneficiaries the benefits they deserve.
THE ID LIFE INSURANCE LAWYERS AT BOONSWANG LAW HAVE HELPED BENEFICIARIES IN THESE CITIES AMONG OTHERS:
COMMON REASONS LIFE INSURANCE COMPANIES DENY CLAIMS IN IDAHO
Lapse in Coverage Due to Nonpayment of Premiums
To maintain life insurance coverage, a policyholder must pay premiums as they come due. If the premiums are not paid, coverage may lapse, resulting in denials on subsequent claims for death benefits.
You might think that is the end of the story, but often, nonpayment is not the fault of the policyholder and the beneficiaries can still get a payout. For example, a beneficiary can still get paid when the lapse was due to the policyholder failing to obtain a disability waiver of premiums, or when the life insurance company failed to send the legally required notices of pending lapse.
If your life insurance claim is denied due to lapse, contact an ID life insurance lawyer at Boonswang Law to discuss your situation. You may still get your payout.
Death from Self-Inflicted Injuries or Other Exclusion
All life insurance policies include a list of causes of death excluded from coverage, and these vary amongst insurers and individual policies. For example, most policies exclude coverage of death as a result of self-inflicted injuries.
The problem is, that insurance companies have a reputation for attempting to wrongfully classify someone’s death as self-inflicted to avoid paying beneficiaries’ claims. Call us if the life insurance company is alleging that the policyholder died from self-inflicted injuries. We have gotten many beneficiaries paid after we investigated and found that death was not self-inflicted.
Misinterpreting the Policy Terms
In some cases, insurance companies will misinterpret provisions of the policy itself in an attempt to deny a life insurance claim. In these instances, it is essential to hire an ID life insurance attorney to protect your interests. We know their tricks–don’t take no for an answer! Call us for help.
Retroactive Cancellation for Misrepresentation
Premiums are calculated based on the risk that the policyholder may die within the policy term. Insurance companies use the information the policyholder discloses on their initial application and medical questionnaire to determine that risk.
If the policyholder made a mistake or failed to disclose information on their initial application for life insurance, the life insurance company may allege that the policyholder misrepresented themselves to get a lower premium. In misrepresentation cases, the life insurance company is permitted to retroactively cancel the policy, and they will deny beneficiaries’ claims.
Boonswang Law has decades of experience with misrepresentation cases and can often show that the error was an innocent mistake, or that it had nothing to do with the policyholder’s death, or that the policyholder had no knowledge of the missing fact when applying for life insurance. We have often gotten our clients paid when their claims were initially denied due to alleged misrepresentation.
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT WHEN YOU CHOOSE US TO FIGHT FOR YOU
We know it is likely that you have never worked with a life insurance lawyer and that you may not know what to expect. There are several benefits to working with a life insurance lawyer instead of trying to handle issues with a life insurance claim on your own. Below are some ways we can assist you:
- We thoroughly review the terms of the applicable policy
- We thoroughly review denial letters and any other documentation you’ve received from the insurance company to determine why they denied or delayed your claim
- We investigate allegations made by the insurance company in their attempt to deny your claim
- We handle all negotiations with the life insurance company’s team of lawyers
- We vigorously litigate your claim in court if necessary
FREQUENTLY ASKED ALASKA LIFE INSURANCE QUESTIONS
HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO FILE A LIFE INSURANCE CLAIM?
There is no time limit to file a life insurance claim under Idaho law.
WHO IS AUTHORIZED TO CHANGE A LIFE INSURANCE BENEFICIARY DESIGNATION?
Only the policyholder can legally change the beneficiary designation on a life insurance policy. In rare instances, a person who has power of attorney over the policyholder may make changes to the policy.
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE BENEFICIARY DIES BEFORE THE POLICYHOLDER?
If a policyholder did not designate a secondary or contingent beneficiary, the benefits may pay to the policyholder’s estate. In that case, the death benefit will be subject to the claims of the policyholder’s creditors rather than passed to the beneficiary in its entirety.
To avoid this and make sure the intended beneficiaries receive the full amount of the death benefit, it is important for policyholders to keep their primary beneficiary designation updated and provide for secondary or contingent beneficiaries.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A MINOR IS THE DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY?
The courts will usually choose a custodian to administer the death benefits if the beneficiary is a minor when the policyholder dies. Unfortunately, nothing can really be done to stop the custodian from making personal use of the death benefits.
A policyholder wishing a minor to receive the death benefits can avoid this by creating a trust, designating the minor as the beneficiary of the trust, and designating the trust as beneficiary of the life insurance policy. We suggest hiring an estate planning attorney to help you understand the legalities of setting up a trust.
HOW DO I FIND OUT IF A LOVED ONE HAD A LIFE INSURANCE POLICY?
Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to this question because there is no nationwide database listing every person who has purchased a life insurance policy. You will have to snoop around to find evidence of a policy in place.
There are a few things you can try. Contact the policyholder’s employer and ask if they offered group life insurance coverage as a benefit of working there. Look through old documents in search of life insurance paperwork. Review bank statements to find evidence of paid insurance premiums.
I AM THE NAMED BENEFICIARY, BUT I’D LIKE TO SHARE THE DEATH BENEFITS WITH MY SIBLINGS – CAN I?
Yes! A policyholder may choose to list only one of their children as a beneficiary on their life insurance policy with the expectation that that child shares with the others. Whether this is the case or not, a beneficiary can share death benefits with whomever they choose, including their siblings.
THE BENEFICIARY DESIGNATION SEEMS SUSPICIOUS BECAUSE IT CHANGED JUST BEFORE DEATH, WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Are you the formerly-named beneficiary? First, keep in mind that policyholders can change beneficiaries while they are alive as long as they are of sound mind and not under duress when they make the changes. However, if you suspect that the policyholder was not of sound mind, or experienced pressure to make the change, or both, you may contest the beneficiary designation change.
CAN I STILL RECEIVE DEATH BENEFITS ON A LAPSED LIFE INSURANCE POLICY?
It is possible. First, know that most life insurance policies have a grace period for unpaid premiums, so you may still be able to receive death benefits even if the policyholder missed a payment. Second, the policy may have lapsed through no fault of the policyholder.
A life insurance lawyer at Boonswang Law is ready to discuss your case with you, and can investigate to see if either of these circumstances apply. We have gotten many beneficiary clients paid under these circumstances.
CAN A LIFE INSURANCE BENEFICIARY DESIGNATION CHANGE AFTER THE POLICYHOLDER’S DEATH?
Not under any circumstance. The policyholder is the only person who can make changes to the policy. If you receive paperwork showing that the beneficiary changed after the policyholder’s death, it is most likely fraudulent.
WHEN SHOULD A SPOUSE CONTEST A LIFE INSURANCE BENEFICIARY DESIGNATION?
With a divorced or remarried policyholder, confusion may arise over who gets what. A life insurance lawyer can explain what you’re entitled to as the deceased’s spouse or former spouse.
Contact Our Team of Life Insurance Attorneys Today
Has your loved one’s life insurance death benefits claim been denied? Contact us for a free consultation at Boonswang Law. Our life insurance lawyers have helped clients like you recover the funds they legally deserve from insurance companies. If you don’t receive the full amount from the policy that’s due, there is no fee for us. We are here to help you.