Our Experienced Life Insurance Lawyers Fight for Beneficiaries in Louisiana
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You are the beneficiary of a life insurance policy. Someone purchased that policy to ensure your financial well-being. They have passed on, and you would think that you would automatically receive the death benefit. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
Life insurance companies often try to thwart the goals of policyholders by unfairly and incorrectly denying or delaying payment on life insurance claims. If you feel your life insurance claim was wrongly denied or payment is being delayed, the Louisiana life insurance lawyers at Boonswang Law can help you get your payout.
The Louisiana Life Insurance Lawyers At Boonswang Law Have Helped Beneficiaries from these Cities and their Surrounding Areas:
- New Orleans
- Baton Rouge
- Lake Charles
- Bossier City
- New Iberia
The Most Common Reasons Life Insurance Companies Deny Claims in Louisiana
The Policyholder Died Overseas
If the policyholder died while traveling overseas, the life insurance company will likely delay payment on your claim because of a delay in receiving a 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 if the delay was unreasonable!
Nonpayment of Premiums
Life insurance works like this–the life insurance company provides coverage in exchange for the policyholder’s premium payments. If premiums are not paid, coverage lapses and terminates.
That is not the end of the story, however. Terminating life insurance coverage is highly regulated in each state, 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. In these instances, we may be able to get the beneficiary paid.
Retroactive Cancellation of Policy Due to Misrepresentation
If someone omits information or makes a mistake on their application for life insurance or the medical questionnaire and then dies within the policy term, the life insurance company will allege that they misrepresented themselves in order to get a lower premium payment, cancel the policy, and deny beneficiaries’ claims.
In these cases, if the alleged misrepresentation had nothing to do with the cause of death, we have gotten our clients paid. Even if the misrepresentation was related to the cause of death, we may be able to get our client paid the death benefit minus the amount the policyholder would have paid in premiums had the life insurance company known of the missing fact.
Every policy will list causes of death that are not covered. These are called “exclusions.” Suicide and death due to terrorism or acts of war are common exclusions in life insurance policies.
If an exclusion can be stretched to apply to a policyholder’s death, believe that the life insurance company will claim that it applies and 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.
READY TO TALK TO AN ATTORNEY ABOUT YOUR LIFE INSURANCE BENEFITS?
What to Expect When You Work with a Louisiana Life Insurance Lawyer at Boonswang Law
You don’t have to face the life insurance company’s team of lawyers alone. When you trust us to help get your claim paid, we promise to:
- Review the provisions of the life insurance policy to determine coverage and exclusions, and explain these to you
- Review the denial letter and any other correspondence from the life insurance company to identify the reason or reasons for a delay or denial of your claim
- Negotiate with the life insurance company to get you a payout when there is a dispute
- Thoroughly investigate allegations made by the life insurance company in denying your claim to refute or cast doubt on those allegations
- Vigorously litigate your claim against the life insurance company in court, if they are acting unreasonably or dishonestly in delaying or denying the payment of your valid life insurance claim
As a life insurance beneficiary, you should know that life insurance companies are staffed by experts, consultants, and life insurance attorneys whose task is to look out for the company’s profit margin. The more premiums a life insurance company collects and the fewer death benefit claims they pay out, the more money they make for its shareholders. In other words, the interests of the life insurance company are at odds with yours and the policyholder’s.
The Louisiana life insurance lawyers at Boonswang Law will advocate for you to get you the death benefits you deserve after your loved one’s death.
Louisiana Life Insurance Benefits FAQ
HOW DO I HANDLE A DENIED LIFE INSURANCE CLAIM?
You should contest the denial.
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. Many claims that are initially denied are eventually paid when we investigate further and fight back for you.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR LIFE INSURANCE TO PAY?
The life insurance company should pay the beneficiary within 30-60 days of the claim being submitted if there are no problems with the claim.
If you are a beneficiary, this time has passed since you submitted your claim for death benefits, 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 CAN I DO ABOUT DELAYED PAYMENT OF MY CLAIM FOR DEATH BENEFITS?
You can call the insurance company and ask for the reason for the delay in writing. If the delay was unreasonable, meaning, the life insurance company had no valid reason for waiting to pay you, you may be entitled to interest on the death benefit.
CAN I CONTEST THE BENEFICIARY DESIGNATION IF IT WAS CHANGED JUST BEFORE THE POLICYHOLDER’S DEATH?
First, know that a policyholder can change the beneficiary designation at any time, even just before they die. That being said, you should contest a beneficiary designation change if you suspect the change was made fraudulently or under duress.
Fraudulent beneficiary change is very difficult to prove, so be sure to contact an experienced life insurance beneficiary attorney for help litigating this.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A LIFE INSURANCE BENEFICIARY IS A MINOR?
A minor cannot directly receive life insurance death benefits. Likely, a court will have to appoint a conservator to administer the funds on behalf of the minor beneficiary. Unfortunately, there is little to prevent a conservator from using the funds for their own benefit.
If a policyholder wishes a minor to receive the death benefit, they should set up 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 trusted who will act as trustee.
I’M A BENEFICIARY ON A LAPSED LIFE INSURANCE POLICY, WHAT CAN I DO?
You may be able to contest the denial and still receive a payout if the lapse was not the fault of the policyholder, for example, if an employer failed to give the policyholder conversion papers or improperly administered the policy, or if the life insurance company failed to send the policyholder the legally-required notices of lapse.
If your claim for death benefits was denied due to lapse, call our Louisiana life insurance lawyers. We will investigate and get you paid if at all possible.
HOW DO I KNOW WHEN SOMEONE HAS LIFE INSURANCE?
There is no national list or database of all individuals who own life insurance. If you suspect that someone who recently died had a life insurance policy but don’t know for sure, you will have to investigate on your own. The contents of a safe-deposit box or your loved one’s desk drawers might give you a clue. You can also look through your loved one’s recent mail for premium notices, and look through bank account statements for evidence of premium payments.
CAN A LIFE INSURANCE BENEFICIARY DESIGNATION BE CHANGED AFTER THE POLICYHOLDER’S DEATH?
No! 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.
CAN A SPOUSE CONTEST A LIFE INSURANCE POLICY?
Yes, if they were supposed to be the named beneficiary for any reason and someone else was named. Contact us if you were supposed to be a beneficiary on a life insurance policy but someone else was named instead–we can help you.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A LIFE INSURANCE BENEFICIARY PREDECEASES THE POLICYHOLDER?
If the primary beneficiary died before the policyholder or the primary beneficiary cannot be found, 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.