Trust Our Life Insurance Lawyers in OR to Fight for You
You Can Talk with an OR Life Insurance Lawyer Today About How to Get Your Life Insurance Claim Paid–Free of Charge!
Our Oregon life insurance lawyers have decades of experience fighting for the rights of life insurance beneficiaries.
What is life insurance for? Usually, people purchase life insurance policies to ensure that their dependents are taken care of in the event of their death.
Unfortunately, life insurance companies don’t make filing a claim easy for life insurance beneficiaries. Many beneficiaries find the process confusing, or even worse, figure out how to file their claim only to learn later that the life insurance company denied it.
The Oregon life insurance lawyers at Boonswang Law have decades of experience helping life insurance beneficiaries get their payout. We will help you fight back and get the payout your loved one intended you receive.
Boonswang Law Has Helped Life Insurance Beneficiaries throughout Oregon, Including these Cities and the Surrounding Areas:
- Lake Oswego
Reasons Life Insurance Claims are Denied in Oregon
This is a list of the most common reasons life insurance companies deny beneficiaries’ claims for death benefits, but it is not comprehensive. Because insurance companies only make money when they collect premiums and deny or delay payouts, they have incentive to deny claims, even legitimate claims.
Here are the four top reasons life insurance claims are denied in Oregon. If your claim was denied for one of these reasons or for some other reason, call us–we can help you.
The Policy Lapsed Due to Unpaid Premiums
As you know, policyholders are required to pay a premium each month in order to maintain life insurance coverage. If for any reason those premiums aren’t paid, life insurance coverage will lapse and the life insurance company will deny beneficiaries’ claims.
This is not the end of the story for many beneficiaries. A missed premium payment or even lapse may not automatically disqualify a beneficiary from receiving death benefits. Life insurance lapse is highly regulated in Oregon, and insurance through the policyholder’s employer is regulated under federal ERISA law. If the life insurance company or the employer administering the policy failed to adhere to the applicable regulations, it may not be the fault of the policyholder that premium payments were not made. In these cases, we can often get our beneficiary clients paid.
Misinterpretation of the Policy
Unfortunately, there are life insurance companies that will purposely misinterpret a policy’s terms and provisions in an attempt to deny a valid beneficiary claim.
If you think this is happening to you, hire the OR life insurance attorneys at Boonswang Law to fight back. We have frequently gotten our beneficiary clients paid after their claim was initially denied for this reason.
The Policyholder’s Cause of Death is Excluded from Coverage
All life insurance policies expressly list causes of death that are excluded from coverage. These are called “exclusions.”
Death as a result of self-inflicted injuries is frequently excluded from coverage. However, we have found that life insurance companies will attempt to wrongfully classify someone’s death as a suicide so that they can deny the beneficiary’s claim. In these cases, we thoroughly investigate the cause of death and if we can prove the death was not self-inflicted, we can get our beneficiary clients paid.
Alleged Misrepresentation on the Part of the Policyholder
A policyholder must disclose all personal information, including personal information as well as health and lifestyle habits, on their initial application for life insurance and medical questionnaire. Life insurance adjusters use this information to calculate the risk to them that the policyholder will die within the policy term and base the premiums payment on this information. Those at greater risk of dying within the policy’s term pay higher premiums for coverage than those at less risk.
If a policyholder makes a mistake or omits information and dies within the policy term, the life insurance company will retroactively cancel the policy, claiming that the policyholder misrepresented themselves, and deny beneficiaries’ claims.
Boonswang Law has decades of experience with types of cases and can help you if the life insurance company denies your claim for this reason.
READY TO TALK TO AN ATTORNEY ABOUT YOUR LIFE INSURANCE BENEFITS?
What to Expect When You Work With Boonswang Law’s OR Life Insurance Lawyers
You have probably never worked with a life insurance attorneys before and you may not know what to expect from us. Rather than struggle to handle your claim on your own, experience these benefits, among others, when you work with the experienced OR life insurance lawyers at Boonswang Law:
- We will review the policy and explain coverage and exclusions to you
- We will review any correspondence you have received from the life insurance company, including denial letters
- We will investigate the allegations made by the life insurance company in denying your claim
- We will negotiate with the life insurance company’s team of lawyers
- We will litigate your claim in court if the life insurance company won’t pay
Frequent Questions Regarding Life Insurance Claims in Oregon
WHO CAN CHANGE A LIFE INSURANCE BENEFICIARY DESIGNATION IN OR?
In Oregon, only the policyholder can change the beneficiary designation on their life insurance policy. There have been cases where a person who has power of attorney over the policyholder made legal and binding beneficiary designation changes.
CAN THE LIFE INSURANCE BENEFICIARY DESIGNATION BE CHANGED AFTER THE POLICYHOLDER’S DEATH?
Absolutely not! If you receive paperwork showing that the beneficiary changed after the policyholder’s death, it is most likely fraudulent. Contact us immediately for help.
WHAT IF A MINOR IS THE DESIGNATED LIFE INSURANCE BENEFICIARY?
In Oregon, a minor cannot be the direct recipient of life insurance death benefits.
In the event the beneficiary is still a minor when the policyholder dies, a court will typically choose a custodian to oversee the minor beneficiary’s death benefits. In these cases, nothing can really be done to stop the custodian from using the minor’s payout for their own purposes.
If a life insurance policyholder wants a minor to receive the death benefit, they should consider setting up a trust that designated the minor as the beneficiary of the trust. That way the policyholder can appoint a trusted friend or family member to administer the trust and act as the minor’s fiduciary.
We suggest hiring an estate planning attorney to help you understand the legalities of setting up a trust.
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE NAMED BENEFICIARY DIES BEFORE THE POLICYHOLDER?
If the primary beneficiary dies before the policyholder and the policyholder did not designate a secondary or contingent beneficiary, the benefits may pay to the policyholder’s estate.
AM I ALLOWED TO SHARE THE DEATH BENEFITS WITH MY SIBLINGS IF I AM THE ONLY NAMED BENEFICIARY?
Of course! It is surprisingly common for policyholders to list only one of their children as a beneficiary on their life insurance policy with the expectation that they will share the payout with their siblings. Although the beneficiary will not be able to add their siblings to the policy after the policyholder’s death, there’s nothing stopping them from sharing their benefits once the benefits pay out.
WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT THE BENEFICIARY DESIGNATION BEING CHANGED JUST BEFORE THE POLICYHOLDER’S DEATH FROM ME TO SOMEONE ELSE?
Policyholders can change the beneficiary designation at any time during the policy term, as long as they are of sound mind and not under duress when they make the change.
If you suspect this change was made fraudulently by someone other than the policyholder, or that the policyholder changed the beneficiary designation under duress, you can contest the beneficiary designation. These cases are notoriously difficult to prove, so contact an experienced OR life insurance attorney for help.
WHEN CAN A SPOUSE CONTEST A LIFE INSURANCE BENEFICIARY DESIGNATION?
With a divorced or remarried policyholder, confusion may arise over who gets what, and this is governed by state law and varies state-to-state. A OR life insurance lawyer can explain what you’re entitled to as the policyholder’s spouse or former spouse, even if there is no court order governing the beneficiary designation.
IS THERE A STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR CONTESTING DENIAL OF MY LIFE INSURANCE CLAIM?
If the policy is group life insurance through an employer you have sixty days under ERISA.
If the policy is an individual policy, it is prudent to file your claim denial dispute as soon as possible after getting the denial letter in order to have the best chance of finding and preserving evidence supporting payment of your life insurance claim. Having a life insurance lawyer handle your dispute is highly recommended so you can feel confident that everything is being done correctly.
HOW CAN I FIND OUT IF SOMEONE HAD LIFE INSURANCE?
You will have to do some investigation. You might contact the policyholder’s employer to ask if they offered group life insurance coverage as a benefit of working there. Also, look through old documents in search of life insurance paperwork and review bank statements to locate evidence of paid insurance premiums.
MY CLAIM WAS DENIED DUE TO LAPSE, CAN I STILL RECEIVE DEATH BENEFITS?
It depends on the facts of your case, but we have gotten clients paid on lapsed policies.
Life insurance policies typically have a grace period for unpaid premiums, so you may still be able to receive death benefits even if the policyholder missed a payment. Also, in cases where the lapse was not the fault of the policyholder, we have been able to get our beneficiary clients paid.
If you are a beneficiary of a lapsed life insurance policy, the OR life insurance lawyers at Boonswang Law can help you understand what your rights are. Call us.