Why You Should Work With an Experienced Life Insurance Lawyer in Pennsylvania
If you have suffered the death of a loved one, dealing with a life insurance company is probably the last thing you want to do. All too frequently, filing a claim for death benefits isn’t as straightforward as it should be.
If you’ve filed your life insurance claim and your payout is being delayed or your life insurance claim was denied, contact us right away. We know all of the reasons the life insurance companies use to unfairly delay or deny claims, and we will help you fight back.
Boonswang Law is proud to serve beneficiary clients throughout Pennsylvania with a dedicated team of life insurance lawyers ready to help you. We’ve helped life insurance beneficiaries who live in and near the following cities:
- Upper Darby
- State College
Why are Life Insurance Claims Denied in Pennsylvania?
When someone has a life insurance policy, you might assume that their beneficiaries will automatically receive death benefits when the policyholder dies. However, this is not always the case. There are several legal reasons that life insurance companies use to refuse to pay death benefits, sometimes unfairly.
When a policyholder passes away, the life insurance company needs official proof in order to process a claim for death benefits. Refusing or failing to submit these documents could result in your claim being denied. Typically, life insurance companies accept proof of death in the form of a certified death certificate, an obituary, or a bill from the funeral home. If the policyholder died overseas, sometimes a foreign death certificate is not enough.
Unpaid Premium Payments
Life insurance policies generally require that a premium is paid each month in order to maintain coverage. Failure to pay that premium can cause coverage to lapse, resulting in any subsequent claims being denied. But sometimes lapse is not the fault of the insured. If your claim was denied due to policy lapse or termination, call us. We may be able to help.
Cause of Death Excluded from Coverage
All life insurance policies have exclusions which detail the circumstances under which the death of the insured will not be covered. For example, suicide and acts of war or terrorism are typically excluded from coverage. If the policyholder’s death circumstances are excluded from the policy, the life insurance company will refuse to pay death benefits.
A PA life insurance lawyer can help you understand what is excluded or covered in a policy. Call Boonswang Law today to set up a free evaluation for your case.
Life Insurance Fraud
Life insurance fraud can occur in many forms. Things like faking death, killing a covered person in an attempt to collect benefits, forcing or coercing a policyholder to name you as beneficiary, or making changes to a policy you don’t own are all considered life insurance fraud. Not only can fraud nullify the life insurance policy, but the persons responsible for the fraud could face serious legal consequences.
READY TO TALK TO AN ATTORNEY ABOUT YOUR LIFE INSURANCE BENEFITS?
What You Can Expect When You Hire an Experienced Pennsylvania Life Insurance Lawyer
If you’ve never worked with a life insurance lawyers in PA you may be unsure about what you can expect. There are several benefits to hiring Boonswang Law instead of trying to handle your life insurance claim on your own. Below are some of the many ways we can and will assist you:
- We review the terms of the policy and explain coverage and exclusions
- We handle all correspondence and communications with the life insurance company
- We investigate why your claim has been denied or delayed
- We investigate the cause of death of the insured and whether the denial reason used applies
- We follow up on any delayed payouts
- We settle disputes over incorrect payout amounts
Let’s face it – life insurance companies only make money for their shareholders when they DON’T pay claims. For this reason, many valid claims are unfairly denied or payout is delayed in order to collect interest on money that is yours. Let us help you fight back and get paid.
Frequently Asked Questions About Life Insurance Claims in Pennsylvania
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET A LIFE INSURANCE CLAIM PAID IN PA?
On average, it can take a life insurance company between 30-60 days to process a claim. If you are the beneficiary of a life insurance policy, you should try to file your claim as soon after the insured’s death as possible. Working with a PA life insurance lawyer can ensure that your claim is filed timely and correctly.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A LIFE INSURANCE CLAIM IS DENIED?
If your life insurance claim was denied, the life insurance company will send you an explanation letter. You can then contest the claim denial.
An experienced PA life insurance lawyer can assist you in disputing a denied claim. An experienced life insurance lawyer will know how to navigate the situation to improve your chances of getting the money you deserve.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A MINOR IS LISTED AS THE BENEFICIARY OF A LIFE INSURANCE POLICY?
There may be instances where the beneficiary of a policy is under 18 when the policyholder dies. A Pennsylvania court will usually appoint a custodian to oversee the minor’s death benefits in these cases.
Policyholders can also appoint a custodian. Unfortunately, however, not much can be done to stop the custodian from abusing their position and dipping into the minor’s inheritance for their personal benefit.
If a minor must be named as the life insurance beneficiary, it is prudent to set up a life insurance trust and designate the minor the beneficiary of the trust. We suggest working with an estate planning attorney who can help you understand the legalities of setting up a trust.
HOW CAN I FIND OUT IF MY LOVED ONE HAD A LIFE INSURANCE POLICY?
Unfortunately, there is no nationwide database that lists every single life insurance policyholder. If you think your loved one had a life insurance policy, you can investigate. Contact their employer to ask about benefits, look through paperwork for life insurance documents, and review bank statements to check for evidence of paid life insurance premiums.
CAN I SHARE LIFE INSURANCE BENEFITS WITH MY SIBLINGS?
Sure! If the insured listed only one of their children as a beneficiary on their life insurance policy, there are no rules against them sharing the death benefits once they are received.
CAN THE BENEFICIARY DESIGNATION BE CONTESTED IF THE BENEFICIARY WAS CHANGED AT THE LAST MINUTE?
Yes, if there is suspicion that the change was made fraudulently or under duress.
Every policyholder is allowed to change beneficiaries while they are alive as long as they are of sound mind and not under duress. Irrevocable beneficiaries, however, are the exception. This status is typically given to spouses and children, and divorce or estrangement cannot change this status. An irrevocable beneficiary must consent to all policy changes that affect their benefits.
If a life insurance company says you were removed as an irrevocable beneficiary from a life insurance policy, you should contest that change.
CAN I STILL RECEIVE DEATH BENEFITS IF THE INSURANCE POLICY HAS LAPSED?
Perhaps. If the lapse was not the fault of the insured, you may still receive death benefits. Examples of this include when the insured does not receive the required notices, or when the insured is not given the conversion forms by their employer. Every situation is different, so it’s best to talk to a Pennsylvania life insurance lawyer so they can directly address the specific policy in question.
CAN THE BENEFICIARY ON A LIFE INSURANCE POLICY BE CHANGED AFTER THE INSURED’S DEATH?
No. The policyholder generally is the only person who can make changes to the policy. Any paperwork showing that the beneficiary has been changed after the insured’s death is fraudulent.
Contact Boonswang Law if you believe that someone is attempting to scam you out of your death benefits.
WHAT DO I DO IF MY CLAIM WAS DENIED DUE TO MISREPRESENTATION?
Call us. Alleged misrepresentation on the part of the insured is a common reason used to deny life insurance claims. We have gotten beneficiaries paid in cases where it was an honest mistake on the part of the insured, there is no evidence of the intent to deceive, and the cause of death had nothing to do with the alleged misrepresentation.
CAN A SPOUSE OR FORMER SPOUSE CONTEST A LIFE INSURANCE POLICY?
Yes. There can be some confusion over who is entitled to what when an insured gets divorced or remarried. A life insurance lawyer can help you understand your rights as the deceased’s spouse or former spouse.