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Life Insurance Lawyer Serving Rhode Island

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We have decades of experience as life insurance lawyers fighting for the rights of beneficiaries across the country.

Every attorney at Boonswang Law is an experienced life insurance lawyer serving Rhode Island — which is invaluable when it comes to issues concerning life insurance claims. 

When an individual buys a life insurance policy, their intention is to ensure that their loved ones are financially secure in the event of their death. After the policyholder dies, the beneficiary or beneficiaries are entitled to receive a death benefit in the amount of the policy purchased.

Unfortunately, the life insurance claims process is rarely that simple. Many beneficiaries find the  process confusing and difficult to complete. If they do successfully file their claim, they may learn later that the life insurance company denied it. 

For decades, Boonswang Law’s experienced Rhode Island life insurance lawyers have been helping life insurance beneficiaries like you get the payout their loved one intended. 

Call us today to discuss your life insurance claim and learn more about how we can help you.

Boonswang Law Has Helped Life Insurance Beneficiaries throughout Rhode Island, Including these Cities and the Surrounding Areas:

Talk With a Life Insurance Lawyer in RI for Your Free Consultation

Reasons Life Insurance Companies Deny Claims in RI:

These are the four most common reasons life insurance companies deny claims for death benefits in Rhode Island. If your claim was denied for one of these reasons or for any other reason, call us — we can help you fight back.

Interpretation Issues

Since life insurance companies only make profits for their shareholders when they collect premiums but deny claims for death benefits, their interests directly conflict with yours and with the policyholder’s. 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, call us — the Rhode Island life insurance attorneys at Boonswang Law will advocate for you.

Talk With a Life Insurance Lawyer Serving RI at Boonswang Law Today

If you’ve just lost someone close to you, the last thing you should have to do is navigate a complex life insurance claim or file an appeal for a claim denial. 

The Rhode Island life insurance lawyers at Boonswang Law are here to help you during this difficult time. We’ll put our decades of experience to work for you and shoulder the burden of contesting denials, investigating delays, and communicating with the insurance company. 

Call us today at (855) 865-4335 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.

Unpaid Premiums

Life insurance policyholders must pay premiums in order to maintain coverage. If for any reason the policyholder does not pay premiums, life insurance coverage lapses and the life insurance company can deny beneficiaries’ claims on that policy.

Even if a policy has lapsed, we may still be able to help you claim funds from that policy. Termination of life insurance coverage is highly regulated in Rhode Island, and federal ERISA law regulates insurance offered through a policyholder’s employer. 

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 often get our beneficiary clients paid.

Self-inflicted Injuries

All life insurance policies expressly list causes of death that exclude beneficiaries from receiving compensation. These are appropriately named exclusions. While exclusions vary from policy to policy, life insurance coverage typically excludes death as a result of self-inflicted injuries. 

Throughout our decades of experience helping beneficiaries get their payouts, our life insurance attorneys have found that life insurance companies sometimes attempt to wrongfully classify someone’s death under an exclusion so that they can deny the beneficiary’s claim. 

In these cases, we thoroughly investigate the cause of death. If we prove the cause of death is not excluded from coverage, we can make a case to help our beneficiary clients get paid.

Retroactive Cancellation

A policyholder must disclose all personal information, including date of birth, occupation, marital status, address, level of education, health history, lifestyle habits, and hobbies on their initial application for life insurance and medical questionnaire. The life insurance adjusters use this information to calculate the risk that the policyholder will die within the policy term. 

The amount in premiums a policyholder pays to maintain coverage is based on that risk. 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 then dies within the policy term, the life insurance company retroactively cancels the policy, claiming that the policyholder misrepresented themselves to get a lower premium payment. The life insurance company will then deny the 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. Call us for your free consultation.

Insurance Scams & Bad Faith: What to Watch Out For

Establishing a life insurance policy is a practical way to care for your loved ones after you’ve passed away. However, it’s important to understand that insurance companies may act in bad faith when handling your policy and your money. 

Below are detailed descriptions of the four most common scams insurance companies employ to retain their profits and please their shareholders.

Indexed Universal Life Insurance

Indexed universal life insurance (IUL) is not always a scam, but it’s used as one so often that you should be wary if your life insurance company offers it to you. These intentionally complicated policies are allegedly meant to increase your savings with an S&P 500 or NASDAQ account. 

However, both kinds of accounts take many years and a significant investment to mature fully. Those with a shorter life expectancy or fewer discretionary financial resources stand to benefit very little from these accounts.

Churning Scams

Churning scams occur when an insurance representative intentionally misleads a policyholder into opening a new policy by offering them a lower premium or lower monthly payments. Once the new policy is open, the insurance company “churns” money from the old policy into the new one by using it as a loan against the new policy. This causes the old policy to collapse.

If you or a loved one have been the victim of a churning scam, our Rhode Island life insurance legal team can help you recoup your funds. Contact us today.

Insurance Bad Faith

When insurance companies act in bad faith, it means they are knowingly attempting to deceive a policyholder’s beneficiaries by withholding funds for fraudulent reasons. This may include delaying payments without a legal reason, denying claims on a technicality, or reducing the payout amount. 

If you have experienced bad faith denials or delays in your insurance payout, contact our Rhode Island life insurance lawyers today.

Common RI Life Insurance Questions

Who Can Change the Beneficiary On a Life Insurance Policy in RI?

In Rhode Island, only the life insurance policyholder can change their beneficiary designation. There have been cases where a person who has power of attorney over the policyholder made legal and binding beneficiary designation changes — however, these are not common.

If the policy in question is group life insurance through an employer, you have 60 days under federal ERISA law. 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. 

Once your claim for death benefits has been denied, having a life insurance lawyer handle your dispute is highly recommended, so you can be confident that you have the best chance of getting your payout.

If the primary beneficiary dies before the policyholder, the death benefits may be paid to the secondary or contingent beneficiary. If the policyholder did not designate a secondary or contingent beneficiary, the benefits will be paid to the policyholder’s estate.

In rare cases, there may not be beneficiaries listed on the life insurance policy—including secondary or contingent beneficiaries. If no person is named as the recipient of the death benefits, they’ll instead be paid into the estate. 

This means when the estate is liquidated, the life insurance payout will be part of the funds used to pay taxes and fees owed by the estate. The policyholder’s heirs will then receive a share of the death benefits as part of their inheritance from the estate.

Unfortunately, there is no national list or database of all life insurance policyholders, so you will have to investigate the matter on your own. 

You might try contacting the policyholder’s employer to ask if they offered group life insurance coverage as a benefit of working there. You can also examine your loved one’s documents in search of life insurance paperwork and review bank statements to locate evidence of paid insurance premiums.

Yes — it is very 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. 

While you cannot add your siblings to the policy after the policyholder’s death, there is no law or regulation stopping you from sharing the death benefits with them once the benefits have been paid.

Life insurance policyholders have the right to change their 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. 

However, if you suspect this change was made fraudulently by someone other than the policyholder, or that the policyholder changed the beneficiary designation under duress or while not of sound mind, you can contest the beneficiary designation. 

Beneficiary disputes are notoriously difficult to win, so contact an experienced Rhode Island life insurance attorney for help.

There are no circumstances under which a life insurance beneficiary designation can change after the policyholder’s death. If you have received documentation showing that the beneficiary was changed after the policyholder’s death, that documentation is most likely fraudulent. Contact Boonswang Law immediately to help you navigate these fraudulent claims.

In cases where policyholders are divorced and have remarried, understanding how life insurance benefits should be allocated can become confusing. The process varies from state to state because state law governs what spouses and ex-spouses are entitled to in these situations.

A Rhode Island 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.