Trust the Rhode Island Life Insurance Lawyers at Boonswang Law
Talk with a RI Life Insurance Lawyer Today–Free of Charge!
We have decades of experience fighting for the rights of life insurance beneficiaries across the country.
You probably know something about how life insurance should work. Someone buys a life insurance policy to ensure that their loved ones are financially secure in the event of their death. The policyholder dies, and the beneficiary or beneficiaries receive a death benefit in the face amount of the policy purchased.
Unfortunately, the life insurance claims process is rarely that simple. 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.
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 to discuss your life insurance claim.
Boonswang Law Has Helped Life Insurance Beneficiaries throughout Rhode Island, Including these Cities and the Surrounding Areas:
- East Providence
- South Kingstown
Reasons Life Insurance Companies Deny Claims in Rhode Island
These are the four top 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.
Lapse of Coverage Due to 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 will deny beneficiaries’ claims on that policy.
You might think that policy lapse is the end of the story for beneficiaries, but in many cases, we can get a claim on a lapsed policy paid. 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.
Misinterpretation of Policy Terms
Because 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 RI life insurance attorneys at Boonswang Law will fight for you. We have frequently gotten our beneficiary clients paid after their claim was initially denied for this reason.
Cause of Death Falls Within a Policy Exclusion
All life insurance policies expressly list causes of death excluded from coverage called “exclusions.” While they vary among different policies, typically life insurance coverage excludes death as a result of self-inflicted injuries.
Throughout our decades of experience helping beneficiaries get their payouts, we have found that life insurance companies will 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 and if we prove the cause of death is not excluded from coverage, we can get our beneficiary clients paid.
Retroactive Cancellation Due to Alleged Misrepresentation
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 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.
READY TO TALK TO AN ATTORNEY ABOUT YOUR LIFE INSURANCE BENEFITS?
What to Expect When You Team With Boonswang Law’s RI Life Insurance Lawyers
We realize that it is likely you have never worked with a life insurance lawyers before. We want to tell you upfront what you can expect from us. Rather than struggle to handle your claim on your own, you can experience these benefits, among others, when you work with the experienced RI life insurance lawyers at Boonswang Law:
- We will review the life insurance policy and ascertain coverage and exclusions
- We will review all correspondence you have received from the life insurance company, including denial letters
- We will thoroughly investigate the allegations made by the life insurance company in denying your claim
- We will negotiate for your payout with the life insurance company’s team of lawyers
- We will litigate your claim in court if the life insurance company won’t pay
Just like any other type of business, life insurance companies seek to make a profit. They only make profits when they collect premiums and deny claims for death benefits.
Life insurance companies have a team of lawyers working to find and apply any remotely applicable reason to deny your claim. You need a team of lawyers on your side to fight back. Call us–there is no upfront cost to you when you work with us.
Common Questions about Life Insurance Claims in Rhode Island
WHO CAN CHANGE A LIFE INSURANCE BENEFICIARY DESIGNATION 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.
CAN THE LIFE INSURANCE BENEFICIARY DESIGNATION CHANGE AFTER THE POLICYHOLDER’S DEATH?
There are no circumstances under which a life insurance beneficiary designation can change after the policyholder’s death. If you receive paperwork showing that the beneficiary changed after the policyholder’s death, it is most likely fraudulent. Contact us immediately for help.
I THINK SOMEONE CLOSE TO ME MAY HAVE HAD LIFE INSURANCE, HOW DO I FIND OUT IF THEY DID?
Unfortunately, there is no national list or database of all life insurance policyholders, so you will have to do some investigation 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. Also, you can look through old documents in search of life insurance paperwork and review bank statements to locate evidence of paid insurance premiums.
WHAT IS THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR CONTESTING WHEN MY LIFE INSURANCE CLAIM GETS DENIED?
If the policy in question is group life insurance through an employer, you have sixty 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 the 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 feel confident that everything is being done correctly and that you have the best chance of getting your payout.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO RECEIVE A PAYOUT OF DEATH BENEFITS ON A LAPSED POLICY?
Yes, but it depends entirely on the facts of your case. Our life insurance lawyers have gotten clients paid on lapsed policies under a wide variety of circumstances.
First, know that life insurance policies usually 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, such as when the policyholder should have gotten a disability waiver of premium and did not.
If you are a beneficiary of a lapsed life insurance policy, the RI life insurance lawyers at Boonswang Law can help you understand what your rights are. Call us.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A MINOR IS THE DESIGNATED LIFE INSURANCE BENEFICIARY?
A minor cannot be the direct recipient of life insurance death benefits in Rhode Island. If the beneficiary is still a minor when the policyholder dies, a court will likely choose a custodian to oversee the minor beneficiary’s death benefits. Unfortunately, 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 designates 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.
If you are a life insurance policyholder wanting to set up a life insurance trust for a minor, we recommend hiring an estate planning attorney to help you understand the legalities.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A LIFE INSURANCE BENEFICIARY DIES BEFORE THE POLICYHOLDER?
If the primary beneficiary dies before the policyholder, the death benefits may pay to the secondary or contingent beneficiary. If 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?
Yes! 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. While you will not be able to 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 payout.
THE BENEFICIARY CHANGED FROM ME TO SOMEONE ELSE JUST BEFORE THE POLICYHOLDER’S DEATH, WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT IT?
First, you should know that life insurance policyholders can 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 RI life insurance attorney for help.
WHEN SHOULD A SPOUSE DISPUTE THE LIFE INSURANCE BENEFICIARY DESIGNATION?
When policyholders are divorced and/or remarried, confusion often arises over who gets what. State law governs these situations and the process varies from state-to-state. A RI 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.