Trust Our Experienced Utah Life Insurance Lawyers to Fight for Your Benefits
Contact a UT Life Insurance Lawyer at Boonswang Law to Set up Your Free Consultation
We have decades of experience fighting for the life insurance benefits of people across the country.
The goal of a life insurance policyholder is to ensure the financial well-being of their dependents or other loved ones in the event of the policyholder’s death. Unfortunately, filing a claim for death benefits isn’t always easy. Many beneficiaries find the process to be confusing, or even worse, they figure out how to file their claim only to learn that the life insurance company denied their payout.
A life insurance lawyer can work with a policyholder to understand which policy is best for them. Life insurance lawyers can also help ensure that beneficiaries get the benefits they deserve.
Our Life Insurance Lawyers Have Helped Beneficiaries Throughout Utah, Including These Areas Among Others:
- Salt Lake City
- West Valley City
- West Jordan
- St. George
The Four Most Common Reasons for Life Insurance Claim Denial in Utah
Death from Self-Inflicted Injuries or Other Exclusion
All life insurance policies include a list of excluded causes of death. Most policies provide that death as a result of self-inflicted injuries is excluded. Sometimes, however, an insurance company will attempt to wrongfully classify someone’s death as self-inflicted.
Call us if the life insurance company is alleging that the policyholder died from self-inflicted injuries. We have gotten many beneficiaries paid after we investigated and found that death was not self-inflicted.
In some cases, insurance companies will misinterpret provisions of the policy itself in an attempt to deny a life insurance claim. In these instances, it is essential to hire a UT life insurance attorney to protect your interests.
Nonpayment of Premiums
A policyholder must pay premiums as they come due in order to maintain life insurance coverage. Unpaid premiums can cause coverage to lapse, resulting in subsequent claims being denied.
It’s important to note that a missed premium may not automatically disqualify a beneficiary from receiving death benefits. Often, nonpayment is not the fault of the policyholder, for example, when the policyholder was eligible for disability waiver of premiums, or when the life insurance company failed to send the legally required notices of pending lapse.
If your life insurance claim was denied due to lapse, contact a UT life insurance lawyer at Boonswang Law to discuss your situation.
If the policyholder made a mistake or failed to disclose information on their initial application for life insurance, the life insurance company may allege that the policyholder misrepresented themselves. In misrepresentation cases, the life insurance company is permitted to retroactively cancel the policy, and they will deny beneficiaries’ claims.
Boonswang Law has decades of experience with misrepresentation cases and can often show that the error was an innocent mistake, that it had nothing to do with the policyholder’s death, or that the policyholder had no knowledge of the missing fact when applying for life insurance. We have often gotten our clients paid when their claims were initially denied due to alleged misrepresentation.
READY TO TALK TO AN ATTORNEY ABOUT YOUR LIFE INSURANCE BENEFITS?
What to Expect When You Work With Boonswang Law’s UT Life Insurance Lawyer
It is likely you have never worked with a life insurance lawyer, and you may not know what to expect. There are several benefits to working with a life insurance lawyer instead of trying to handle issues with a life insurance policy on your own. Below are some ways we can assist you:
- We go through the terms of the policy to explain coverages and exclusions
- We review denial letters and any other documentation you’ve received from the insurance company to see why they denied or delayed your claim
- We investigate allegations made by the insurance company in an attempt to deny your claim
- We handle all negotiations with the life insurance company
- We pursue your claim in court if necessary
Utah Life Insurance Claim FAQ
WHO IS AUTHORIZED TO CHANGE THE BENEFICIARY DESIGNATION ON A LIFE INSURANCE POLICY?
Only the policyholder can legally change the beneficiary designation on a life insurance policy. In some instances, a person who has power of attorney over the policyholder may make changes to the policy.
HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO FILE A LIFE INSURANCE CLAIM?
There is no time limit to file a life insurance claim under Utah law.
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE BENEFICIARY DIES BEFORE THE POLICYHOLDER?
If a policyholder makes no provisions for a secondary or contingent beneficiary, the benefits may pay to the policyholder’s estate. In that case, the death benefit will be subject to the claims of the policyholder’s creditors rather than pass to the beneficiary in its entirety.
For this reason, it is important for policyholders to keep their primary beneficiary designation updated and provide for secondary or contingent beneficiaries.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A MINOR IS DESIGNATED AS THE BENEFICIARY?
If the beneficiary is a minor when the policyholder dies, the courts will usually choose a custodian to oversee the minor beneficiary’s death benefits. Unfortunately, nothing can really be done to stop the custodian from using the death benefit for their personal gain.
A policyholder wishing a minor to receive the death benefits can avoid this by creating a trust, designating the minor as the beneficiary of the trust, and designating the trust as beneficiary of the life insurance policy. We suggest hiring an estate planning attorney to help you understand the legalities of setting up a trust.
HOW CAN I FIND OUT IF MY LOVED ONE HAD A LIFE INSURANCE POLICY?
There is no easy answer to this question, as there is no nationwide online database that lists every person who has purchased a life insurance policy. You will have to snoop around to find evidence of a policy in place.
There are a few things you can try. Contact the policyholder’s employer and ask if they offered group life insurance coverage as a benefit of working there. Look through old documents in search of life insurance paperwork. Review bank statements to locate paid insurance premiums.
I AM THE ONLY NAMED BENEFICIARY – CAN I SHARE THE DEATH BENEFITS WITH MY SIBLINGS?
A policyholder may choose to list only one of their children as a beneficiary on their life insurance policy with the expectation that that child shares with the others. Whether this is the case or not, a beneficiary can share death benefits with whomever they choose, including their siblings.
THE BENEFICIARY DESIGNATION WAS CHANGED JUST BEFORE DEATH AND SEEMS SUSPICIOUS, WHAT CAN I DO?
It is difficult to contest last-minute beneficiary changes made to a life insurance policy. Keep in mind that policyholders can change beneficiaries while they are alive as long as they are of sound mind and not under duress when they make the changes. If you suspect that the policyholder was not of sound mind, or was pressured to make the change, or both, you may contest the beneficiary designation change.
Irrevocable beneficiaries are an exception to this rule. An irrevocable beneficiary must approve all policy changes that affect their benefits. If an insurance company notifies you that you were removed as an irrevocable beneficiary from a life insurance policy, you may be able to contest this.
THE POLICY LAPSED – CAN I STILL RECEIVE DEATH BENEFITS?
Possibly! First, 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. Second, the policy may have lapsed through no fault of the policyholder.
A life insurance lawyer at Boonswang Law is ready to discuss your case with you, and can investigate to see if either of these circumstances apply.
CAN A LIFE INSURANCE BENEFICIARY DESIGNATION BE CHANGED AFTER THE POLICYHOLDER’S DEATH?
Absolutely not. The policyholder is the only person who can make changes to the policy. If you receive paperwork showing that the beneficiary changed after the policyholder’s death, it is most likely fraudulent.
WHEN CAN A SPOUSE CONTEST A LIFE INSURANCE BENEFICIARY DESIGNATION?
With a divorced or remarried policyholder, confusion may arise over who gets what. A life insurance lawyer can explain what you’re entitled to as the deceased’s spouse or former spouse.