Trust the Virginia Life Insurance Lawyers at Boonswang Law to Get You Your Benefits
Call to Discuss Your Case with a VA Life Insurance Lawyer at Boonswang Law
Our Virginia life insurance lawyers have helped people throughout VA get the life insurance payout their loved ones intended that they receive.
You know how life insurance is supposed to work–someone purchases a life insurance policy to ensure the financial well-being of loved ones and pays premiums to maintain coverage until the policy term ends or they die. If the policyholder dies within the coverage term, the named beneficiaries receive a death benefit in the face amount of the policy.
It rarely is this simple, unfortunately. Life insurance companies only make money when they deny or delay paying claims, and frequently thwart the goals of the policyholder by unfairly and incorrectly doing so.
The VA life insurance lawyers at Boonswang Law can help you if you believe your claim for death benefits is being unfairly delayed or denied.
Boonswang Law’s VA Life Insurance Lawyers Have Helped Life Insurance Beneficiaries From These Cities and the Surrounding Areas:
- Virginia Beach
- Newport News
- Dale City
Reasons Life Insurance Claims are Frequently Denied in VA
Frequently, life insurance companies will bend over backwards to interpret the terms of the policy in such a way as to deny beneficiaries’ claims for death benefits. Remember, life insurance companies only make money for their shareholders when they collect premiums but deny death benefit claims, so they have little incentive to pay you!
Policy Premiums Not Paid
A policyholder must pay premiums as they come due if they wish to maintain life insurance coverage. If the policyholder fails to pay premiums, the policy lapses, terminates, and coverage ends.
Don’t think that automatically means a beneficiary won’t get paid. Terminating a life insurance policy is highly regulated by state law, and frequently, life insurance companies and employers who provide group life insurance coverage for their employees fail to follow those regulations, resulting in nonpayment of premiums that is not the fault of the policyholder.
Call us if your life insurance claim was denied due to lapse. When a policy lapses and that lapse was not the fault of the policyholder, we have been able to get our beneficiary clients paid.
Death from Self-Inflicted Injuries
All life insurance policies list “exclusions,” which is a list of causes of death that are excluded from coverage. While the exact list of exclusions varies between life insurance companies and even between individual policies, suicide and death from acts of war or terrorism are common exclusions.
The life insurance company may allege that the policyholder committed suicide and deny your claim for death benefits. Other causes of death can look like suicide, and in these cases, we investigate and are often able to show that the exclusion does not apply, and our clients get paid.
Retroactive Cancellation of the Policy
If the policyholder made a mistake, even an innocent mistake, on their initial application for life insurance or the medical questionnaire, that will prompt the life insurance company to allege that the policyholder misrepresented themselves in order to get a lower premium payment. The life insurance company then uses that alleged misrepresentation as an excuse to retroactively cancel the policy and deny beneficiaries’ claims.
We have been able to get our beneficiary clients paid when the alleged misrepresentation had nothing to do with the cause of death. We have also been able to get our client beneficiaries paid when the alleged misrepresentation was related to the cause of death by settling for an amount that equals the death benefit minus whatever the policyholder should have been paying in premiums had the life insurance company known of the missing fact and calculated premiums accordingly.
READY TO TALK TO AN ATTORNEY ABOUT YOUR LIFE INSURANCE BENEFITS?
What to Expect When You Entrust Your Life Insurance Claim With the VA Life Insurance Lawyers at Boonswang Law
You can rely on our team of experienced VA life insurance lawyers to:
- Review the terms of the life insurance policy to determine coverage and exclusions, and explain any problems in coverage to you
- Take over correspondence with the life insurance company to identify the reason or reasons for delay or denial of your claim for death benefits
- Negotiate with the life insurance company to get you your payout
- Investigate claims and allegations made by the life insurance company in denying your claim to refute or cast doubt on those claims
- Litigate your claim against the life insurance company in court when they are acting unreasonably or dishonestly in delaying or denying the payment of a valid life insurance claim
Life insurance companies are just like any other business–they are looking out for their bottom line. The more in premium payments a life insurance company collects and the fewer death benefit claims they pay out., the more money they make for their shareholders. In other words, the interests of the life insurance company are at odds with your interests.
The VA life insurance lawyers at Boonswang Law Firm will fight to get you the life insurance payout you deserve after your loved one’s death.
Frequently Asked Questions About Life Insurance in VA
WHO HAS THE POWER TO CHANGE THE BENEFICIARY OF A LIFE INSURANCE POLICY IN VA?
The policyholder. If the beneficiary designation was changed by someone else, that is fraud. Contact our life insurance lawyers immediately.
IS THERE A STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS TO DISPUTE A LIFE INSURANCE CLAIM DENIAL?
Yes–60 days if it was an employer-sponsored group life insurance policy. For all other life insurance, there is no time limit, however, the sooner you dispute a denied life insurance claim the better because we will have a better chance of collecting evidence that your claim should be paid.
WHAT HAPPENS IF A LIFE INSURANCE POLICY LISTS A DECEASED BENEFICIARY?
If the beneficiary died before the policyholder and the policyholder did not update their beneficiary designation accordingly, the life insurance company will pay the death benefit to the secondary beneficiary or the contingent beneficiary.
If the policyholder did not designate secondary or contingent beneficiaries, the death benefit can be paid to the policyholder’s estate. This makes insurance proceeds subject to the policyholder’s creditors. A policyholder can avoid this by making sure their beneficiary designation is up-to-date, and that they list more than one beneficiary.
WHAT IF A LIFE INSURANCE POLICY HAS NO BENEFICIARY?
As in the situation when the named beneficiary has predeceased the policyholder and there are no contingent or secondary beneficiaries, the life insurance company will pay out to the policyholder’s estate.
HOW DO I FIND OUT IF MY LOVED ONE HAD A LIFE INSURANCE POLICY?
Unfortunately, there is no master list of all persons holding life insurance. This means you will have to investigate. You can do this by searching the contents of your loved one’s safe-deposit box and desk drawers and looking through your loved one’s recent mail for premium notices and through bank account statements for evidence of premium payments.
CAN I SHARE LIFE INSURANCE BENEFITS WITH MY SIBLINGS?
There is no law preventing you from sharing the life insurance death benefit with whomever you wish. It is common for a policyholder to name one child as a beneficiary and for that child to share with siblings.
THE BENEFICIARY DESIGNATION WAS CHANGED TO SOMEONE ELSE AT THE LAST MINUTE, WHAT SHOULD I DO?
First, know that the policyholder can change their beneficiary designation to whomever they choose at any time up until their death. However, a beneficiary change can and should be contested if you suspect the change was made fraudulently or under duress. This type of case is very difficult to prove, so be sure to contact an experienced life insurance beneficiary attorney for help.
I AM THE BENEFICIARY OF A LAPSED LIFE INSURANCE POLICY, WHAT CAN I DO?
It is possible to still get paid if the lapse was not the fault of the policyholder.
If the life insurance company failed to send the policyholder the legally-required notices of lapse, the beneficiary may still get paid. If the policyholder was eligible for disability waiver of premium and did not get it, the beneficiary may still get paid. If an employer failed to give the policyholder conversion papers or improperly administered the policy, the beneficiary may still get paid.
CAN A LIFE INSURANCE BENEFICIARY DESIGNATION BE CHANGED AFTER THE POLICYHOLDER DIES?
No. A beneficiary change after the date of the policyholder’s death is fraudulent. Contact an experienced life insurance beneficiary attorney immediately.
CAN A SPOUSE CONTEST A LIFE INSURANCE BENEFICIARY DESIGNATION?
Yes, if they were supposed to be the beneficiary for any reason and someone else was named, or if the beneficiary was changed to someone else under duress or fraudulently.