Boonswang Law’s Team of Experienced VT Life Insurance Lawyers Are Ready to Fight for You!
A VT Life Insurance Lawyer at Boonswang Law is Waiting to Discuss Your Life Insurance Claim With You
Our Vermont life insurance lawyers have assisted people throughout VT get the life insurance payout their loved one intended that they receive.
You probably have an idea of how life insurance works–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 the policyholder dies. If the policyholder dies within the coverage term, the named beneficiaries receive a death benefit.
You might think that life insurance beneficiaries automatically receive their payout when the policyholder dies, however, it is rarely that simple. Life insurance companies frequently thwart the goals of the policyholder by unfairly and incorrectly denying or delaying payment of life insurance claims.
If you believe your life insurance claim was wrongly denied or delayed, the VT life insurance lawyers at Boonswang Law can help you.
Boonswang Law’s VT Life Insurance Lawyers Have Helped Life Insurance Beneficiaries From These Cities and the Surrounding Areas:
- South Burlington
- Rutland City
- Essex Junction
- Barre City
Common Reasons Life Insurance Claims are Denied in VT
Misinterpretation of the Policy’s Terms
Unfortunately, it is very common for life insurance companies 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 Lapsed or Terminated
In order to maintain life insurance coverage, a policyholder must pay premiums as they come due. If premiums are not paid, the policy lapses, terminates, and coverage ends.
You might think that is the end of the story, however, terminating a life insurance policy is highly regulated in every state. Frequently life insurance companies and employers who provide group life insurance coverage to their employees fail to follow those regulations, resulting in nonpayment of premiums that is not the fault of the policyholder.
When a policy lapses and that lapse was not the fault of the policyholder, we have been able to get our beneficiary clients paid.
A Policy Exclusion Allegedly Applies
All life insurance policies include a list causes of death that are excluded from coverage, called “exclusions.” 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 an exclusion applies to the policyholder’s death. In these cases, we investigate and are often able to show that the exclusion does not apply, and our clients get paid.
Alleged Misrepresentation and Retroactive Cancellation of the Policy
If the policyholder made 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 You Should Expect When You Work With the VT Life Insurance Lawyers at Boonswang Law
You can rely on our team of experienced VT life insurance lawyers to:
- Carefully review the terms of the life insurance policy to determine coverage and exclusions, and explain any problems in coverage to you
- Correspond 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
- Thoroughly investigate claims and allegations made by the life insurance company in denying your claim to refute or cast doubt on those claims
- When necessary, 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
Like any other business, life insurance companies seek to make a profit. 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 the interests of policyholders and beneficiaries.
The VT life insurance lawyers at Boonswang Law Firm will fight to get you the death benefits you deserve after your loved one’s death.
Frequently Asked Questions About Life Insurance in VT
WHO CAN CHANGE THE BENEFICIARY DESIGNATION ON A LIFE INSURANCE POLICY IN VT?
Only the policyholder. If the beneficiary designation was changed by someone else, that is fraud. Contact our life insurance lawyers immediately.
HOW MUCH TIME DO I HAVE TO DISPUTE A LIFE INSURANCE CLAIM DENIAL?
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.
WHO CAN CHANGE THE BENEFICIARY ON A LIFE INSURANCE POLICY IN VT?
Only the policyholder can change their life insurance beneficiary in Vermont. If someone else changed the beneficiary, this is fraud. Contact an experienced VT life insurance attorney to help you contest that designation immediately.
WHAT HAPPENS IF A LIFE INSURANCE POLICY LISTS A DECEASED BENEFICIARY?
If the primary 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.
WHAT IF THERE IS NO BENEFICIARY ON A LIFE INSURANCE POLICY?
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?
You will have to investigate. Search the contents of your loved one’s safe-deposit box and desk drawers, and look 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?
Yes, you can share the death benefit with anyone you choose. It is common for a policyholder to name one child as a beneficiary and for that child to share with siblings.
CAN I CONTEST DEATH BENEFITS IF THE BENEFICIARY CHANGED RECENTLY?
The policyholder can change their beneficiary designation at any time up until death to whomever they choose. 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.
CAN I STILL RECEIVE DEATH BENEFITS ON A LAPSED LIFE INSURANCE POLICY?
Perhaps. 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 a 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 THE BENEFICIARY ON A LIFE INSURANCE POLICY BE CHANGED AFTER THE POLICYHOLDER’S DEATH?
Absolutely not. 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 POLICY?
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.