Our Team of Experienced Wisconsin Life Insurance Lawyers Will Fight for the Death Benefits You Are Owed
Contact Boonswang Law to Talk with a WI Life Insurance Lawyer About How to Get Your Life Insurance Claim Paid
You probably know something about how life insurance works in general. People purchase life insurance policies to ensure that their dependents are taken care of in the event of their death. If a policyholder dies within the policy term, their beneficiary or beneficiaries get the death benefit.
Unfortunately, life insurance companies don’t make filing a claim easy for life insurance beneficiaries. Many beneficiaries find the process to be confusing, or even worse, they figure out how to file their claim only to learn later that the life insurance company denied it.
Valid life insurance claims are often initially denied but then pay out when the beneficiary fights back. Our Wisconsin life insurance lawyers have decades of experience helping life insurance beneficiaries get their claims paid. We will help you fight back and get the payout your loved one intended you receive.
The Life Insurance Lawyers at Boonswang Law have represented Clients throughout Wisconsin, Including these Cities and the Surrounding Areas:
- Green Bay
- Eau Claire
- West Allis
- La Crosse
- Fond du Lac
Common Reasons for Denial of Life Insurance Claims in Wisconsin
It is rarely a straightforward matter for a life insurance beneficiary to get their payout. This is because like any other type of business, insurance companies are concerned with profit, and they only make money when they collect premiums and deny or delay payouts. Life insurance companies frequently try to use these reasons, among others, to deny valid life insurance claims in Wisconsin:
Policy Lapse Due to Missed Premium Payments
In order to maintain life insurance coverage, policyholders must pay premiums in full as they come due. If premiums are not paid–for any reason–this can cause coverage to lapse, resulting in the subsequent claims of beneficiaries being denied.
That is not the end of the story, however. Life insurance lapse and termination are highly regulated, and if the life insurance company or the employer administering the policy failed to adhere to those regulations, it may not be the fault of the policyholder that premium payments were not made. In these cases, we can often get our beneficiary clients paid.
Call us if you are the beneficiary of a lapsed life insurance policy in Wisconsin. We may be able to help you.
Misinterpreting the Terms of the Policy
Over our decades of representing life insurance beneficiaries in Wisconsin, we have found that life insurance companies will misinterpret a policy’s terms and provisions in an attempt to deny an otherwise valid life insurance claim.
If you think this is happening to you, hire our WI life insurance lawyers to fight back. We have frequently gotten our beneficiary clients paid after their claim was initially denied.
Policyholder’s Cause of Death Allegedly Excluded from Coverage
Life insurance policies expressly list causes of death that are excluded from coverage, called “exclusions.”
Death as a result of self-inflicted injuries is frequently excluded from coverage, as is death from acts of war or terrorism. However, we have found that life insurance companies will attempt to wrongfully classify someone’s death so that they can deny the beneficiary’s claim due to an exclusion. In these cases, we thoroughly investigate the cause of death and if we can prove the death was not excluded, we can get our beneficiary clients paid.
Alleged Misrepresentation on the Part of the Policyholder
When applying for life insurance a policyholder is required to disclose all personal information, including health, medical conditions, age, surgeries, occupation, home address, medication, and lifestyle habits. Life insurance adjusters use this information to calculate the risk to them that the policyholder will die within the policy term. Those at a higher risk of dying within the policy term pay higher premiums 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 will likely retroactively cancel the policy, claiming that the policyholder misrepresented themselves to get a lower premium payment. They will then deny beneficiaries’ claims.
Boonswang Law has decades of experience with types of cases and can help you if the lie insurance company denies your claim for this reason.
READY TO TALK TO AN ATTORNEY ABOUT YOUR LIFE INSURANCE BENEFITS?
What to Expect From Boonswang Law’s WI Life Insurance Lawyers
You have probably never worked with a life insurance lawyer before, and you may not know what to expect or even whether you need a life insurance lawyer to help you with your claim. Rather than struggle to handle your claim on your own, experience these benefits, among others, when you work with Boonswang Law:
- We review the applicable policy and explain coverage and exclusions to you
- We review denial letters and any other documentation you’ve received from the life insurance company
- We thoroughly investigate the allegations made by the life insurance company in an attempt to deny your claim
- We handle all negotiations with the life insurance company’s team of lawyers
- We vigorously litigate your claim in court if the life insurance company won’t pay
Common Life Insurance Questions in Wisconsin
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO DETERMINE WHETHER SOMEONE HAD A LIFE INSURANCE POLICY?
Unfortunately, there is no list or database that includes every person who has purchased a life insurance policy in our nation, so you will have to investigate on your own.
You might try contacting their employer to ask if they offered group life insurance coverage as a benefit of working there. Look through old documents in search of life insurance paperwork and review bank statements to locate evidence of paid insurance premiums. Search desk drawers and safe deposit boxes for policy documents.
CAN I STILL RECEIVE DEATH BENEFITS IF THE LIFE INSURANCE POLICY LAPSED?
Maybe! 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, in cases where the lapse was not the fault of the policyholder, we have been able to get our beneficiary clients paid.
If you are a beneficiary of a lapsed life insurance policy, the WI life insurance lawyers at Boonswang Law can investigate and help you understand what your rights are.
IF I AM THE ONLY NAMED BENEFICIARY, CAN I SHARE THE DEATH BENEFITS WITH MY SIBLINGS?
Of course! There is no law, regulation, or rule that prevents you from sharing the death benefit with whomever you choose.
It is surprisingly common for policyholders to list only one of their children as a beneficiary on their life insurance policy. Although a beneficiary cannot add their siblings to the policy after the policyholder’s death, there’s nothing stopping them from sharing their benefits once the benefits payout.
MY LIFE INSURANCE CLAIM WAS DENIED, WHAT CAN I DO?
You can dispute or contest the denial.
When you received the denial letter you should have also received documents explaining the process of appealing a claim denial in Wisconsin. But you do not have to contest the denial alone. Having an experienced life insurance lawyer handle your dispute is highly recommended so you can feel confident that everything is being done and that it is all done correctly.
WHO IS AUTHORIZED TO CHANGE A LIFE INSURANCE BENEFICIARY DESIGNATION IN WI?
Only the policyholder can legally change the beneficiary on a life insurance policy. In some instances, a person who has power of attorney over the policyholder may make changes to the policy.
WHEN SHOULD A SPOUSE CONTEST A LIFE INSURANCE BENEFICIARY DESIGNATION?
If you are supposed to be an irrevocable beneficiary or you are a beneficiary under a court order and your spouse or ex-spouse changed their beneficiary designation to someone else, you should contest that designation.
With a divorced or remarried policyholder, confusion may arise over who is entitled to be beneficiary. This is governed by state law and varies state-to-state. Our WI life insurance lawyers can explain what you’re entitled to as the policyholder’s spouse or former spouse.
I SUSPECT FOUL PLAY IN A CHANGE OF BENEFICIARY DESIGNATION JUST BEFORE THE POLICYHOLDER’S DEATH, WHAT SHOULD I DO?
First, know that policyholders can change the beneficiary designation at any time as long as they are of sound mind and not under duress when they make the change. However, if you suspect fraud, incapacity, or duress, you can contest the beneficiary designation. These cases are notoriously difficult to prove, so contact an experienced WI life insurance attorney for help.
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE BENEFICIARY PREDECEASES THE POLICYHOLDER?
If the primary beneficiary dies before the policyholder and the policyholder did not designate a secondary or contingent beneficiary, the benefits may pay to the policyholder’s estate.
CAN THE LIFE INSURANCE BENEFICIARY DESIGNATION BE CHANGED AFTER THE POLICY HOLDER’S DEATH?
Not under any circumstances. The policyholder generally 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.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A MINOR IS THE DESIGNATED LIFE INSURANCE BENEFICIARY?
A minor cannot be the direct recipient of life insurance death benefits. If the beneficiary is still a minor when the policyholder dies, the courts will usually choose a custodian to oversee the minor beneficiary’s death benefits. However, nothing can really be done to stop the custodian from using the minor’s payout for their own purposes.
When a policyholder wants a minor to receive the death benefit, they set up a trust, designating the minor as the beneficiary of the trust, and appointing a trustee to administer the trust and act as the minor’s fiduciary. We suggest hiring an estate planning attorney to help you understand the legalities of setting up a trust.