People rely on life insurance to provide a safety net after they have lost a family member. Unfortunately, this reliance is often misplaced as Life Insurance Companies frequently make excuses to wrongfully delay or deny valid claims. The result is that family members are often left without the financial security the life insurance policy was meant to provide.
If you have recently lost a loved one, and then had your valid attempts to collect on that person’s life insurance policy stonewalled or outright denied, it is essential to work with an experienced life insurance attorney to help collect the money you are owed.
At The Callahan Law Firm, we have a history of successfully representing beneficiaries in life insurance claims. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss the problems you are facing with a life insurance claim.
Common Reasons for Delays or Denials of Life Insurance Claims
Most life insurance policies sold in Texas have what is called a “two year contestable period”. This means that if the insured person passes away within two years of buying the policy, the insurance company has a right to investigate the insured’s death and the insurance application.
When doing this, the insurance company will do its best to try to find any “misrepresentations” contained in the application which they will use to deny the claim.
While some delays or denials might be appropriate in these circumstances, all too often the insurance companies take advantage of a grieving family’s lack of knowledge regarding insurance law to wrongfully delay or deny a claim.
Other common reasons include:
- Undisclosed and pre-existing medical conditions where the insurer says they would not have written the policy had the conditions been disclosed
- Behavior that causes the death of the insured which excuses payment
- Claims that were filed too late
- Change of a beneficiary(s) at a time suspiciously close to the decedent’s death
- Claims that the policy was cancelled for nonpayment of premium
- Claim forms that were incorrectly completed
- Questions about an insured’s competency
- Questions about the actual cause of death
- Dispute about who are the beneficiaries
- Failure to provide adequate documents to support a claim
- Failure to provide needed authorizations for release of medical information
- Contesting a policy
- Competing claims
Bad Faith Actions
Bad faith insurance claims arise when the company fails to treat the policyholder fairly and appropriately, or fails to comply with state laws on handling claims. The insurance provider has a duty to provide the promised coverage in a prompt manner, and when this and other responsibilities are avoided, compensation may be due.
Examples of how a company may act in bad faith include:
- Failing to process a legitimate claim in a timely manner
- Making unreasonable demands for documentation
- Failing to conduct a thorough and accurate investigation
- Paying partial benefits when full benefits are owed
- Denying a claim that is covered by the policy
- Offering an unreasonable low-ball settlement
How We Can Help
The language in insurance policies is purposefully confusing and virtually impossible for most people to understand. You may feel intimidated by a claims adjuster or another insurance company representative who aggressively tells you that coverage does not apply, or even that if you take action, you will create legal problems for yourself.
We refuse to be intimidated by the wealth and power of insurance companies or the “deny, delay and defend” tactics they teach their adjusters and lawyers. Our life insurance attorneys, professional staff and outside expert resources are equipped to deal with the fact-intensive investigation, negotiations and litigation that may be required to obtain the outcome you deserve. Contact The Callahan Law Firm today.