Has your insurance company denied your life insurance claim on a valid policy?

Many of us buy life insurance to protect the ones we leave behind when we are deceased. A life insurance policy is in many ways an expression of the love we have for our spouse, our children, and our other loved ones.

Often the benefit paid upon our death from a life insurance claim is the only way we can protect our families from severe financial hardship when we die.

Having life insurance claims denied can be very serious and very devastating.

When an insurance company unreasonably denies a life insurance claim on a valid insurance policy or unreasonably fails to fully and fairly pay valid life insurance claims promptly, it is considered “insurance bad faith”.


The First Two Years of A Life Insurance Policy

There is generally a two year contestability period in a typical life insurance policy.

This means that the insurance company can rescind the policy if there is something materially wrong in the insurance application and the policyholder dies during the first two years of the policy period.

When this happens, the insurance company will deny life insurance claims, refuse to pay life insurance benefits and only return any premiums paid on the policy.

After the two year contestability period runs out the life insurance company usually cannot contest the policy regardless of problems in the application, and must pay the face amount of the policy upon the policyholder’s death.

Holding the Insurance Company Accountable

An example of the kind of problem that can occur during the two year contestability period would be incorrect medical history in the application.

Should this occur, some important questions must be considered;

  • Who filled out the application?
  • Was it the insurance company agent?
  • Was the applicant given a chance to read it?
  • Was the application filled out by a broker instead of an agent? (The law generally holds the insurance company responsible for the acts of an agent, but not a broker.)

If the mistake was caused by the agent and the insured did not have an opportunity to correct it, or the agent told the insured that the application was properly completed, then the insurance company may still be legally required to pay policy benefits.

Insurance Bad Faith Litigation

It is imperative to conduct a proper analysis of specific facts and issues pertinent to a specific life insurance claim and policy. Should your insurance company deny your valid life insurance claim you will need experienced life insurance attorneys to analyze your denied claim and advise you of any recourse you may have, including insurance bad faith litigation.

Comply With All Of Your Insurance Company’s Reasonable Requests

When you make a life insurance claim on a valid insurance policy, it is important to cooperate with your insurance company.

  • Provide your life insurance company with the documentation that they need. This increases the likelihood that the life insurance company will pay what they owe.
  • Communicate with the insurance company in writing.
  • Keep notes of everything you do.
  • Keep notes of any telephone conversations with the insurance company.
  • Keep copies of everything you send to (and receive from) the insurance company so you have a paper trail of the entire process.

Contact A Life Insurance Attorney

When an insurance company commits bad faith, the only real recourse left to a policyholder is to pursue insurance bad faith litigation against the insurance company.

Viau and Kwasniewski specialize in insurance bad faith litigation against California insurance companies that underpay or fail to pay benefits according to policy provisions.

In most cases Viau and Kwasniewski will work on a Contingency Fee basis meaning we are paid only if we obtain a recovery for you.

For more information about denied life insurance claims litigation in California or for a free, no-risk initial consultation, email a life insurance trial attorney, call (213) 842-8164 or complete our online Contact Us Form

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