Life Insurance

Life Insurance Attorney in California

Kantor & Kantor LLP Helps You Recover the Benefits You Deserve

Life Insurance companies often deny life insurance claims without justifiable reasons. We have experience in resolving life insurance claims under ERISA law. Did you know that if the policy has been in force for more than two years when the insured dies, the insurance company is obligated to pay the claim? However, in many cases, what may seem like a proper denial on the face of it is improper under the law.

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Can Life Insurance Be Denied?

As with other forms of insurance coverage, life insurance has a number of contingencies that can void the policy. Unfortunately, many life insurance companies use flimsy excuses to get out of paying the benefits that are rightly due to the policy recipients. If you believe your life insurance claim was wrongfully denied, contact Kantor & Kantor, LLP today! Our California life insurance attorneys have the skills, experience, and tenacity you need to fight greedy insurance companies.

Reasons Why a Life Insurance Claim May Be Denied

There are a number of reasons why your life insurance claim might have been denied, such as:

  • Policy delinquency - When the policyholder fails to pay their premiums on time, causing the policy to lapse.
  • Material misrepresentation - Putting false information on the life insurance application about your age, health, income, etc.
  • Contestable circumstances - When the policyholder dies during the contestability period (usually 2-3 years from the policy's start date) or in a way that is not covered by the policy such as by suicide or while performing an illegal act.
  • Documentation failure - When the life insurance recipients do not provide the necessary documentation for receiving death benefits.

What is an Incontestability Clause?

Many states have provisions designed to offer some assurance that life insurance benefits will be paid, even if the insured may have made misstatements in the insurance application. The idea is to make sure that if an insurance company has any questions or problems, those matters are addressed while the insured is still living. It is not fair to allow an insurance company to collect premiums for years only to then conduct a more thorough investigation after death and decide not to pay the insurance beneficiaries. These types of provisions are usually called "incontestability clauses." Essentially, such clauses dictate that after a certain period of time, usually 2 years, an insurance company cannot contest a life insurance policy for ANY reason, even fraud.

In California, this rule is set forth in California Insurance Code, section 10113.5.

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Life Insurance Cases

For example, we had a case where the insured died from an overdose of cocaine. He was insured under an accidental death policy issued by his employer. The insurance company found that the accident was not an accidental death under the law and denied the claim. After we completed the administrative review of the claim, we filed a lawsuit on behalf of the minor son of the person who died. The court found that in fact, the cocaine overdose was an accident, and the insurance company paid the $500,000 life insurance benefit.

We have also had cases where the insurer denies that the deceased was entitled to "supplemental life insurance" offered through his or her employer. Often, such insurance can be a multiple of many times the ordinary life insurance offered through employment. Related to these types of claims, insurers often assert that the insured failed to complete the proper forms such as Evidence of Insurability or Statement of Good Health forms, or might even claim that the insured was not truthful in filling out the insurance application. We have seen and helped people with all of these problems. 

Sometimes insurers even pay life insurance proceeds to the wrong beneficiary. We have resolved many of these types of cases as well. These are just a few of the many examples of life insurance issues that come up.

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Learn more about our legal team and discuss the details of your case by completing our contact form or by giving us a call at (877) 220-0556 . Our consultations are free.

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