If a life insurance company is delaying your payment or denying you the payout you deserve, call a Long Beach life insurance lawyer. You and your loved one paid life insurance premiums to financially protect your family. You should receive the compensation you signed up for.
Unfortunately, many insurance companies will try to get out of paying on life insurance claims. They will look through the policy for any technicality or loophole they can use to deny you coverage.
- Life insurance is a deal with an insurance company where you pay regularly, and they promise to give money to your chosen beneficiaries when you pass away.
- Types of life insurance include term, whole, universal, variable, variable universal, and group.
- Common examples of claim denials include missing documentation and disputes over suicide or inherently dangerous activities.
- Beneficiary disputes can lead to legal battles, and laws vary by state.
- The process for resolving beneficiary disputes involves gathering information, attempting informal resolution, filing a claim, taking legal action, and going through the legal process.
- Insurance bad faith in California requires insurers to act fairly and honestly, and a lawyer can help with claims.
- Damages in bad faith claims can include consequential, emotional distress, and punitive damages.
At Haffner Law, our years of experience will improve your chances of getting the money you deserve. We can protect your rights, make sure the insurance company treats you fairly, and help you get the compensation you’re owed from the life insurance policy you and your loved one paid for. Schedule a free case review now!
What is Life Insurance?
The fundamental idea behind life insurance is quite straightforward. When you get a life insurance policy, it’s like making a deal with the insurance company. You agree to give them some money regularly, which can be every month, every six months, or once a year.
In exchange, the insurance company promises that if you pass away, they will give a specific amount of money to the people you’ve chosen as beneficiaries of your policy.
Obtaining Your Long Beach Life Insurance Benefits
There are many different types of life insurance policies. What kinds of benefits you’re eligible to receive will depend on the policy your loved one had. Here are the main types of life insurance:
Term life insurance is like renting coverage for a specific period, usually 10, 20, or 30 years. It offers straightforward, affordable protection and pays out a death benefit if you pass away during the term. Premiums are typically lower compared to other types of life insurance, making it a popular choice for individuals on a budget.
However, it doesn’t build cash value over time, and once the term ends, you’ll need to renew at a higher cost or choose a different policy.
Whole life insurance is a permanent policy that covers you for your entire life. It not only provides a death benefit but also accumulates cash value over time, which you can access through loans or withdrawals.
Premiums are higher than term life insurance but remain level for life, making it a stable long-term option. Whole life insurance can serve as an investment vehicle due to its cash value component.
Universal life insurance offers flexibility in premium payments and death benefits. Policyholders can adjust their coverage and premiums as their financial situation changes. It combines life insurance with a cash value component that earns interest at market rates.
Universal life insurance can be a versatile choice for those who want more control over their policy.
Variable life insurance allows policyholders to invest their premiums in various investment options, such as stocks and bonds. The cash value and death benefit can fluctuate based on the performance of these investments.
It offers the potential for higher returns but also comes with more risk and complexity. Variable life insurance is suitable for those comfortable with investment decisions.
Variable universal life insurance combines the features of universal and variable life insurance. Policyholders have flexibility in premium payments and investment choices. However, the cash value and death benefit can vary based on investment performance.
It provides both risk and potential reward, making it suitable for those seeking growth potential.
Group life insurance is typically provided by employers as a benefit to their employees. It offers coverage for a group of people under a single policy, often with lower premiums.
Coverage usually ends when an employee leaves the group or the employer discontinues the policy. It provides essential protection but may not be sufficient for individuals with specific insurance needs.
Although the policy features vary, most of them offer death benefits and a cash value. Your loved one intended to secure your family’s financial future, and you deserve the benefits from a policy you’ve paid for in good faith over the years.
What Are the Common Examples of Life Insurance Claim Denials?
Life insurance claim denials can be a challenging and distressing experience for policyholders. Various factors contribute to life insurance claim rejections including:
Lacking Full Documentation
Claims adjusters might attempt to claim that not all required information for a claim has been provided. They aim to overwhelm the beneficiary with unclear justifications, hoping they’ll give up on their claim.
Life insurance policies often include clauses stating that they may not pay out for suicides within the first two years. While our Long Beach life insurance lawyers can build a case unless the death is unequivocally a suicide, accidental death policies typically require the insurance company to prove the intent to die, sometimes equating risky behavior like drunk driving with suicide, despite the distinction.
However, it is their responsibility to demonstrate that the insured person intended to end their life, emphasizing the difference between dangerous behavior and suicidal intent.
Inherently Dangerous Activity
While certain life insurance policies explicitly list activities that, if the policyholder dies while participating in them, will result in claim denial—such as skydiving, bungee jumping, rock climbing, or scuba diving—others have more ambiguous language.
This vague wording can lead claims administrators to label certain activities as inherently dangerous when they might not be, like mountain biking or horseback riding.
Handling a Life Insurance Claim Denial in Long Beach
Why do insurers deny life insurance claims? They are in business to make money, so they will avoid paying on as many claims as they can get away with. When they receive your life insurance claim, they aren’t thinking about rushing through the process to get you the money you need as quickly as possible.
They’re thinking about finding any reason to cancel the policy based on some “mistake” you might have made when signing up for coverage or after. Even if the mistake was an innocent oversight on the part of the policyholder or done because of ignorance of the rule, the insurance company will try to use it to avoid making payment.
What If My Life Insurance Claim Is Denied Because of a Beneficiary Dispute?
Life insurance claim denials due to beneficiary disputes often lead to legal processes known as ‘interpleader actions,’ initiated by the insurance company when multiple claimants contest the rightful beneficiary status. The aim is to resolve disputes and facilitate a fair distribution of the life insurance payout. This can involve legal battles, and the funds may be held in escrow until the court reaches a decision.
Such disputes commonly arise from situations like forgotten beneficiary updates after divorce, the absence of a named beneficiary, or concerns about the legitimacy of beneficiary changes, especially when made hastily or under questionable circumstances. State and federal laws govern these interpleader actions, offering a framework for resolving complex beneficiary disputes.
What is the Process for Resolving a Life Insurance Beneficiary Dispute?
The way we handle a dispute over a life insurance beneficiary can vary based on the unique details of your situation, including the cause of the dispute and the laws in your state. Nevertheless, here’s a basic outline of the process:
Start by collecting all the necessary details about the beneficiary dispute, including the terms of the insurance policy, the beneficiary designation form, and any relevant documents.
Attempt Informal Resolution
Before heading to court, explore the option of resolving the dispute through informal discussions or mediation. Open communication and cooperation among the parties involved can help find a solution.
File a Claim
If informal resolution fails, the beneficiary who believes they’re entitled to the benefits should submit a claim to the insurance company. The insurer will review the claim and decide whether to pay the benefits or hold the funds in escrow.
Take Legal Action
When the insurance company refuses to pay or holds the funds, the beneficiary may need to initiate legal proceedings to address the dispute. This could involve filing a lawsuit against the insurer and other parties involved.
Once legal action is underway, the parties will go through the litigation process, which typically includes discovery, motions, and a trial. The court will assess the evidence and arguments presented by both sides and render a decision on who should receive the life insurance benefits.
What is California Insurance Bad Faith?
In California, the concept of insurance bad faith is a legal principle that places greater responsibility on insurance companies when dealing with policyholders or insured individuals. This legal framework acknowledges the unequal power dynamic between the two parties involved in an insurance contract.
It mandates that insurance companies must prioritize the insured person’s interests just as much as their own. Essentially, it requires insurers to act honestly and fairly in all their interactions and discussions with their policyholders.
While it’s rooted in the insurance contract, failing to adhere to these principles of good faith can result in insurers facing legal consequences, including being liable for damages in a lawsuit.
How to Know If I Have a Bad Faith Claim?
If you find yourself saying yes to any of the following questions, you might have a potential case for insurance bad faith.
- Did your health insurance provider decline coverage for medical treatment recommended by your doctor?
- Has your homeowner’s insurance company rejected or delayed payment for damage caused by events like fire, floods, or storms, including additional living expenses?
- Are you facing challenges with your California auto insurance company regarding a claim after a vehicle accident?
- Have you encountered difficulties with a disability or life insurance provider when trying to claim disability benefits or lost income, or after the passing of the insured party?
- Did your insurance policy get canceled or rescinded for unjustifiable reasons or due to a practice known as “post-claim underwriting,” where they evaluate the risk only after a claim has been made?
What Are the Potential Damages I Can Get From My Bad Faith Claim?
If the insurance company has engaged in bad faith practices, there may be compensation available:
- Consequential Damages
- Emotional Distress Damages
- Punitive Damages
Why Do I Need a Life Insurance Lawyer in California?
When faced with the denial of a life insurance claim or a situation involving bad faith on the part of the insurance company, seeking the assistance of our trusted life insurance lawyer is essential for several important reasons:
- We are well-versed in the complexities of insurance policies and the legalities surrounding them. We have the knowledge and experience to navigate the intricacies of your case.
- Life insurance policies can be filled with legal jargon and fine print. Our legal team can help decipher the policy terms and conditions, ensuring you understand your rights and entitlements.
- We can assess the validity of your claim and determine if it has been wrongfully denied. We have the skills to spot bad faith practices by insurance companies.
- We can engage in negotiations with the insurance company on your behalf. We know how to communicate effectively to pursue a fair settlement.
- We strive to ensure you receive the maximum benefits owed to you under the policy. This includes not only the initial claim amount but also any consequential and emotional distress damages.
- Having our life insurance lawyer on your side acts as a safeguard against insurance companies that may engage in unfair practices. It levels the playing field and ensures your rights are protected.
- If necessary, we can initiate legal action to fight for your rights. We will represent you in court and work to secure the compensation you deserve.
At Haffner Law, we are a dedicated life insurance Lawyer who is not just a legal advocate but a guardian of your family’s future. We are experienced, reliable and cable. Talk to us today or schedule a free case review.
Get in Touch With a Long Beach Life Insurance Attorney
The death of a loved one is a serious event, and legal representation can help protect your interests while you’re going through this difficult time. You can’t be expected to handle life insurance claims with a clear head while you’re grieving. If an insurer is giving you a hard time, it can make your situation even worse.
Call a Long Beach life insurance lawyer from Haffner Law to help you with your life insurance claim. We believe your loved one intended to protect you financially, and we’ll fight to see his or her wishes carried out.
Our law firm can also assist you with Property Damage, Bad Faith Claims, Disability Claims, Fire Damage Claims, and Cancer Disability Benefits. Tell an attorney about your case by submitting the contact form below.