It will surprise a lot of people when we say that most beneficiaries do not need to hire a life insurance lawyer. But it’s true.
In at least nine times out of ten, life insurance companies pay the benefits that are outstanding with very little fuss or delay. It just makes good business sense for a company that relies on a favorable word-of-mouth to stay in business from one generation to the next. You can expect to have little or no trouble getting the payment you deserve as a beneficiary when the following circumstances apply:
- The policy has been in force for decades and premiums have been paid regularly, so the insurance company has collected far more in premiums than the face value of the policy.
- The face value of the life insurance policy is modest, perhaps just a few thousand dollars for burial costs.
- The decedent was elderly and died from natural causes or an illness of old age.
- The insurance carrier is a larger, well-established firm with a sterling reputation.
When the company resists paying outstanding life insurance benefits
Of course, there are equivalent warning signs that a life insurance settlement is not going to be quick or easy. When a policy has been in force only briefly, or the face value is large, or the cause of death was not clear-cut, or when dealing with a lower-tier insurance firm, there is always the risk that you may encounter opposition.
Life insurance companies sustain their incredible profits by collecting premiums, not by paying benefits. If they can reject a claim with some plausible excuse, they won’t hesitate to do so.
When things go wrong, a life insurance attorney may be essential. You may have to initiate a life insurance lawsuit in order to get the payment you deserve.
So why don’t people consult life insurance law firms more often?
Given that hiring a skilled attorney can be critical to getting the results a client wants, why are so many people reluctant to reach out for legal assistance? Because, in fact, many people will find reasons to delay searching for a lawyer to represent their interests. As attorneys who focus on life insurance cases, we find that clients often use four different excuses for setting aside the job of finding a life insurance lawyer:
- They don’t realize how much help they can get from an attorney experienced in life insurance law. The average person doesn’t automatically think about getting a lawyer when frustrated by insurance company technicalities. We don’t boast too much about our successful track records, so clients don’t know what we have achieved.
- They don’t know an attorney who focuses on this area. The lawyer who helped you with your will or negotiated a settlement for your auto accident doesn’t necessarily handle law insurance cases. Because insurance is regulated in great detail by state governments, only a few attorneys in any city will choose to spend the time on legal research necessary to concentrate on this case area.
- They have trust issues. A lot of adults have difficulty trusting lawyers, especially with personal financial information. That’s a pity. Over the years, bar associations have been ruthlessly weeding out deceptive and untrustworthy attorneys who act contrary to professional ethics. Most attorneys are trustworthy women and men who take their commitment seriously to guard a client’s secrets.
- They think they will get a smaller recovery if they hire a lawyer. This is partially correct. If your attorney can get the insurance company to pony up a settlement, yes, part of that money will go to the lawyer. But the amount of this payment will be negotiated beforehand, and you can refuse to sign a contract with a lawyer who is asking for too large a fee. You also have to balance that against the probability that without a lawyer’s help you will get nothing. Does it make sense to prefer to receive nothing, rather than the majority amount of your life insurance claim?
Are you losing out on a life insurance claim that’s overdue?
Is the insurance company still giving you the run-around, claiming they’re still “investigating” a claim 30 days after the paperwork was submitted? You can’t rely on the interest penalties for delayed life insurance settlements to make the company act fairly.
You were named the beneficiary of a life insurance policy because someone thought it important you have financial protection after he or she is gone. If the insurance company is acting in bad faith to deny your claim, you are being cheated. Don’t let this happen to you.
The attorneys at Life Insurance Law are ready to stand with you. We act as your legal representatives to demand payment from insurance companies that fail to pay benefits—or pay too little—according to the policy that was issued. Fill in the online contact form or phone (215) 531-7961 to connect with our life insurance claims lawyers who face off every day with insurance company officials. Our clients don’t pay a penny unless we can get a settlement.