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Facts About Life Insurance Claims

Frequently Asked Questions

Can an insurance company legitimately deny a life insurance claim? If all information on the policy is correct and it is force when the policyholder dies, a life insurance provider cannot deny a life insurance claim.  Since they are contractually obligated to pay, the only thing they can do is to withhold the benefits you are entitled to by delaying payment.  If you are persistent, they may attempt to keep at least some profits by offering you less than the full amount of your claim.  These practices are not only unethical, they are also illegal.


How long will I have to wait for my life insurance benefits? Most claims are paid within two months of receipt of a death certificate.  However, if your insurance company is using stalling tactics you could wait much longer.  The attorneys at Life Insurance Law have experience getting dodging insurance providers to send payment immediately.


What is the difference between term life insurance and whole life insurance? All life insurance involves a contract between an insurance provider and the policyholder.  Upon the policyholder’s death, the insurance company pays a sum of money to the policyholder’s family.  After the period of contestability in a life insurance application has passed, the contract cannot be canceled by the insurance provider for any reason.

There are two main types of life insurance: Term life insurance provides an agreed-upon amount to the insured’s beneficiaries only if the policyholder dies during the length of time specified in the policy.  In contrast, whole life insurance remains in force until the policyholder’s death.


What is the period of contestability? This refers to the amount of time between application for the policy and the time it cannot be disputed, usually a period of two years.  In this period, the insurance company still has the right to examine the policy for material misrepresentations and deny the claim if they believe false information was given.

What is material misrepresentation? A material misrepresentation is any distortion of facts given to the insurance company by the policyholder.  This could be anything from concealment of the truth to outright fabrication. In order for the insurance company to deny coverage, the material representation must cause a significant difference in the amount of risk sustained by the policyholder, such as age, income level, occupation, assets or substance addictions.

The number one reason life insurance claims are denied is some form of material misrepresentation.  However, many life insurance providers will cite a misrepresentation that has nothing to do with the assessed risks or cause of death to avoid payment.  At Life Insurance Law, we work to disprove material misrepresentation claims and get you the life insurance benefits you deserve.


What is “bad faith” insurance? “Bad faith” refers to any insurance company that has failed in its legal responsibilities to you, either by illegitimately denying your claim or offering you a drastically reduced amount of compensation.


When should I accept a settlement from the insurance company? You should never accept a settlement without speaking to an attorney.  Many times when the insurance company offers a settlement, it’s because they know your claim is legitimate and they are trying to avoid paying the full amount.  If you have been offered a settlement by your insurance provider, don’t say yes without a free consultation with an attorney at Life Insurance Law.


How does accidental death affect my life insurance claim? An insurance company may view an accidental death as intentional, since it will allow them to invoke a suicide clause to deny your claim.  They may also refuse payment if your loved one was engaged in risky behavior or had alcohol or drugs in his system at the time of death.


Do I have to live in Pennsylvania or New Jersey for Life Insurance Law to take my case? No.  Life Insurance Law represents clients across the United States, working with local lawyers in your area to get you the full compensation for your claim.  Call us today for a free consultation with an experienced life insurance claims attorney.