Illinois Life Insurance Denials and Delays

What should you do if your life insurance claim has been denied?

The attorneys at Life Insurance Law work to recover full compensation for life insurance beneficiaries in Illinois. If your life insurance claim has been denied or delayed, contact us today for a free case evaluation.

You can expect the following from your Illinois life insurance lawyer:

  • A free case evaluation where we go over the facts of your claim in detail.
  • Explanation of all legal terms and documents.
  • An attorney who will contact your provider to get a delayed claim paid fast.
  • Full disclosure on court costs and attorney fees before you agree to retain counsel.

Many claims will be denied by providers based on material misrepresentation. This means that the policyholder provided false information, such as age or health history, that makes the policy invalid. In these cases, an Illinois life insurance lawyer can help you appeal the decision and may still be able to recover the full amount of your claim.

How am I protected by state insurance laws in Illinois?

The U.S. Constitution gives the federal government the power to regulate interstate commerce. In the case of life insurance policies, the federal government has largely allowed the states to take the duties of regulating the insurance industries and of providing consumer protection.

The state of Illinois has life insurance laws to help protect consumers. Here is a summary of some of these Illinois life insurance laws. Of course, you should definitely contact us to discuss your case specifically and see how state laws impact your particular situation.

The Illinois Insurance Code — officially, Chapter 215 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes — is the primary regulating force behind the insurance industry within the state of Illinois, but other legal provisions have also been adopted as consumer protection laws. The Illinois Department of Insurance provides oversight for the insurance business in the state.

The most important rules that may apply in your case are:

  • The “free look” period. Any Illinois resident buying a life insurance policy has 10 days to back out of coverage and receive a full refund of any premiums he has paid. No penalty can be charged for backing out of the contract during the free look period. Some insurance companies may grant a longer period, but the law guarantees you will at least ten days to change your mind.
  • 30-day payment grace period. This ensures that an Illinois life insurance policy cannot be canceled due to a reasonably late payment. The policyholder has 30 days to make the payment, during which time the provider cannot cancel the policy or deny coverage.
  • Control of personal medical information. Your insurance company may have access to your medical records and may use those records to decide whether to issue you a life insurance policy. In Illinois, you cannot force the insurance company to share those medical records with you. However, you can compel the insurer to share those records with a physician you select.
  • Timely payment on claims. When a life insurance claim is filed, an Illinois insurance provider is required to pay the amount to the beneficiary promptly. Failing to settle claims in a prompt, fair, and equitable manner can result in serious penalties against the insurer. Payments are typically made within a month after the provider receives proof of death. If the claim takes longer than 30 days to settle, the insurance company is required to pay accrued interest on the proceeds. There is no absolute limit on how long a company may investigate a claim before paying the benefits.
  • Incontestability clause. An insurance company cannot cancel an individual life insurance policy after it has been in force for two years, as long as you pay the premium. If a claim is filed within two years of the effective date, the company has the right to review the application for insurance to make sure it was completed accurately. If this review finds errors or omissions in the original application, the company may choose to void the insurance policy — and no death benefit will be paid, although the premiums paid for insurance will be refunded.
  • Your benefits are guaranteed even if the insurer goes out of business. Life insurance policies that are current are backed by the Illinois Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association. You must be up-to-date on paying your premiums, and the insurer must be properly licensed to operate in Illinois. In the event that your life insurance company becomes insolvent, we can work with the Guaranty Association to compensate your policy. This guarantee is limited to $300,000 maximum for lost death benefits and $100,000 maximum for lost cash surrender, even if the deceased person was insured for a larger amount or covered under multiple policies.

Why you should work with us

The attorneys at Life Insurance Law work with clients across the country to recover denied and delayed life insurance claims. Whether we agree on a settlement or take your case to court, our attorneys will fight for your best interests every step of the way.

If your insurance claim has been denied or delayed, call our offices today to get advice from an Illinois life insurance attorney.