death at home

Your elderly relative was diagnosed with a terminal disease. She made one thing clear: she didn’t want to die in a hospital. You did the right thing. She came home, and you made her comfortable. You made sure she was exactly where she wanted to be. Today, more people with terminal illnesses are deciding to pass at home under hospice care. Death at home affords your loved one peace of mind. It is outrageous that insurance companies will use it as an excuse to deny benefits.

How does death at home affect life insurance benefits?

Insurance companies know that people rarely have only one type of insurance coverage.  If they can, they will try to get other insurance providers to pay before they do. Or, they will try to get them to pay a larger portion of the benefits.

When your loved one dies at home, the life insurance company may claim that the death was a result of an accident on the property and should therefore be covered by homeowner’s insurance. They may even go so far as to deny your claim based on suspected suicide if your loved one died suddenly after receiving a terminal illness diagnosis.

How could homeowner’s insurance be involved?

Your loved one’s death at home may cause you to experience problems if they did not have homeowners insurance or allowed the policy to lapse.  After your relative passes, the new property owner will have to pay for any damage or accidents that occur there. If you move into the home and there is a burglary or property damage, you will not be compensated for the lost items.

In addition, many seniors choose to move to warmer climates after they retire. Unfortunately, they sometimes forget to transfer their homeowners insurance to their new home. As a result, they are especially vulnerable to accidents at their new location. If an elderly relative is injured in a house fire without homeowner’s insurance, they will likely have to pay for any damages as well as the medical costs of injury. If the injury leads to death, the family will lose much-needed benefits that homeowner’s insurance would have covered.

Is there anything I can I do?

  • Prepare. If possible, locate all insurance documents before your loved one dies. People often dislike getting their affairs in order. However, it will be far more difficult after a death than before.
  • Add your name. It is vital that you file a life insurance claim on behalf of the deceased AND contact his homeowner’s insurance company. Request that you be added to his policy as the “named insured.”
  • Get a lawyer. If your life insurance company denied your benefits, contact us for a free consultation.

If you are having difficulty with a life insurance claim, call us today to get personalized legal advice on your case. We will connect you to one of our affiliated attorneys near you – no matter where you are in the U.S.