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 Missouri. If your life insurance claim has been denied or delayed, contact us today for a free case evaluation.
Our life insurance lawyers live and work in Missouri. You can expect the following from your Missouri 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, a Missouri 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 Missouri?
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 Missouri has life insurance laws to help protect consumers. Here is a summary of some of these Missouri life insurance laws. Of course, you should definitely contact us to discuss your case specifically and see how state laws impact your particular situation.
Title 20 of the Missouri Code of State Regulations and Chapter 376 of the Missouri Revised Statutes are the backbone of the system regulating the insurance industry within the state of Missouri, but other legal provisions have also been adopted as consumer protection laws. The Missouri Department of Insurance provides oversight for the insurance business in the state.
The most important rules that may apply in your case are:
- No legally mandated “free look” period. Most Missouri insurance companies will give customers a reasonable period — anywhere from seven to 30 days — to change their minds after obtaining life insurance. Check with your insurance provider or examine your policy for the option your insurer offers. If you cancel within this “free look” period, you are entitled to receive a full refund of any premiums you have paid. It’s important to remember that, even though insurance companies are not required by state law to offer this option, those companies which do offer a trial period must apply it fairly and consistently to all similar customers.
- 30-day payment grace period. This ensures that a Missouri 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.
- Weak protection of personal information. State laws grant insurance companies full control of all the information they obtain about policyholders. They can release that information as they choose to other financial service agencies, including banks, employers, and other insurers. You cannot block their use of your information, and you cannot compel your insurance company to tell you what information they may be sharing.
- Timely payment on claims. When a life insurance claim is filed, a Missouri insurance provider is required to pay the amount to the beneficiary promptly. Payments are typically made within 60 days after the provider receives proof of death. However, state law allows an insurance company time for a “reasonable investigation” of a claim before settling, and no specific time limit is given for how long this may take. The settlement process may be lengthy if there is uncertainty about the policy or beneficiaries.
- 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 has the option whether to keep or refund any premiums paid). Deliberate misstatements on an insurance application may be prosecuted as fraud.
- Your benefits are guaranteed even if the insurer goes out of business. Life insurance policies that are current are backed by the Missouri 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 Missouri. 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 a Missouri life insurance attorney.