Anyone who has ever filed an insurance claim knows what a pain it can be. From car accident claims to home damage after a storm, the mere act of reading your policy is a chore. The terms and definitions in your coverage seem to contradict one another—and to be honest, you’re not sure what the language actually means.
It’s not your fault: insurance policies are purposely written in ambiguous language. When you try to file a claim, you are denied and told to “read your policy.” Some people simply give up at this point, assuming the insurance company knows better than they do.
Unfortunately, many disreputable insurers are bluffing: you are covered, but your policy is so confusing you’ll never find out.
How does this happen?
The most common reasons life insurance coverage is denied are:
- Your relative did not pay all of their premiums
- Your loved one passed away within the two-year period of contestability
- The applicant gave false information to the company that invalidates the policy
What many people don’t realize is that these reasons are actually excuses for denial.
For example: your loved one neglected to mention that he was a smoker on his insurance application. The insurance company then denies your life insurance claim after his death, citing “material misrepresentation” on behalf of the policyholder. While this may be true, your loved one died in a traffic accident—the fact that he used to smoke is therefore irrelevant.
Sadly, many grieving families do not have the time or the energy to dispute the denial of a life insurance claim—and that’s just what the insurance company is counting on.
How can I fight this?
The important thing to remember is that not only does the insurance company have to give you a reason for denying your claim, but they also have the burden of proof, meaning if they cannot prove to a judge that your claim was legally denied, you will have to be paid the full amount of your policy.
The first step is to get everything in writing. If you have been denied, call the company and demand a written explanation of the reason. This will force the specifics of the case, and when you have a specific reason, the denial will be easier to dispute.
Second, get the advice of an experienced life insurance attorney. Someone who is experienced with policy language and insurance company tactics can tell you if you have a valid claim and how to proceed with your life insurance denial case.
Call Life Insurance Law today at (215) 531-7961 for a free consultation on your case.