Frequently Asked Questions About Life Insurance Law –
Life Insurance Bad Faith: What does this mean?
Life insurance bad faith means that a life insurance company is unreasonably delaying or denying life insurance benefits. Sure, a company can investigate a claim. But a life insurance company cannot unreasonably investigate a claim, with an eye towards finding any half-reason to deny the claim. When companies go beyond what is permitted by the California law, regulation, and Courts, they act in insurance bad faith. The compensation for insurance bad faith can include bad faith damages, attorneys fees, emotional distress, and punitive damages. This is a very complex area of law, and to win insurance bad faith damages, you really will need a life insurance lawyer now.
Duty to Provide Coverage: What does this mean?
A life insurance company has a duty to provide coverage; that is, to try to find coverage, so it can pay the benefits under the policy. An insurance contract is a special kind of contract, not the usual commercial contract, but is for something even more: peach of mind. A life insurance policy even more (since it involves death or serious injury) is very much about peace of mind. Because of this, the law requires a life insurance company to look to provide coverage. A duty to provide coverage is an important part of a California life insurance policy, and the lawyers at life insurance lawyer now can provide the arguments to get your life insurance benefits paid.
Incontestability: What does this mean?
In California, because there is such a strong consumer interest in peace of mind in a life insurance policy, there is a limited time that a life insurance company has for certain defenses to the policy. After that time limit has passed, the life insurance is incontestable. Even though there is strong California law on this important consumer right, many life insurance companies, particularly from outside of California, seek ways to use the law’s complexity to avoid the policy incontestability. The lawyers at life insurance lawyer now are adept at arguing the complex laws of incontestability in favor of policy benefits being paid.
Fraud: What does this mean?
When an insurance company uses the term “fraud” they mean that the insured, or someone else, intentionally misled them, usually with a policy application misstatement. The life insurance company will argue that without the misstatement, they would not have issued the policy, and that the “fraud” of the misstatement means that they should not have to pay now. When we use the term “fraud” we mean that the life insurance company had an intention to not pay on the policy, which was improper and prohibited by California law.
Application Misstatements: What does this mean?
Life insurance has an application. The life insurance company wants to be certain there is some potential for a person to out last the policy, and to be sure the person does not expect to die soon. Life insurance companies also have other questions that they seek to answer with policy applications. Even though life insurance companies have a limited length of time to investigate an application, sometimes they would prefer to do no investigation before issuing a policy, but then try to do more investigation if and after there is a claim for the benefits. Under most circumstances, this is not permitted under California law and regulation – yet we see it often.
Why Does a Life Insurance Company Delay the Claim?
Besides the additional earnings the life insurance company makes on the money it keeps longer, delay means there is an investigation into searching for a way to deny the claim. Delay, is always about the insurance company searching for one of its excuses to not pay the benefits. Because of the complexity of life insurance law, it is very important to get an experienced life insurance lawyer now on your claim.
What should I do if I the life insurance company is delaying the payment?
It is really better to hire us before the delay becomes denial. (Of course, we get benefits paid on many denied claims, too, but delay is a different stage.) You should retain a life insurance lawyer now before the delay turns into denial. Why? When we are involved in pre-denial stage, we may be able to show the insurance company why the claim should be paid. We can help avoid denial, and avoid further delay. Life insurance lawyer now can immediately begin to act on your behalf; the insurance company will know that you will not take no for an answer.
Many times, when we come in pre-denial, we can reduce the delay and get the payments paid. They could be paid within 30 days, or sooner. After a denial, we can still do it for you, but it simply takes longer to convince the insurance company to undo the decision they have already made, and make the opposite decision. After the denial, there are two additional steps, and those take time. We have a lot of writing and arguing to do, to motivate the insurance company to take those two additional steps.
Why do insurance companies delay life insurance claims?
Insurance companies don’t like to pay; they prefer when you pay premiums. Delay means they are looking for some reason to not pay the claim. They may ask for paperwork over and over. The biggest delay is a new search through the insured’s medical records. Typically, the life insurance company is searching through the records for something to use to say the application was false, and to deny the policy. There is no such thing as a routine investigation. It is all for one life insurance company purpose: to not pay the money to you.
Why do insurance companies delay life insurance claims?
There are several reasons that the life insurance company delays the claim, by creating an investigation. The company may demand so much paperwork, from a grieving family, that it just becomes too much for the family to keep up with – that’s their goal.
Especially if the family does not have a life insurance company lawyer now helping them, people just get worn down. It is a very difficult time for people, dealing with a loss of a loved one, and searching for papers over and over is tough. But if the life insurance decides you are not cooperating, they may close the investigation, without paying the life insurance policy.
How long does it take for a life insurance claim to get paid?
You should call life insurance lawyer now if your claims are not already paid, within 20 days of when you submitted the death certificate, or if you have been notified that there is some investigation started by the company. Most claims are paid routinely – congratulations – but on larger policies, above $100,000 and beyond the life insurance company has many reasons to not pay, and may delay the claim. That delay is your signal that the life insurance company is going to give you a hard time, and you need a life insurance lawyer now. Remember, the life insurance company has lawyers on its side; don’t be without the guidance and help of an expert life insurance lawyer now.
Often, once we get involved, we can get the life insurance company to pay regularly. It is really important to have an experienced lawyer’s help, without delay.
What will it cost to have your firm handle my delayed life insurance claim?
We work on a contingency fee basis, and we don’t get paid unless you get your money. Our fees are the same or better than any other firm, and with us, you get much more service and value. Other firms usually require you to pay costs of litigation before they will proceed, but we believe in your case enough to wait for success on the case. We also offer grievance and loss counselors.
What are my options if my life insurance claim was denied?
You should retain a life insurance lawyer now from our law firm. We are highly experienced lawyers on insurance bad faith and coverage disputes. We have previous experience providing advice on the most serious of cases – including punitive damages and $100,000,000 claims–to the highest levels of insurance companies. We understand how these companies think, work and act, from the lowest level basic life insurance claim adjustors, to the company presidents.
We litigate high-stakes financial litigation, where everything important is on the line. You don’t want a lawyer unfamiliar with life insurance law and regulation – but you also will benefit from a lawyer who is aware of legal developments in several other complex areas of the law. We have the proper balance in our firm of litigating life insurance claims and cases, and other high stakes insurance litigation, which gives us the best views on the best strategy for your particular situation. Because we involve a team approach on every claim, and test juries on every case, we believe that our results are better than you can get anywhere else.
What is the cost of lawyer from a LifeInsuranceLawyerNow.com?
Our fees are contingency, meaning you only pay us if we recover for you, unless you want a different fee structure. Our fees are extremely reasonable, and we can discuss phased or other fees that will always be better than any other firm’s fee. Remember, you pay us nothing unless we get money for you.
What are some common reasons for a life insurance claim being denied?
Delay itself as a defense to the policy. The life insurance company may just try to win by delay, to ask that you send them documents, and then just deny the claim because you did not send something. Every policy not paid because of delay is a win for the insurance company business bottom-line, even if it is illegal. They seek to bury you with paperwork, because that can work against a non-lawyer. It won’t work against us.
Have you suffered the unexpected loss of a loved one, only to have a claim for life insurance benefits delayed, or denied?
Do you get the feeling that the life insurance company is doing everything it can to avoid paying the claim? Has the life insurance company sent you a letter stating that they are rescinding the policy, making a rescission, or just sending back the premiums paid? Especially if your loved one had the policy for less than two years before passing away, the life insurance company can become very aggressive at seeking to avoid the policy payment. Rescission is a favored strategy of the life insurance company, if the policy was issued less than two years before the death.