Life Insurance Company Accidental Death Benefits
Double Indemnity for Accidental Death? Getting a Life Insurance Company to Pay Accidental Death Benefits Takes Double the Effort!
Not that long ago, life insurance policies had a “double indemnity” clause for accidental death. As we have written before, getting a life insurance company to pay at all can be a fight these days. Getting a life insurance company to pay for accidental death benefits, especially on an accidental death policy, takes real expertise.
When a life insurance company sells a policy of insurance requiring that the insured die in just a particular way–by accident–the life insurance company is purposeful in narrowing when it will pay. The life insurance company focuses on people’s fears to sell the policy–that an accident can happen at anytime–and no one plans for an accident, but then makes it hard to meet the insurance company’s requirement for “an accident.”
Just What is an “Accident” to a Life Insurance Company?
To a life insurance company, what you think may be an accident, may not be an accident at all. Overall, you have to show that an accident happened. Just requiring proof is harder than it seems as first.
If someone trips and falls, hitting their head, they may be injured in a way that makes their heart stop. But if there is no witness to the trip and fall, the insurance company may try to deny the claim, and claim that the person had a heart attack, then fell. A heart attack is not an accident to a life insurance company, and they would not pay any accidental death benefits without litigation.
- Similarly, a car accident may not be an “accident” to a life insurance company. If the injured person had any alcohol or drugs in their system, claim benefits would be denied because the policy may exclude any accidents that involve any of those substances.
- A solo car accident may be seen as an excluded suicide attempt. You can be sure that the investigators for the life insurer will be looking through the insureds medical records to find anything related to mental/emotional health conditions/treatments to bolster this.
Life insurance companies are always looking for ways to make what ordinary people find to be accidents into something else, so they won’t have to pay the benefits.
Just have a look at this list of Exclusions and Limitations from Farmer’s Life Insurance:
This is an accidental death only policy. No benefits are paid for a death from sickness, disease or natural causes. We will not pay the Insured Benefit for a death which is caused by, results from, or is contributed to by:
- Suicide, attempted suicide, or intentionally self inflicted injury, while sane or insane;
- declared or undeclared war or any act of war;
- injury sustained while performing military duty or active service;
- participating in a riot;
- committing a felony;
- sickness or its medical or surgical treatment, including diagnosis or any bacterial infection except through a wound accidentally sustained;
- operating or riding in any kind of aircraft except as a fare paying passenger on a commercial flight;
- voluntary gas inhalation or poison voluntarily taken, administered or inhaled;
- being under the influence of alcohol or having a blood alcohol level at or above the legal limit at which it is unlawful to operate a motor vehicle (as defined in the state where the accident occurred);
- taking any drug, medication, narcotic or hallucinogen unless as prescribed by a physician;
- operating a mechanical or motorized device or motor vehicle while having a blood alcohol level at or above the legal limit at which it is unlawful to operate the mechanical or motorized device or motor vehicle (as defined in the state where the accident occurred, or, if there is no limit specific to the motorized device, the limit at which it is unlawful to operate a motor vehicle);
- riding in or driving any type of motorized vehicle in any kind of speed contest.
The above exclusions may vary by state and policy contract. Please read the Outline of Coverage specific to your state carefully when completing the online application.
After age 65, coverage is reduced per the terms of the contract. Coverage terminates at age 80 (75 in California).
We have done this a lot. We take the time to know you and your case. We start working for you NOW. We communicate with you, respond to your calls, are available to you. We focus on how to win your case. If you have a problem getting your life insurance claim paid, rescission, beneficiary disputes, interpleader, or your policy has been cancelled or has other issues on it, you need to contact Life Insurance Lawyer NOW.com or life insurance justice.com. Use the form on our site, or email us, or call (888) 997-4070 or (818) 937-0937 to speak directly to an experienced life insurance lawyer. We are the best life insurance lawyers around, and we are real lawyers, not a lawyer referral service or “middleman”, we are here for you NOW.