Life insurance doesn't have to be so complicated.
Companies make it hard to collect life insurance.
Losing your loved one is difficult enough
Life insurance policies are supposed to provide economic stability after a loss, but insurance companies are more concerned with profits than doing what’s right. This hits families at a particularly vulnerable time while they are grieving.
Insurance lawyer Craig Nierman has helped families collect hundreds of thousands of dollars in previously denied life insurance claims. If your life insurance claim has been denied, contact him to discuss your case without fee or obligation. Almost all cases are taken on a contingent basis meaning we only get paid if you win.
Most denied life insurance claims fall into one of several categories:
Pre-existing or medical conditions were undisclosed
This is one of the most common pretexts for denying life insurance claims. Typically, insurance companies save a lot of money by not examining insurance applications carefully when they are submitted and then waiting until there is a claim to try to find some inconsistency between the application and medical records. Generally, the insurance adjuster will then claim that the policy should be rescinded, meaning that it never existed. There are multiple ways to overcome this kind of denial including utilizing a careful examination of the medical and other records to show that the insurance company had notice of medical issue. Additionally, insurance companies often legally (and unknowingly) waive their right to deny claims.
An alleged application error by the agent or insured individual
Most states do not require a perfect application and, often times, the insurance company – not you – must prove that the error was so egregious that it would not have issued the policy if the application was perfect; this is an extraordinarily high standard and one that is very difficult to meet. In some cases, the agent’s error is attributable to the insurance company meaning that it must pay the beneficiary when its own representative made the mistake. In other situations, the agent or broker may become liable for the amount of the death benefit.
Claim forms were filed too late or incorrectly
Because deadlines on insurance policies can be very short, it is extremely important to make sure that things are done correctly the first time and within the deadline period. However, an error on the claim form does not necessarily void the entire claim.
The insurance company says a recent premium payment was late
This is a very common justification for a denial, but a careful examination of insurance company records can show that they were inaccurate or that the insurance company waived the late payment. These claims often require a familiarity with insurance company billing records.
An alleged connection to drunkenness or suicide
In these situations, a careful examination of the insurance policy itself as well as the cause of death can lead to a successful appeal of the denial. Some policies allow payments of claims resulting from suicide after the policy has been in effect for a certain amount of time.
The cause of death is "not covered" by the policy
What the claims examiner says is not always accurate or legal. Claim denials must be supported by the law, the policy language, and the particular facts of each case. It is important to conduct an independent investigation before accepting a questionable denial.
An obscure exclusion justifies a denial
Generally speaking, the insurance company has the burden of proof to show that an exclusion is applicable. Moreover, there are laws that effectively overrule many exclusions, especially those that are unreasonable or defeat the essential purpose of the policy itself. Many times these denials can be successfully challenged.
Sadly, insurance companies keep millions of dollars in claim payouts by convincing grieving families to give up. Many times the strategy is to delay, ask for unnecessary documents, take statements and/or examinations under oath, etc. Complaints to state insurance commissioners rarely lead to meaningful action, so it is up to the legal system to provide justice for grieving families.
Who can you trust to deal with a life insurance claim?
With +20 years of experience dealing with insurance claims, attorney L. Craig Nierman is well equipped to file and advocate for your claim. While this might be your first time dealing with a challenging insurance situation, Mr. Nierman has filed thousands of claims for his clients. His experience includes working at one of the nation’s largest insurance companies, training attorneys on best practices/techniques, and teaching Insurance Law at the University of Iowa. Even other attorneys retain him to strengthen their insurance cases as an expert witness, testifying in numerous state and federal courts. This experience gives you a significant advantage as we fight for you.
While our firm has a dynamic team of 12 attorneys, paralegals, and other support staff, Mr. Nierman remains directly involved in every case he accepts. With experience with claims involving personal injuries, life insurance, health insurance, homeowners insurance, workers compensation, disability, and wrongful death, we look forward to learning how we can help you move forward. Contact L. Craig Nierman today for a no fee consultation.