Race-based life insurance premiums may have been illegal since 1964, but that does not mean the ripples of such policies are not still seen today.  Even these days, many decisions by life insurance companies can harm people of color or those of specific cultures more than others. If this happens to you, what can you do about it?

This article will discuss why discriminatory insurance denials occur as well as how you as the beneficiary can respond. By the end of the article, you will learn about some of your options and why an attorney can offer you protection and justice moving forward.

How Do You Recognize Discriminatory Denials?

Discrimination in life insurance claims is not always obvious. It’s made even harder because, as it affects beneficiaries, you rarely deal with more than one claim over your life. Despite this, there are some telltale signs that you can keep an eye out for that might help you work out if that is what you’ve experienced.

First of all, you should watch out for if your interactions with insurance companies have been consistent. If the same discussion had varying results, it may be because some of the cases received discriminatory treatment.

Another thing you want to look out for is a lack of any clear explanation related to your denial. If you only receive a vague explanation, they may be hiding the true reason.

If you can communicate with others in your demographic, you might also be able to learn if you have faced shared denials. If this is the case while others do not get the same denials, you may be onto something.

How Does Life Insurance Underwriting Factor In?

Insurance underwriting is how a provider determines who they will insure and at what rate. As life insurance is a risk-based process, it’s important for companies who provide it to have guidelines that can help them not lose money. These guidelines will show if someone is too risky to insure, but can sometimes discriminate based on overlapping factors.

For example, it may be that a region where black people live is overwhelmingly denied due to its “risk level”. While life insurance companies may claim it relates to other statistics, an overlap with race may exist.

Such underwriting also bases its guidelines for premium payments on factors such as credit scores. This may affect those of low socioeconomic status, which often overlaps with majority-black areas. These groups are then most likely to face a denial and, as they may not have the means to seek legal aid, will be most affected.

Taking Action Following Discrimination

Addressing discrimination and getting justice is not a short journey. These are some of the most important steps you need to consider:

Learn Your Rights

You must know what rights you have available, as well as which ones a life insurance company may have denied you. One of the first things you can do is to research cases similar to yours.

Also, look into local regulations that might relate to the life insurance industry and understand how they impact your policy. Then, look over your own policy to understand what you are entitled to.

How Should You React to Different Types of Discrimination?

Many different forms of discrimination might have affected you. The specific nature of each will mean you will need to research different areas.

Age discrimination. Think about the discussions you’ve had and if they align with age-based stereotypes.

Gender discrimination. Do denials focus on issues that relate only to one gender or another, or even a lack of gender? Consider discussing the issue with gender-equality groups or charities for more advice on what you should look out for.

Racial discrimination. If you suspect this, ensure you have all your communications records, especially the denial reasons. Make sure to collate all the data you have, and talk with local anti-racism groups to ask what steps they recommend next.

Gather Evidence

Before you speak to a professional, you will want to gather as much data as you can to discuss the issue with them. They can look over what you gather and offer a good understanding of the situation. They may need more evidence, and they should be able to inform you of what that specific data will look like.

Some of the documents you should bring to them include:

Denial letter. You need to share the letter that announces your denial by the life insurance company. This may not be the evidence that proves discrimination, but it will be a key fact in any case you take forward.

Policy details. Bring your full life insurance policy contract to the attorney. They will have the experience to understand how this affects you in full.

Communication paper-trail. Ensure you keep a copy of all communications with the insurer. If you have a phone call, make note of what it contained and when it happened, as “contemporaneous notes” also count as a form of evidence.

If possible, bring the attorney these documents in a digital form to help with reading through them.

Consulting with Legal Experts

You can then work with a dedicated attorney who specializes in life insurance law. They can offer you both a legacy of legal expertise, as well as case law knowledge, to help you as you move forward.

As the issue progresses, an attorney can offer you guidance on the best course of action to take. Should the issue go to negotiation, or even a trial, they can prepare you for such situations and represent you when necessary.

Handling Life Insurance Denials With an Expert Attorney

As seen above, an attorney can help a great deal when it comes to reversing life insurance denials or receiving justice. We are ready to take on such a challenge.

We would be more than happy to look over your case and let you know what steps to take next. We have specialists ready to talk to you about what happened to you and what we can do to help. So, apply for a free evaluation today and we will check out the situation to ensure you receive the response you deserve.