Has Your Life Insurance Claim Been Denied?

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Life Insurance Lawyer

What Is a Life Insurance Lawyer?

A life insurance lawyer helps beneficiaries and policyholders with the process of appealing life insurance claim denials or delays. They gather evidence, communicate with insurers, file appeals, and pursue legal action to ensure clients receive the benefits they’re entitled to under the policy.

Unfortunately, many life insurance companies wrongfully deny payment on claims to beneficiaries of life insurance policies. Despite their legal and contractual obligation to pay the beneficiaries.

Life insurance companies have a financial incentive to deny claims and even deny payment for illegitimate reasons, hoping that most people will accept the decision and not appeal.

In an ideal world, the life insurance company will pay the claim benefits without hesitation, and in many instances do. However, there are expectations.

If your life insurance claim has been denied for seemingly illegitimate reasons, you need an experienced life insurance attorney who has the expertise and know-how to battle the big insurance companies on your behalf and overturn your claim denial to get the benefits rightfully owed to you.

Getting your denial reviewed, appealed, and built is free with us and it all starts with a free case consultation. Our attorneys work on a contingent fee basis meaning you do not pay us unless we win.

Schedule a free life insurance case consultation.

What Happens if Your Claim is Denied?

If your life insurance claim is denied, it can be devastating, especially during an already challenging time. However, a denial isn’t always the final decision. As a beneficiary, you have the right to appeal and seek the benefits you’re entitled to under the policy.

When a claim is denied, the insurer must provide a written explanation of the reasons. Review this carefully and gather supporting documentation, such as medical records, death certificates, and policy documents.

Sometimes, a denial can be overturned through the insurer’s internal appeals process. Other times, legal action may be necessary to compel the insurer to pay the claim.

If you believe the denial is unjustified, contact our law firm. Our life insurance attorneys will review your case, advise you on the best course of action, and develop a robust legal strategy to get you paid, even if it means overruling the insurer’s decision in court.

Our Life Insurance Attorneys Specialize in Addressing the Following Claims

At DiGeorge Life Insurance Law Firm, our life insurance lawyers handle a comprehensive range of life insurance claims. Our services cover delayed claims, outright denials, accidental death benefits, and specific cases such as Service Members’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) and wrongful death insurance claims. Each type presents unique challenges that require specialized knowledge and a strategic legal approach.

Denied Life Insurance Claims Lawyer

Insurers may deny life insurance claims due to alleged misrepresentations on the application, lapsed policies, or disputes over the cause of death. A life insurance claim denial leaves beneficiaries without the financial support they were counting on. If this has happened to you, contact our firm to speak with a lawyer at no cost to you, immediately.

Delayed Claims

Delayed claims occur when there is an unreasonable holdup in processing and paying out benefits. Common reasons include extended reviews, paperwork discrepancies, or issues with the policyholder’s medical history. These delays can leave beneficiaries in a precarious financial position.

Accidental Death and Dismemberment Claims

Accidental death benefits provide extra compensation if the insured’s death results from an accident. However, claiming these benefits can be challenging, as insurers closely scrutinize claims and may dispute the definition of “accidental” or the role of existing medical conditions.

Denied Service Members Life Insurance Claim (Denied SGLI Claim)

Insurance claim denial of Service Members’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) claims often stems from incomplete documentation, eligibility disputes, or misunderstandings regarding policy coverage. Through detailed preparation and informed strategy, we stand by our commitment to serving those who have served our country.

Wrongful Death Insurance Claims (Including Murder)

Wrongful death claims in life insurance arise when the insured’s death is caused by another party’s negligence or misconduct. These complex claims intersect insurance law and tort law, requiring a thorough understanding of both.

Common Reasons Insurance Companies Deny Claims

Life insurance companies may deny claims for various reasons, some of which may be valid, while others may be questionable or even bad faith. Some of the most common reasons for denied life insurance claims include:

  • Material misrepresentation: If the policyholder provided “inaccurate” or incomplete information on the life insurance application, such as failing to disclose a pre-existing medical condition, the insurance company may deny the claim based on material misrepresentation.
  • Lapsed policy: If the policyholder fails to pay premiums and the policy lapses as a result, the insurance company may deny the claim.
  • Contestability period: Most life insurance policies have a contestability period, typically two years from the policy’s effective date. If the policyholder dies within this period, the insurance company has the right to investigate and potentially deny the claim if they discover material misrepresentation or fraud.
  • Suicide clause: Many policies have a suicide clause that excludes coverage if the policyholder dies by suicide within a specified period, usually two years from the policy’s effective date.
  • Excluded causes of death: Some policies may exclude certain causes of death, such as death resulting from criminal activity, drug or alcohol abuse, or high-risk, injury-prone activities.

Can You Recover Benefits After Being Denied?

Yes, you can recover life insurance benefits even after an initial denial. First, review the denial letter, gather supporting evidence, and review other relevant information.

If you believe the denial is unjustified, you have the right to appeal. The appeals process varies:

  • Employer-sponsored group policies: Governed by ERISA, requiring exhaustion of internal appeals before filing a lawsuit in federal court.
  • Individual policies: Governed by state law, usually involving a written appeal with supporting evidence. If denied, you may file a lawsuit in state court.

Regardless of the type of policy, it is highly recommended that you consult with a life insurance attorney BEFORE submitting an appeal.

Do You Need a Life Insurance Attorney for Recovering Denied Claims?

While appealing a denied life insurance claim without legal representation or legal counsel is possible, hiring a life insurance attorney offers several advantages:

  • Specialized knowledge of life insurance laws and regulations.
  • Experience dealing with insurance companies and their denial tactics.
  • Communication with the insurer on your behalf to protect your rights.
  • Assistance in gathering and presenting strong evidence to support your claim.
  • Identification of legal or procedural issues that may have led to the denial.

Ultimately, the decision to hire a lawyer is a personal one. However, it is often in your best interest to at least consult with a life insurance law firm to discuss your legal options and ensure that your rights are protected.

Can You Sue a Life Insurance Company to Receive Claim Benefits?

Yes, you can sue a life insurance company if your claim has been wrongfully denied and you have exhausted the appeals process.
There are two main legal grounds for suing a life insurance company:

  • Breach of contract: If the insurer denies your claim in violation of the policy terms, you may have grounds for a breach of contract lawsuit to enforce the policy and recover entitled benefits.
  • Bad faith: If the insurer denies your claim without a reasonable basis, engages in deceptive practices, or unreasonably delays processing, you may have grounds for a bad faith lawsuit.

Life Insurance Claim Denied in Bad Faith

A life insurance company denies a claim in bad faith when it acts unreasonably, deceptively, or with reckless disregard for the policyholder’s rights. Examples of bad faith practices include:

  • Denying a claim without proper investigation
  • Misrepresenting policy terms or failing to disclose information
  • Unreasonably delaying claim processing or payment
  • Offering settlements significantly lower than the claim’s value
  • Failing to communicate with beneficiaries or provide required notices

In a bad faith lawsuit, you may recover additional damages through litigation including:

  • Compensatory damages for financial losses and emotional distress
  • Punitive damages to punish the insurer and deter future bad faith practices
  • Attorney’s fees and costs incurred in pursuing the claim

How Much Do Life Insurance Lawyers Cost?

Our law firm understands the financial strain of a denied life insurance claim. That’s why we work on a contingency basis, meaning you won’t pay any legal fees unless we successfully recover benefits for you. If we don’t win your case, you owe us nothing.

We believe in transparency and will provide a clear fee agreement outlining the terms of our representation. During your free consultation, a lawyer will review your case and advise you on the best course of action, giving you peace of mind knowing that you only pay if we obtain a settlement on your behalf.

The Most Common Types of Life Insurance Policies

There are several types of life insurance policies available, each with its own unique features and benefits. Understanding the different types of policies can help you make an informed decision when purchasing life insurance or when filing a claim.

The three most common types of life insurance policies are:

  • Term Life Insurance: Provides coverage for a specific term (1-30 years), offering a death benefit only. Most affordable option, but the policy expires without payout if the policyholder outlives the term.
  • Whole Life Insurance: Provides lifelong coverage with a death benefit and cash value accumulation. Higher premiums, but policy remains in force as long as premiums are paid.
  • Universal Life Insurance: A permanent policy combining a death benefit with a savings component. Policyholders can adjust premiums and death benefits, and borrow against or withdraw from cash value.

Life Insurance Claims Statistics

  • In 2022, U.S. life insurers paid out approximately $797.7 billion in benefits. (Source: Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I))
  • Around 1-2% of life insurance claims are denied annually.
  • On Average, life insurance claims are typically processed and paid within 30-60 days of filing, depending on the case’s complexity and the insurer’s processes.

Contact a Life Insurance Lawyer for a Free Consultation

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Find Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Life Insurance Lawyer

At DiGeorge Life Insurance Law Firm, we understand the financial and emotional strain of a denied life insurance claim. That’s why we offer our legal services on a contingency fee basis, meaning you won’t pay any legal fees unless we successfully recover a settlement for you.

There are no upfront costs to start your case, and you will never receive a bill from us. If we don’t win your case, you don’t owe us anything.

To get started, simply fill out our secure online form for a complimentary case review with a life insurance lawyer, or call our office at (800) 391-9692 to schedule your free consultation.

Can Power of Attorney Cash in Life Insurance Policy?

Yes, a person holding a valid power of attorney (POA) can generally cash in a life insurance policy on the policyholder’s behalf, provided that the POA document explicitly authorizes the agent to handle the policyholder’s insurance matters. However, it’s crucial to understand that there are legal requirements and potential limitations to consider. For instance, the life insurance company may demand certain paperwork, like a certified copy of the POA, before agreeing to process the request to cash in the policy. Furthermore, the policyholder must have been of sound mind when executing the POA, and the agent must always prioritize the policyholder’s best interests when making choices concerning their life insurance.

How Long Do I Have to Appeal a Denied Life Insurance Claim?

The time limit can vary by policy, but generally, you should initiate an appeal within 60 days of receiving your denial notice. Check your policy terms for specific deadlines.

What to Do When Life Insurance Won’t Pay?

If a life insurance company denies your claim, carefully review the denial letter to understand their reasons. Gather evidence to support your claim and appeal the decision directly with the insurer. If the issue persists, file a complaint with your state’s insurance department or consult a life insurance attorney to explore legal options, such as filing a lawsuit against the company for breach of contract or bad faith denial.

What Do Life Insurance Lawyers Do?

Life insurance lawyers help clients navigate the complexities of life insurance policies and claims. They assist in filing claims, appealing denied or delayed claims, and pursuing legal action when necessary. These attorneys also provide guidance on policy terms, beneficiary disputes, and the tax implications of life insurance payouts. In some cases, they may represent life insurance companies to ensure compliance with state and federal regulations.

The DiGeorge Life Insurance Law Firm Advantage

DiGeorge Life Insurance Law Firm excels in representing clients whose life insurance claims have been denied due to policy lapses. Our attorneys possess a deep understanding of the complexities involved in these cases and are committed to conducting thorough investigations and advocating fiercely on behalf of our clients.


No Recovery, No Fee

Our contingent fee structure means we are as invested in your success as you are; we only succeed when you do.


National Recognition

Known across the country for our success in life insurance recovery, our reputation speaks for itself.


Millions Recovered

Our team has recovered millions of dollars for our clients after receiving life insurance benefits denied or delayed.

Has Your Life Insurance Claim Been Denied?

Our life insurance lawyers help you receive the life insurance benefits owed to you, despite what the insurance company may say.

There is never any risk or out-of-pocket cost to you.