Life Insurance Lawyers

Fighting for the Rights of Beneficiaries

Life insurance denials may result from a number of circumstances.  Just because a claim is denied, though, does not mean you can’t fight the insurance company.  A knowledgeable and experienced Life Insurance Claim Lawyer can help determine whether you have a case and can assist you in recovering benefits. 

How to Challenge a Life Insurance Denial?

Life insurance is an important component of financial planning in order to make sure that survivors receive adequate financial support.  While no one envisions issues arising with payment of benefits when someone who has life insurance dies, as the discussion above shows, there are many potential issues and pitfalls that can arise.  Enlisting the services of a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer at the first sign of a problem is crucial in order to avoid an unanticipated loss of expected life insurance coverage.

Benefits of Working with a Life Insurance Lawyer

When you enlist the help of DeBofsky Sherman Casciari and Reynolds attorneys, you get an expert team with more than 60 years of experience advocating and watching out for you during a difficult time. Our litigators are authorities in:

  • Assistance and advice in properly filing claims
  • Evaluating questionable insurance company denials
  • Assessing employer miscommunications or failure to provide necessary advice about coverage
  • Close examination and analysis of your insurance policy and all applicable revisions
  • Preparing your claim and guiding you through the claim appeals process
  • Filing a lawsuit and handling all aspects of litigation if your appeal is unsuccessful
  • Taking your case to the court of appeals if warranted

Know Your Rights

Denials could happen for a variety of reasons. An insurance company may challenge your claim even if you can produce a life insurance policy and a death certificate.

Our team has the experience to disprove their claim denials and get you the relief you need.

Does This Apply to You?

Contact DeBofsky Sherman Casciari Reynolds P.C. for an attorney consultation. We will work with you to figure out your problem, and how we can help.

Contact us today!

Our Recent​ Victories

We’re here to fight on your behalf when the odds feel stacked against you. See How We’ve Won Your Rights.

Disabilities Policies ERISA Ruling

Hennen v. Metro Life Insurance

DeBofsky Sherman Casciari Reynolds P.C., recently won a remand from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Hennen v. Metro. Life Ins. Co. Susan Hennen suffered from chronic low back pain radiating into her legs, despite having undergone three back surgeries…

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Fibromyalgia ERISA Ruling

Cathleen Kennedy v. Eli Lilly & Co.

DeBofsky Sherman Casciari Reynolds P.C., along with Bridget O’Ryan and O’Ryan Law Offices won a victory in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit on May 18, 2017 in the case of Cathleen Kennedy v. Eli Lilly & Co. The case involved a disability benefit claim…

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Accidental Death Insurance Benefits

Prather v. Sun Life

On December 13, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued a ruling in the case of Prather v. Sun Life. The case, which involved a claim for accidental death insurance benefits, overturned a lower court ruling denying Lee Ann Prather’s claim and ordered Sun Life to pay the full amount…

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Life Insurance Claims Are Complex. Let Us Be Your Guide.

If your life Insurance claim is denied, you may not realize you can appeal prior to going to court. Indeed, if your benefits are subject to the ERISA statute, you must appeal prior to filing suit or your case may be dismissed.

Life insurance claims can be exceedingly complex. Count on our more than 60 years of combined experience and our record of success in helping you get the benefits you deserve.

Once we accept your care for representation, we will effectively present your case and guide you every step of the way. We don’t stop until you get a fair hearing.

Common Reasons for Life Insurance Claim Denials

There are a variety of reasons why life insurance claims may be denied even if you can produce a life insurance policy and a death certificate.

Evidence of Insurability

Employees are generally given the opportunity to enroll in employer-sponsored life insurance when they begin work or when the benefit is initially offered. If, however, they wish to later change coverage

Beneficiary Designations

Life insurance policyholders have unfettered discretion about changing beneficiaries. And a change in beneficiaries may occur up to the moment of death, although a late change in beneficiaries may trigger an assertion that the newly named beneficiary unduly influenced the deceased to change the beneficiary designation. It is also critical that the rules for changing beneficiaries be strictly followed, particularly for employer-sponsored group life insurance. The failure to submit a beneficiary designation to the benefit plan’s administrator may void that designation and result in an unintended beneficiary receiving the insurance proceeds.

If the life insurance company is unsure of the beneficiary and there are competing claims to the life insurance, the insurance company may file a legal action known as an “interpleader” which names the competing beneficiaries and allows them to press their claims to the life insurance indemnity before a court.

While there are some circumstances where it can be shown that a policyholder substantially complied with the procedures for naming a beneficiary, successful challenges are rare, and courts almost always find that the party identified in the most recent beneficiary designation that was submitted to the insurance company or the employer’s benefit plan administrator has the best claim to the proceeds.

Contestability

Newly issued life insurance is subject to “contestability” within two years of the issuance of the policy. This means that the insurance company has the right to scrutinize the application for coverage; and if there were misstatements in the applicable, the coverage can be rescinded. Examples are omission of past medical treatment, failure to disclose other coverage, or even a misstatement about an occupation. Suicide which occurs within two years of applying for coverage is also generally excluded, but after two years may be covered.

Lapse

The failure to pay premiums can lead to a lapse in insurance coverage, which means that no benefits would be payable. However, most states have laws that protect insureds against improper lapses in coverage or which extend the period of time beyond the premium due date when payments may be made. This issue can be especially important with older policyholders who may be suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia that cause them to neglect making premium payments.

Conversion/Portability

When an employee who has group insurance through work leaves employment, they may have the right to take their life insurance with them by paying the full amount of the premiums for the coverage. Employees who stop working due to a terminal illness must be provided notification and the right to continue their life insurance. An employer’s failure to properly advise the employee can lead to employer liability.

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Learn More About Life Insurance Law

What is an interpleader?

A process server comes to your door and delivers a summons, and something called a complaint for interpleader. What does that mean? How do you respond? For most people in that situation, the answer is to put the papers in a drawer and hope the matter goes away. But if...

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Whether this is your first filing or you need an appeal, we’ll review your case, and work with you to get it resolved in your favor. It’s your money. Let’s get you justice.

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