When most people purchase life insurance, it is done to provide for the loss of income to one’s family and other economic hardships created by premature death of a family breadwinner. Beneficiaries use life insurance proceeds to pay for things like college tuition, mortgage balances and funeral expenses. Most people never imagine when they purchase life insurance that the company will not pay the beneficiary, which can leave a family with no way to cover basic necessities. Unfortunately, this practice is all too common with life insurance companies denying claims outright, delaying payment or offering to pay less than the amount of the benefits under the policy. The lives of many families are made more difficult when insurance companies engage in such practices because the family is already dealing with the emotional loss of a loved one. Schedule a free consultation with us and learn how our attorneys will fight to get compensation your loved one wanted to leave you with.
At the Bennett Law Firm, we have represented hundreds of families of life insurance policyholders whose insurance company refused to deal fairly with them by promptly processing the claim and paying the benefits under the policy. There are few legitimate reasons other than outright fraud to deny a life insurance claim. Nonetheless, it is not uncommon for life insurance companies to deny, delay or underpay a claim. Common tactics used by life insurance companies include the following:
- Post Policy Underwriting: This type of scheme is designed to add exceptions to coverage and allege that they were pre-existing so that coverage can be denied.
- Claim Denial: The life insurance company may deny the claim alleging fraud or relying on some technical error in completing the application as a basis for the denial.
- Errors in Preparing the Policy: The life insurance provider may allege errors or omissions were made in preparing the policy application that affect the benefits or coverage.
- Delaying Payment: The insurance company may delay processing of the claim. If the company does this, it is important to obtain an explanation for the delay so that you can challenge the legitimacy of the delay.
- Complex or Misleading Premium or Coverage: Sometimes the insurance company may adopt complicated premium structures designed to deceive policyholders into paying higher premiums than are owed or provide less insurance than indicated.
A business may also purchase a life insurance policy or offer life insurance coverage as part of an employer’s benefit plan. Businesses may seek life insurance coverage for key executives. This coverage may permit the business to replace the executive more rapidly and avoid unnecessary disruption of the business operations and/or management. Companies also offer life insurance as part of an employee’s job benefits. Our knowledgeable life insurance bad faith attorneys can advise you of your legal rights when such complications arise and diligently represent your interest as a beneficiary of the policy.
It is normal to assume that if an insured makes premium payments according to the terms of their life insurance policy that their beneficiary will receive the agreed for benefits without unreasonable obstruction or delay. Unfortunately, an insurance provider can increase its profit margin by denying, delaying or refusing to pay while maximizing the benefits that it collects from a policyholder. If your life insurance claim is denied or the life insurance company is offering less than the value of your claim, it is important that you request that your insurance provider indicate in writing what provisions of your insurance policy it is relying on in denying or low-balling your claim or the reason for any delay in paying the claim. This creates documentation of the insurance company’s position, which a court can evaluate if you need to file a lawsuit based on the bad faith of your life insurance company. You should also carefully document any conversations or correspondence with your insurance company.
We routinely advise beneficiaries of life insurance policies regarding other complications that can arise when a claim is filed under a life insurance policy. A change in marital status or failure to designate a person who was the obvious intended beneficiary can delay a claim or make it more complicated to obtain the benefits under the policy. Sometimes the way the cause of death is listed on the death certificate can also make thing more complicated. If you are the intended beneficiary of a life insurance policy and find that you are faced with any of these complications or that the life insurance company is refusing to deal with you fairly, The Bennett Law Firm can help you, as we have helped hundreds of others throughout Oklahoma.
If your life insurance company refuses to deal fairly with you and insists on cheating you by denying or unreasonably delaying payment of the benefits or offering less than the value of the benefits, The Bennett Law Firm will zealously fight for your best interest. Our experienced Oklahoma bad faith life insurance team of attorneys and staff will aggressively seek the benefits provided for in the policy. If an insurance company refuses to deal fairly with a beneficiary, our experienced insurance bad faith lawyers can file a lawsuit for bad faith to help you obtain the benefits promised by the insurance company.
When our client’s insurance company breaches the contractual duty to provide the full value of life insurance benefits under a policy, our bad faith life insurance attorneys use their expertise and experience to compel the insurance company to perform the contractual obligations for which they have collected premiums. The Bennett Law Firm work on a contingency fee basis so you do not pay attorney’s fees unless we obtain a favorable settlement or court judgment on your behalf. This means that you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Feel free to schedule a free consultation online or call The Bennett Law Firm at 405.272.0303 to discuss your legal options with an experienced Oklahoma City lawyer today. No Recovery, No Fee! We will meet with you face to face and can handle cases anywhere in Oklahoma. We can even come to you!