Don't Let Your Life Insurance Policy Fail You: Life Insurance Attorneys Can Help
Two high school sweethearts were living a happy life-- they had just purchased the farm of their dreams, had two beautiful daughters, and lived in a small, idyllic town. For financial security, the couple decided to purchase a life insurance policy; however, they never imagined that a day would come when they would have to use it. Suddenly, the husband began suffering from fainting spells, causing him to visit a doctor. After various tests from several doctors, he was informed he was okay, and, on his insurance application, he stated that he had been to the doctor for a stress test-- which was the only fact he could remember. The insurance company took his EKG and a medical release for his medical records; yet, the insurance company never used the release to obtain any of the medical records.
A year later, he sadly passed away without warning, leaving his wife a widow and his daughters without a father. Worried about her farm and their children, his wife filed a life insurance claim. The insurance company finally ordered all of the medical records. After several months of waiting, they accused her husband of misrepresenting his health conditions, denying the claim. None of the misrepresentations would have prevented the company from issuing the policy, but they might have raised the premiums slightly. Under an unjust Alabama law, however, the insurance company can cancel the policy and deny the claim if anything is incorrect on the application and changes the premium amount by even a dollar-- whether or not the insured knew. Thankfully, there is also an exception to this law: the insurance company cannot cancel the policy and deny the claim if the company has enough information to have discovered the things that they say were misrepresented to them.
This is when the wife came to our life insurance attorneys at Wettermark Keith. Our legal team took the case, examined all of the medical records, reviewed the insurance company’s guidelines, took depositions, and court-ordered confidential documents. We were able to show that her husband answered their questions to the best of his knowledge, giving the insurance company enough details for them to obtain any information they wanted before they took his premiums. The Court denied the insurance company’s motion for summary judgment and set our case for trial, but, luckily, we were able to reach a favorable settlement just days before trial.
Many insurance companies, driven by profit, are pickier when they have to pay a claim than they are when accepting the insurance premiums, putting their customers in terrible situations when it comes time to file a claim. Life is unpredictable, and you never know what the future may hold. But when tragedy strikes, it can leave you feeling extremely helpless. That's why you understand the importance of planning for the unexpected and protecting the ones you love, along with yourself. Life insurance provides peace of mind and financial security for our loved ones, should the worst happen. Yet, when the time comes to payout, insurance companies often use all the tactics possible to avoid paying any benefits that they think they can get away with.
Insurance companies have a backlog of tactics they use to avoid paying out the benefits of a life insurance policy. When this happens, you should not be left to fight this battle alone. Wettermark Keith has experienced life insurance attorneys in Alabama, Tennessee, and Florida. We are passionate about fighting for your rights and being your voice when you feel unheard. If you are seeking a life insurance lawyer, do not hesitate to contact our legal team by calling us at (877) 715-9300 or contacting us through our website.
What is life insurance?
Life insurance provides a payout to designated beneficiaries in the event of the policyholder's death. This payout is typically made in a lump sum and can be used to cover expenses such as funeral costs, outstanding debts, and ongoing living expenses for the policyholder's dependents. Life insurance policies can also provide additional benefits such as tax advantages and savings options. While life insurance is primarily designed to provide a payout to beneficiaries in the event of the policyholder's death, some life insurance policies can also provide coverage for disabilities. One type of life insurance policy that can provide disability coverage is called a "disability income rider."
A disability income rider is an add-on to a life insurance policy that provides benefits to the policyholder in the event of a disability that prevents them from working. This rider typically provides a monthly income to the policyholder for a specified period of time, usually between 2 and 5 years. The payout amount and duration of coverage can vary depending on the specific policy and the policyholder's needs. It is important to note that not all life insurance policies include disability coverage, and even policies that do may have specific requirements for eligibility.
There are several types of life insurance policies available, each with its own unique features and benefits. Term life insurance policies provide coverage for a specified period of time, usually between 10 and 30 years, and are designed to provide protection for a specific period of time, such as the length of a mortgage or the duration of a child's education. Whole life insurance policies provide coverage for the policyholder's entire life and can include savings and investment components that allow policyholders to accumulate cash value over time.
Life insurance policies are typically purchased by individuals who have dependents or other financial obligations that would be difficult to manage in the event of their death. This can include individuals with young children, elderly parents, or significant debts such as a mortgage or student loans. Life insurance can provide peace of mind and financial security for both policyholders and their loved ones, ensuring that their financial needs are met even in the event of an unexpected tragedy.
How to collect a life insurance policy?
Collecting a life insurance policy after the death of a loved one can be a difficult and emotional process. However, knowing what steps to take can help make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible.The first step is to locate and obtain a copy of the life insurance policy. This can usually be done by contacting the insurance company or the agent who sold the policy. Once you have a copy of the policy, you should notify the insurance company of the policyholder's death. You will need to provide a copy of the death certificate and any other documentation required by the policy.
The insurance company will provide you with a claim form to complete. This form will ask for information about the policyholder, the beneficiary, and the cause of death. After completing the claim form, you will need to submit it to the insurance company along with any required documentation. Once the claim form and documentation have been submitted, the insurance company will review the claim and determine whether the policy is payable. If the claim is approved, the insurance company will issue a payout to the designated beneficiary.
If you have a life insurance policy that includes disability coverage, the process for collecting benefits will be different than if you were collecting benefits for the death of the policyholder. As with collecting life insurance benefits for death, the first step is to locate and obtain a copy of the life insurance policy that includes disability coverage. Review the policy carefully to understand the terms and conditions of the disability coverage, including any requirements for eligibility and the amount of the benefits that may be payable.
If you become disabled and believe that you are eligible for benefits under the policy, you will need to file a claim with the insurance company. The claim form will typically ask for information about your disability, including the cause and extent of your disability, and any medical treatments you have received. Along with the claim form, you may be required to provide documentation to support your claim, such as medical records or statements from your doctor. The insurance company will review your claim and determine whether you are eligible for benefits under the policy. If your claim is approved, the insurance company will provide you with disability payments as outlined in the policy.
The process for collecting a life insurance policy or disability benefits may vary depending on the specific policy and the insurance company. It is important to carefully review the terms of the policy to understand your rights and responsibilities in relation to disability coverage.
Disability Insurance: Own Occupation Insurance Policy Vs. Any Occupation Insurance Policy
Own occupation insurance policy and any occupation insurance policy are two types of disability insurance policies that offer different levels of coverage, meaning:
Own Occupation Insurance Policy
An own occupation insurance policy provides coverage for the inability to perform your specific occupation. This means that if you are unable to work in your specific field or occupation due to a disability, you will receive disability benefits. This policy is generally more expensive than an any occupation policy, but it offers broader coverage for disability.
Any Occupation Insurance Policy
An any occupation insurance policy provides coverage for the inability to perform any occupation for which you are qualified based on your education, training, and experience. This means that if you are unable to work in any occupation for which you are qualified, you will receive disability benefits. This policy is generally less expensive than an own occupation policy, but it offers more restrictive coverage for disability.
To understand the difference between the two policies, consider an example of a surgeon who suffers a hand injury. Under an own occupation policy, if the surgeon is unable to perform surgeries, he or she will receive disability benefits. However, under an any occupation policy, if the surgeon is still able to work in another occupation, such as teaching, he or she may not receive disability benefits.
It is important to note that the specific terms and conditions of each policy may vary depending on the insurance company and the policy. It is important to carefully review the policy documents to understand the coverage and limitations of the policy before purchasing.
What are the types of life insurance claims that our attorneys can help you with?
Wettermark Keith can help with the following life insurance claims:
- Denial of a life insurance claim: If an insurance company denies a life insurance claim, our attorneys can help review the policy and any documentation to determine whether the denial was justified. We can also help negotiate with the insurance company on behalf of our clients to try to resolve the issue.
- Bad faith insurance practices: If an insurance company engages in bad faith practices, such as unfairly delaying or denying a life insurance claim, our attorneys can help hold the company accountable and seek compensation on behalf of our clients.
- Denial of a disability insurance claim on Own Occupation Policy: If an insurance company denies a disability insurance claim, our attorneys can help review the policy and any documentation to determine whether the denial was justified. We can also help negotiate with the insurance company on behalf of our clients to try to resolve the issue.
- Appealing a denied disability claim: If a disability insurance claim has been denied, our attorneys can help clients file an appeal and provide legal representation throughout the appeals process.
It is important to note that the specific types of life insurance claims that our attorneys can assist with may vary depending on the circumstances of each case. It is recommended to consult with an attorney to discuss the specifics of your case and determine the best course of action.
Bad Faith lawsuits and How Lawyers can help
When an insurance company fails to honor its contractual obligations to a policyholder and engages in dishonest, fraudulent, or unfair practices, this is known as "bad faith." Policyholders have the right to sue an insurance company for bad faith and seek damages for any harm they have suffered as a result. A lawyer can investigate the claim to determine whether the insurance company acted in bad faith. They will review the policy and any related documents, interview witnesses, and gather evidence to build a strong case.
A lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company on behalf of the policyholder to reach a fair settlement. They can use their legal expertise to ensure that the policyholder's rights are protected and that they receive the compensation they deserve. If negotiations with the insurance company are unsuccessful, a lawyer can file a lawsuit on behalf of the policyholder. They will represent the policyholder in court and argue their case before a judge or jury.
A lawyer can seek damages for the policyholder, which may include compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. They can also seek punitive damages to punish the insurance company for their bad faith practices. A lawyer can protect the policyholder's rights throughout the claims process and ensure that they are treated fairly and with respect. They can advise the policyholder on their legal options and provide guidance and support throughout the process.
If you believe that you have been the victim of bad faith by an insurance company, it is important to seek legal representation from an experienced lawyer who can help you navigate the claims process and seek the compensation you deserve.
Wettermark Keith: Life Insurance Lawyers
Wettermark Keith’s attorneys are a team of knowledgeable, compassionate individuals working for you to get life insurance payout, disability compensation, and other benefits that you deserve from your insurance company. With offices located throughout Alabama, Tennessee, and Florida, Wettermark Keith has a reputation as one of the most accomplished personal injury firms in the country. We have a diverse range of practice areas, including life insurance claims. In fact, Wettermark Keith has an entire insurance practice group solely dedicated to working with clients on the matters listed above. Our attorneys build strong relationships based on constant communication, trust, and a dedication to the truth. Caring for you is our goal, and winning is just how we show it. Contact us to set up your free consultation with the legal team at Wettermark Keith at (877) 715-9300 or through our online form.
No Recovery, No Fee- Guaranteed!
Our life insurance attorneys have years of experience, winning countless settlements for victims who seek out our law firm for justice. We know that you may struggle to bear the cost of your disability, health issues, or loss of a loved one. We intend to ease your financial worries. Wettermark Keith represents clients on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay no upfront costs, and your initial consultation is always free. The goal of our law firm is for you to have the most successful claim possible - let us take care of you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, a life insurance company can deny a claim if they believe that the policyholder provided false or incomplete information on their application, if the death occurred under certain circumstances (such as suicide), or if the policy lapsed due to non-payment of premiums.