Life Insurance ClaimsLife insurance policies and annuities promise financial security after a loved one passes away. Unfortunately, insurance companies may deny life policy claims and break its promise to provide you the benefits you thought you had secured. In fact, insurance companies have a financial incentive to collect premiums and pay out less in benefits, thereby increasing their bottom line. This conflict of interest can motivate insurance companies to improperly deny your life policy claim.
Bad Faith Life Insurance Claims DenialsInsurance companies often use the same tactics to issue improper denials. First, the insurance company will review the application forms and premium payments. Insurance companies may allege the application contains a misstatement or “material flaw,” and cancel the policy. Second, insurance companies will look to the terms of its policy. The insurance company may impose a requirement for eligibility that was not clearly discussed in the policy, or interpret an ambiguous term in its favor. Alternatively, insurance companies may deny coverage on the basis that the policy lapsed. Generally, insurers must notify the policyholder (and a designee, if specified) of an upcoming lapse and offer a grace period. If the insurer failed to provide adequate notice, the lapse may be improper and a denial issued on this basis must be overturned. An insurance company that improperly denies claims on life policies may be acting in bad faith or abusing its discretion.
Recovery and Damages for Insurance Bad FaithIf your insurance company acted in bad faith, you can bring suit for your policy benefits owed, plus emotional distress damages, consequential damages, attorneys’ fees, pre-judgment interest and punitive damages under California law. For more information, see Bad Faith in Life Insurance Claims.
Individual Life Insurance ClaimsIf the life insurance policy or annuity was purchased directly from the insurance company without employer involvement, you might be entitled to recover not only the life insurance and annuity proceeds, but also the insurance bad faith damages discussed above.
ERISA Life Insurance ClaimsIf the life insurance policy or annuity was obtained through an employer, the policy or annuity is most likely governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”), 29 USC § 1001 et seq., in which case you can sue for policy benefits, attorneys’ fees and interest due on the unpaid benefits.
For more information, please see our ERISA FAQs and ERISA Denials.
Bad Faith and ERISA Life Insurance Claims Denial ExperienceMcKennon Law Group specializes in litigating and resolving bad faith and ERISA insurance claim disputes for individual and business policyholders. We have litigated and been consulted on hundreds of ERISA insurance, disability insurance, life insurance, health insurance, bad faith and other insurance matters. Because of our aggressive advocacy and our regional and national reputation as a leading insurance litigation firm, we are able to achieve maximum settlements and judgments/verdicts at trial.
We have been litigating ERISA insurance, disability insurance, life insurance, health insurance, bad faith and other insurance matters since 1986. Our attorneys are nationally recognized experts in insurance bad faith litigation and have chaired numerous seminars and written numerous articles dealing with insurance bad faith claim issues. They are top rated by all major peer review rating agencies and have been honored to receive numerous prestigious awards and recognitions. No attorneys in California or anywhere in the United States are better suited to litigate your bad faith or ERISA insurance claims. In fact, the attorneys of the McKennon Law Group previously represented the insurance companies that denied such claims, and thus have the broadest possible experience in litigating these types of insurance disputes. We can and will aggressively litigate your case to achieve maximum success. We have significant trial experience and we are not afraid to go to trial against the big insurance companies.
Contact us to schedule a free initial consultation regarding your insurance claim or litigation matter.
For a further discussion of Bad Faith, please see our FAQs. For more information, please see our Life Insurance FAQs.