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How To Handle A Denied Life Insurance Claim

A life insurance policy through a company like Reinhardt's Insurance Agency can lessen the financial upheaval that often follows a loved one's unexpected passing. Sadly, it's not uncommon for a life insurance policy claim to be delayed or even denied for various reasons. The following explains what you can do in the aftermath of a denied life insurance claim.

Learn Why It Was Denied

One of the most common reasons for a life insurance claim denial is due to material misrepresentation caused by false or inaccurate information. The insurance company usually discovers this information when it decides to contest the claim during the policy's contestability period. Policies less than two years old are subject to contestability if the insured passes away during this period.

Claim denials can also happen if the policy lapses or terminates due to nonpayment. Post-divorce beneficiary changes that occur in violation of a court order can also trigger a claim denial. Failing to name a beneficiary for the policy or refusal to provide the required documentation can also lead to a claim denial.

Cover Your Bases

If your life insurance claim is denied, in most cases you'll receive a letter in mail. This letter not only explains the reason for the claim denial, but also the processes that went into the insurance company's decision. If you don't receive this letter or if the insurance company gives you the runaround, you may want to contact your state's insurance department for further assistance.

Don't forget to examine the life insurance policy paperwork, including the original application, if possible. Be on the lookout for any clauses or exclusionary language the insurance company can possibly use to delay or deny the life insurance claim.

Don't hesitate to contact an attorney specializing in life insurance claims and have them go over the denial letter and the policy paperwork.

Make an Appeal

For the average person, disputing a life insurance claim denial can take an enormous amount of time and effort. The appeals process can be complicated and you'll need plenty of evidence, including payment receipts and autopsy reports, to support your appeal. There are also rules, regulations and timelines to consider throughout the appeals process.

Although it's possible to go through the appeals process on your own, you're better off enlisting the services of a life insurance attorney. Having an experienced attorney by your side can make the appeals process less stressful and improve your odds of a favorable outcome.