We have successfully represented clients for many years in disputes with their life insurance company. Generally, people and businesses buy life insurance to provide financial protection in the event a loved one dies. In life insurance, the insured (the person whose life is being insured) designates a beneficiary. The beneficiary is the person who receives the life insurance when the insured dies.
Areas of Dispute
There are generally three areas of dispute in life insurance cases:
1. The first area of dispute is when the life insurance company claims the insured committed a material misrepresentation. Essentially, the life insurance company is saying that the insured omitted or misrepresented material health information when he or she applied for the insurance. The law on material misrepresentation can be very complicated. If you have an insurance company alleging material misrepresentation, you should get legal advice.
2. The second area of dispute is when there is a dispute about who the insured designated as beneficiary. Generally, the insured is considered the owner of the insurance policy. He or she has the right to designate a beneficiary. Typically, the beneficiary is first designated when the insured applies for the life insurance. Generally, the insured has the right to change the beneficiary at any time and for any reason. The insured can change the beneficiary by providing the insurance company with written notice.
Sometimes, a dispute will arise concerning who the beneficiary is. The issues will be: (1) when the beneficiary was changed; and (2) whether the beneficiary change was sufficient to notify the insurance company of the insured’s intent. If you are involved in a dispute over the beneficiary to the life insurance policy, you need to get legal advice.
3. The third area of dispute concerns whether the life insurance took effect before the insured dies. A life insurance policy has an effective date. Sometimes, there are insurance policy provisions defining when the policy takes effect. If the insurance company tells you the policy was not in effect, you need to seek legal advice.
Contact Us Attorney for Advice
It is important to understand that as a beneficiary you have certain rights in dealing with your life insurance company. In general, the insurance company owes you a duty of good faith and fair dealing to treat you fairly and in good faith.
Our goal is help you understand your rights when dealing with an insurance company. If you think your insurance company is treating you unfairly, please contact us or call (775) 324-1500.