Fort Lauderdale Life Insurance Attorney
Millions of Dollars Recovered for Our Clients
Maintaining a life insurance policy can provide peace of mind that your loved ones will be financially cared for should anything happen to you. Many policies are paid without issue. Unfortunately, there are still some insurance carriers that will refuse to pay out claims when the unthinkable happens, further burdening families and loved ones during what is already an impossibly difficult moment. Our Fort Lauderdale life insurance lawyer at Martin J. Sperry, P.A. can provide you with tailored, one-on-one assistance if your claim has been wrongfully denied. We have over 45 years of legal experience in this field and have recovered millions for our clients. Our firm also charges no fee without recovery.
How Life Insurance Works
Life insurance is a type of insurance contract. Generally, in exchange for paying an annual or monthly premium in order to maintain coverage, the insurance company will pay a lump sum —also known as a death benefit—to your beneficiaries of your policy after you pass away. Some life insurance policies also offer living benefits, which allow you to access your policy’s death benefit while you are still alive.
The death benefit can cover a variety of expenses. Unlike other insurance policies with stipulations on how the claim payout is used, beneficiaries can use the money for whatever purpose they decide.
Oftentimes, policyholders invest in life insurance to replace their income and make sure their beneficiaries can fulfill their financial obligations, such as:
- Funeral and burial costs
- Mortgage or rent payments
- College tuition
- Day-to-day household expenses
- Personal debt
Thus, life insurance acts as a safeguard against financial hardship. In addition, it can also be used to build an inherence for your children or a charitable donation to your non-profit organization of choice.
To learn more about what life insurance covers and its benefits, speak with our life insurance attorney in Fort Lauderdale, FL. We can help you determine what type of coverage is right for you and your loved ones.
Types of Life Insurance Policies
It is important to understand that not all life insurance policies are created equally. Different types of life insurance policies offer different types of benefits at various price points. Term life insurance is temporary and remains active for a predetermined amount of time. If the policyholder passes away during the policy term, their beneficiaries can file a claim and receive benefits. If the policyholder passes after the term has ended, no claim can be filed.
These relatively short-term policies are generally less expensive than longer-term policies, though they can typically be converted into more permanent solutions for a fee. Permanent life insurance lasts until the policyholder’s death. “Whole life insurance” is a subcategory of permanent life insurance that involves fixed premium amounts and a set, guaranteed payout. These policies are extremely expensive. “Universal life insurance” is flexible and allows for adjustable premiums depending on your evolving finances and the broader investment market.
Why Life Insurance Claims Are Delayed or Denied
No matter what type of life insurance you or your loved one has, you must continue to pay premiums in order for the policy to remain in effect. A failure to pay premiums will almost always result in a denied claim, even if all other conditions of the policy are met at the time of death. This is one of the most common reasons life insurance claims are denied, and there is often little recourse for contesting the rejection.
Life insurance policies can be denied if the insurance carrier believes the policyholder lied on their application. When evaluating an application, a carrier will consider the applicant’s age, medical history, occupation, and hobbies when deciding whether to provide coverage. If the carrier finds that the applicant lied at any point during the application process, they may be able to deny payment.
Life insurance policies and claims are also subject to a contestability period. Generally, if a policyholder passes away within 2 years of beginning their coverage, an insurance carrier will exhaustively investigate the resulting claim for potential fraud. Contestability periods will not necessarily result in a denial of coverage, but they can lead to substantial delays.
Death by homicide can also delay payment on a life insurance claim. Carriers typically have the right to wait until a homicide investigation has concluded before addressing a claim. If the investigation finds one of the policy’s beneficiaries was involved in the homicide, payment will either be denied or routed to a contingent beneficiary.
Fighting Wrongful Rejections of Life Insurance Claims
The good news is life insurance claims are historically more rarely denied than other types of insurance, such as auto insurance. If your claim is rejected, your carrier must send a detailed denial letter that explains the reasons for the decision.
Our Fort Lauderdale life insurance attorney at Martin J. Sperry, P.A. can help you evaluate a denial letter and determine how best to move forward. It is possible that your insurer has made an error in evaluating your claim. Our firm can leverage our decades of experience to help you contest an improper rejection and explore all of your legal options.