Articles Posted in Life Insurance

As Florida life insurance lawyers we understand that losing a loved one can be overbearingly stressful. Dealing with the loss of a loved one can often times become even more stressful if he or she had life insurance and the claim is being delayed or denied payment. There are many reasons as to why an insurance provider may deny and or delay the payment of such a claim. It is important to know that after a policy has been in effect for 2 years, your insurance company cannot contest to the validity of the policy for any reason other than the failure to pay premiums. If a policy has not been in effect for two years then the insurance company may and will most likely attain medical records to confirm the validity of the application as it was completed and answered by the deceased. It is when the insurance company finds any errors in the initial application that they may in fact deny or delay payment as a result of misrepresentation.

If you have been denied or delayed payment on a life insurance claim, the first step is to review the initial application and remove any possible defense for misrepresentation, if it was in fact that the application was completed without error and or concealment. In the event that the deceased person listed the incorrect age or incorrect gender on his or her application, the insurance carrier is typically allowed to recalculate benefits and/ or premiums based upon the applicant’s true age or gender. A life insurance claims attorney can at this time properly asses, review and determine the value of your claim and the money that you are entitled to, should there be an error that was discovered in the initial application. Acquiring this representation is beneficial and at time crucial if the insurance company is wrongfully listing the cause of death as a suicide. Most insurance policies state that if the insured dies as a result of suicide or self-inflicted injury during the first 2 years of the contract, the death benefit is to be limited to the total premiums paid by the insured. However, the insurance company must prove that the death was caused by suicide or self-inflicted injury, and not by other causes.

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Claims against your own insurance company are called first party claims. These are claims that are made against a policy that was bought for some sort of protection. This could be protection for your vehicle, home, or other assets. Life insurance policies also fall under this category. An insurance policy is simply a contract which sets out terms, conditions, and exclusions. The terms usually set out what is covered and the conditions explain what needs to be done for that coverage to take effect. Exclusions relay what will not be covered by an insurance policy.

When buying an insurance policy it is important to understand the three parts o f a policy relayed above. This may ultimately help avoid needing to hire a Miami insurance claims attorney. Policies are usually bought in an expedited manner. Both the buyer and the seller of the policy may be in hurry to get the transaction over with. You may be buying a car and get a policy offered through an agent at the dealership. Thus, your concentration is not fully on the terms and conditions of the policy. In order to quickly get you covered an agent may simply sell you a basic policy with PD and PIP coverage only. PD coverage only covers damage to other vehicles and PIP coverage only covers medicals bills up to $10,000 depending on the circumstances. Such a policy lacks collision coverage, which covers your own vehicle, and uninsured motorist coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage is important because it covers your bodily injury if the other driver does not have bodily injury (BI) coverage. By the way, BI coverage is not required by State of Florida. However, there are signs that this may be changing in the future. As South Florida injury attorneys we understand the need for comprehensive auto policies.

Great care should also be taken to when buying a homeowner’s insurance policy in Florida. Of course, we understand that at this time options are limited as it pertains to this type of coverage. Here it is important to understand what is covered and what your post loss conditions are. Typical conditions are that you promptly report the loss, submit to a recorded statement and/or examination under oath (EUO), and that you provide a sworn proof of loss when requested by your insurer. Of course, when dealing with such issues is important to consult with a Miami homeowner’s insurance attorney. Many insurance companies may try to delay, deny, or undervalue your claim.

Life insurance policies may fall into the categories of term, whole life, and accidental. Term life insurance provides coverage for a limited period of time. Whole life insurance may provide coverage through an individual’s entire life. Accidental life insurance only provides coverage if there is an accident. Depending on the type of life insurance policy the terms and conditions may change. Again, these policies must be reviewed with care by both the insured and the beneficiary. This will ultimately help avoid complications.
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If you are worried about a life insurance issue, then it means you are going through a difficult time. The last thing in a reasonable persons mind would be worrying about life insurance benefits in times of crisis. However, if you are or think you are the beneficiary of a life insurance policy in Florida it is important to be on top of such issues. As South Florida life insurance attorneys we have encountered many cases where it is not clear who the beneficiary is. If this is your case, then it is paramount that you contact an attorney as soon as you can. This is the sort of case where it is necessary to move quickly both on your part and that of the attorney.

The insurance company needs to know who is making a claim for the benefits. If the insurance company is unaware that there is a possible claim, then it may inappropriately disburse the funds or benefits. Matters become much more complicated once the funds are disbursed. If there is debate as to who the beneficiary of policy is or who is entitled to the funds, then it is very important to retain or consult with an attorney immediately. It is understandable that individuals in such a situation are concerned with attorney’s fees. However, this is a matter that should not be handled alone. As South Florida life insurance beneficiary lawyers we know how to handle such situations and get the best results for our clients. If an insurance company is stating that it is taking time to review your claim, then it is time to hire an attorney. Here an attorney can curb an insurance company from funds being disbursed in erroneous manner. If an insurance company is not responding to you, then it is time to hire an attorney. An attorney will find a way to make your claim known to the insurance company and will make sure that they respond accordingly.

There are ways to avoid these situations. Primarily, if you are a beneficiary of a life insurance policy, then it wise to make sure that it is clear who the primary beneficiary of a policy is. If the beneficiary of an insurance policy is changed, it is wise to make sure that the change of beneficiary form is prepared with care and submitted per the terms of the policy. Thus, before submitting a change of beneficiary form it is wise to read the policy carefully. It is probably best to do this with an attorney’s assistance to avoid any unnecessary errors or mistakes. Many times change of beneficiary forms are submitted during times of despair and lapse of judgment, and thus are not submitted in an appropriate manner.
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Many of us have heard the saying, “knowledge is power.” Nothing is truer when it comes to issues pertaining to insurance coverage. It is not enough to think or have an idea that you have the right coverage. It is not enough to think or have an idea that you understand the conditions of an insurance policy. It is not enough to think or have an idea that your insurance company is adequate for your needs and that of your family and loved ones.

For example, many people are content to buy the cheapest insurance for their cars. They just want to comply with the minimum Florida law mandates. Insurance agents may be happy to recommend the cheapest insurance and not even explain what that entails. You cannot rely solely on your insurance agent or what a TV advertisements and commercials say. You actually should do your own research or consult an attorney. These are issues that can seriously affect you and your family. Therefore, it is important to have a comprehensive understanding of your insurance coverage. Before buying a policy read reviews and rating. Standard & Poor’s rating service may be a good place to start. However, you should a few reviews before deciding what insurance company to go with.

It is also important to determine what kind of coverage you need. As South Florida personal injuries attorneys we understand the consequences of inadequate coverage. Lack of adequate coverage can lead to fiscal disasters. Our Miami homeowner’s and commercial insurance attorneys are here to assist you with any questions you may have. We offer consulting services if you need guidance for yourself or your business.

After a loss it may be necessary to talk to your insurance company. Make sure to get a certified copy of your insurance policy and a copy of your insurance application before you talk to them extensively. You may want to talk to an attorney if you have any concerns. Florida Statutes allow for policyholder to request this information. Our office also provides these request forms as a service. Nonetheless, it is important to have this information to understand your insurance coverage, your duties, and the duties of your insurance carrier. Insurance companies tend to demand a lot when dealing with a new claim. However, on many occasions they forget to mention that they have duties as well.
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You may suspect that a loved one left a life insurance policy for you. However, you are unable to find the policy and don’t know where to begin. South Florida life insurance claims attorneys are here to assist you. Insurance companies make no effort, nor are they requited to find lost beneficiaries of life insurance policies. One would expect the existence of national life insurance database for such circumstances. Nonetheless, no such database exists at this time.

Many people believe that once they pass the insurance company will automatically issue payment. This is one of the reasons many of these life insurance policies go unclaimed. There are estimates that one-third of life insurance companies go unclaimed by beneficiaries. This happens often because heirs are unaware that life insurance policy exists. There are billions of dollars in unpaid life insurance claims. In the State of New York alone there are S400,287,736.00 in unclaimed funds. In Florida there are about $1 billion dollars in unclaimed accounts. Many of these unclaimed accounts in Florida are life insurance benefits that go unclaimed. Finding a lost life insurance policy can be daunting. There are some 450 life insurance companies in the U.S. Furthermore, many of them do not keep all their policies in an electronic database. If the policy in question is old enough it may be stored in an old fashion paper database. Thus, if there is a policy it may take a while before it is found.

Insurance companies also fail to keep adequate records of beneficiaries to policies. Therefore, they do not actively seek beneficiaries. If you buy an insurance policy make sure to relay it to your relatives and leave a record of it. If your loved one bought a term life insurance policy for 10,20, or thirty years, then there is always the possibility that not viable claim exists. This is because your loved one may have passed outside of the covered time frame. If the policy is an actual cash value policy, meaning that the capital or premiums accumulate over time, then time frames are not an issue. Here there is also the possibility that the account may be accruing interest.

You may be able to find clues to whether a life insurance policy exists by looking at old bank statements, bills, receipts, etc. If you suspect a life insurance exist it is best to act soon. If you act soon, then it will be easier to locate an insurance policy and make a claim. A South Florida life insurance claims attorney can help you with this. Attorneys have multiple mechanisms they can use to find a lost life insurance policy. Once the policy is found your Miami life insurance claims attorney can make sure to file a claim to the most prompt and effective results.
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