Ask A Lawyer: Life Insurance Claims

Ask A Lawyer: Life Insurance Claims

I have a very large family. If husband or I dies, who is entitled to receive benefits after we pass away?
Each life insurance coverage policyholder names a beneficiary who becomes the sole receiver of life insurance coverage benefits in the event of the policyholder’s death. A policyholder may name multiple beneficiaries if needed.

My wife passed away suddenly last year, but we only recently discovered that the information in her will differs from her life insurance policy. If the beneficiary named in a will is different from the beneficiary named in the life insurance policy, who will the insurance company pay?
Usually the Beneficiary Designation form provided to the insurance company will override a beneficiary named in a will.  If you are arranging for life insurance for loved ones, you should try to ensure that your will and beneficiary designation with your insurance company are consistent, to avoid any confusion or potential for disputes.  These comments are general in nature and cannot replace obtaining appropriate advice to discuss your specific circumstances.

I expected to receive life insurance benefits after my husband’s death, but the insurance company instead returned the premiums and said that my husband did not qualify for coverage. What can I do now?
The first thing you should do is to consult with a lawyer with expertise in life insurance to determine whether the denial of the claim has any chance of being challenged. Also, the cheque refunding premiums should not be cashed. The insurer might construe that as an acceptance of their decision to void the policy.

My husband passed away from a heart attack last October. The life insurance policy still hasn’t paid out. According to my husband’s family doctor, the insurance company is requesting all of his medical records for review. Why are they doing this?
Insurance companies request medical records in life insurance claims to determine whether there was any misrepresentation either innocent or fraudulent at the time the insurance policy was being purchased. In other words, they are looking for potential grounds upon which to deny the claim. The request for this information in and of itself does not mean that the claim will be denied, but that is the reason it is being requested.

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