People pay thousands of dollars and sometimes more for life insurance, based on the hope that it will be there for their loved ones if they die. Unfortunately, life insurance companies don't always deliver on the promises they make. Sometimes, it takes a lawyer's help to obtain the benefits your loved one paid for.
The attorneys of Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLP (SFMS), have significant experience in the field of insurance coverage and disputes. We successfully litigated on behalf of beneficiaries concerning the wrongful denial of life insurance benefits. We handle claim disputes under private insurance policies and employer-sponsored plans covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). We have litigated and negotiated claim disputes with many major U.S. insurance companies, as well as international insurers.
When Is Denial Of Life Insurance Benefits Wrongful?
A life insurance policy is both a contract and a promise. Whenever an insurance company fails to live up to the promises it made, you have rights under our civil justice system.
Wrongful denial of life insurance benefits can take many forms. For example, the insurer may deny a claim based on errors or omissions in the deceased person's application for life insurance. However, if the insurer had been accepting premiums on the policy for a number of years, a mistake on the form may well be and invalid reason to deny a claim.
Insurers may point to language in the plan document or insurance contract that is different than what the insurance company promised. In the case of Amara v. Cigna, the U.S. Supreme Court held that, under certain circumstances, under ERISA, courts can grant appropriate equitable relief—even though a plaintiff might otherwise be foreclosed from obtaining a recovery based upon plan documents or otherwise. As a result, ERISA can provide a powerful basis to ensure that insurers equitably abide by their obligations to policy holders or their beneficiaries.
For a discussion of your denied life insurance claim, contact SFMS to arrange a consultation with one of our experienced insurance law attorneys. With offices in California, Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, we litigate life insurance denials in state and federal courts throughout the United States.