Insurance Agent Negligence: The Duty Agents Owe to Their Customers

Web Admin - Tuesday, March 04, 2014

illinois insurance agent negligence lawyerInsurance agents often act as a person’s main point of contact throughout the process of procuring an insurance policy. This means people are relying on insurance agents to do their job thoroughly, carefully, and professionally. To that end, the law imposes a duty of reasonable care on insurance agents to ensure that they perform their jobs accurately. 

The fact that agents have this duty means that if the agent harms a customer through their negligence, they may be liable to that customer in court for the damage that their insurance negligence caused. Generally speaking, these sorts of claims for negligent errors and omissions come in two forms: improperly filing or filling out insurance paperwork, and failure to properly counsel the client on the type of insurance they need.

Types of Insurance Agent Negligence

Insurance agent negligence often occurs in an agent’s clerical capacity. An agent must exercise reasonable care in the filling out of insurance paperwork to make sure that the insurance company provides coverage and that the policies are properly updated. An example of this sort of negligence in the realm of car insurance would occur if a person wanted to add someone to their insurance policy, and yet after informing the agent, the agent never properly filed the paperwork to add them to the policy. If the new person, who should be covered under the insurance, was in a car accident, the agent would be liable for the person’s lack of coverage.

Insurance agents also have a duty to exercise ordinary care when advising clients about the types of policy they need, along with possible limits and exemptions of the policy. This claim comes up often in the case of policy exclusions, which are special circumstances in the insurance policy for which the company refuses to pay. These exemptions can often be long and complex, which means that the insurance agent may be liable for negligently advising the customer if they do not make the exclusions clear. 

For an example of this, consider a person buying homeowner’s insurance who explicitly wants coverage for every item in their home in the case of a fire. If an agent provides them a policy that excludes jewelry or some other class of property, the insured might have a claim against the agent for negligent errors and omissions.

The Statute of Limitations

Statutes of limitations are time limits that the law places on people looking to file lawsuits. In the case of insurance agent negligence, Illinois law limits people to two years to file the suit once the person has a cause of action. However, that time limit can be deceptively complicated since it does not say when a person has a cause of action. Generally, courts start the clock running once the insurer first takes a position that runs against the insured’s expectations. That can mean in some cases the insured needs to act quickly, since it is possible that their underlying insurance case will not even be finished before the statute of limitations related to the agent expires.

If you believe you have been the victim of insurance agent negligence, find an Illinois insurance attorney near you. They can help protect your rights in court and ensure that you recover fair compensation for the harm done by negligent insurance agents. Our firm represents people across the northwest suburban area, in towns like Rolling Meadows, Buffalo Grove and Barrington.

About the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.

Appealing a Denial of Accidental Death Benefits

Web Admin - Tuesday, February 18, 2014

illinois denied insurance benefitsMany people carry life insurance or accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) policies. These policies, which people can acquire through their employer or on the open market, may pay benefits in cases of accidental death. Unfortunately, life insurance policies comprise an industry worth hundreds of billions of dollars, according to a report by the U.S. Treasury, and insurance companies have strong incentives to pay out as little as they can in benefits.

Often, that means denying legitimate life insurance claims on the basis of a “policy exclusion.” Policy exclusions are exceptions that insurance companies place into contracts that exempt certain situations from qualifying for payment. Common policy exemptions include suicides and deaths occurring within one year of the policy’s start. Companies can use these sorts of exemptions as pretexts for denying the payment of benefits.

Contesting a Denial

Even after the insurance company denies the claim, beneficiaries do have tools to appeal the decision. However, depending on the law governing the insurance policy, the tools may be expansive, or more limited in nature. For instance, plans through a person’s employer are often covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). ERISA places strict limits on how appeals take place.

Beneficiaries must appeal the decision through a special ERISA administrator before they can move into the regular court system. Beneficiaries with denied claims would do well to seek out a lawyer before filing their ERISA appeal because the actions that take place at that appeal can have strong impacts on a court case. Courts handling ERISA litigation often use evidence from the appeal when making their decisions. That means that if something is left unmentioned at that stage, it can be very difficult to convince the court to consider it later.

Plans purchased by an individual, rather than provided by an employer, will likely be governed by state law instead of ERISA. While this law is usually less restrictive, individuals should still be cautious when dealing with insurance companies. In state law cases, the beneficiary will likely sue the insurance company in an attempt to prove that their cases does not actually fall into the policy exclusion that the company is claiming.

If you have been the victim of a wrongful denial of a life insurance claim, get a written statement of the reasons for the denial, and seek help from an Illinois insurance attorney. Our firm serves clients across the northwest suburban area, including Schaumburg, Palatine, and Crystal Lake.

About the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.

What to Do if Your Life Insurance Claim is Denied

Web Admin - Tuesday, February 04, 2014

illinois life insurance claim lawyer

The law provides insurance companies with a variety of methods to protect themselves against fraud. Unfortunately, insurance companies may attempt to use these tools to withhold payment on legitimate claims. Two of the common ways that life insurance companies may try to stop beneficiaries from collecting on their claims are by rescission of the policy and denial of the insurance claims
A policy rescission occurs when the insurance company alleges that the person who took out the policy misrepresented material facts about themselves. If successful, this allows the insurance company to withdraw the person’s coverage. Conversely, if an insurance company denies a claim, they do not contest the validity of the whole policy. Instead, they are simply saying that the person’s death fell into an exception in the insurance. While both of these tactics result in a non-payment of the claim, they require different strategies to handle them.

Dealing with Rescission

When an insurance company rescinds a contract, they declare that the entire policy is invalid. One of the most common reasons that an insurance company will give for such a rescission is a “material misrepresentation.” This means that the company claims that the deceased wrongfully answered questions on the application related to things such as their age or medical history. To fight a rescission of this sort, your insurance attorney must prove that the deceased either did not make such a misrepresentation, or that any misrepresentation was not material. 

Fortunately, Illinois law does provide some protection in these circumstances. First, the law requires that the alleged misrepresentation occurred on the actual policy application, and not simply in a conversation with the insurance company. Second, the law forbids insurance companies from rescinding policies more than two years after issuance, except in cases of non-payment of premiums.

Dealing with Denial

An insurance company can deny a claim for several reasons, often because they believe the death falls into a policy exception, or because they believe the person filing the claim is not the proper beneficiary. One common fight over policy exceptions occurs when the insurance company asserts that a person’s wrongful death was actually a suicide, as suicides are ordinarily not covered by life insurance. Overcoming this sort of denial often requires bringing forth evidence to prove that the death truly was an accident.

If you believe that your life insurance policy was improperly revoked or if you had a life insurance claim denied recently, then consider contacting an Illinois insurance attorney today. Our firm handles cases across the northwest suburbs, including in Arlington Heights, Rolling Meadows, and Des Plaines.

About the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.

Recent Posts


subcontractor real estate closing Inverness real estate attorney criminal defense Illinois Smoke Detector Act POA overtime violations estate planning, digital assets, Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, Illinois digital assets, Illinois estate planning, Rolling Meadows Attorney real estate leasing disability benefits Chicago car accident lawyer medical malpractice, missed diagnosis, delayed diagnosis, medical mistake, Deer Creek medical malpractice lawyers license revocation unfunded trust Arlington Heights accident attorney Chicago will attorney, social media platforms, Illinois estate planning lawyer, work unions dog bites Illinois wills and trusts wrongful termination preventing accidents Employment Discrimination Law hiring employees pedestrian injuries, pedestrian fatality products liability Buffalo Grove corporate attorney Rolling Meadows probate lawyer DMV jet ski accidents IRS Illinois DUI attorney Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act Crystal Lake estate planning lawyer guardianship attorney severance agreements Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers, insurance dispute Crystal Lake accident attorney Rolling Meadows Traffic Lawyer workers compensation benefits Illinois workers compensation attorney commercial leases condo Palatine employment lawyer corporate law Barrington business law firm bike accident holiday statistics Long Grove estate planning attorney dealing with problem employees Illinois real estate rent to own real estate contracts Thanksgiving Palatine workers compensation lawyer vacation home Palatine insurance lawyer revenge porn Palatine Attorney digital assets mortgage civil litigation Illinois employment law attorney investment property pizza emoji Illinois will lawyer personal injury lawyer Illinois Probate Act of 1975 Chicago employment attorney unpaid overtime Illinois business lawyer wrongful death South Barrington real estate lawyer medical malpractice Schaumburg car accident attorney attorney fees car crashes defective products lawyer Palatine injury attorney probate claims process Illinois pet lawyer premises liability Buffalo Grove personal injury attorney deadly crashes Palatine employment law lawyer Barrington real estate lawyer right to work Barrington drug crime attorney fiduciary rule life insurance lawyer privacy laws Illinois driving without license Long Grove wills and trusts attorneys distracted driving accident victims drugs Palatine elder law attorney Des Plaines claims law firm Illinois rollover accident lawyers financial advisors probate Illinois employment lawyer Barrington injury attorney Colin Gilbert appealing an insurance claim Crystal Lake business law attorneys Rolling Meadows insurance lawyer Arlington Heights insurance attorney Crystal Lake employment attorney landlord insurance agents Illinois Human Rights Act clemency Arlington Heights medical malpractice lawyer Crystal Lake insurance lawyer special needs trust Rolling Meadows trucking accident lawyers Palatine traffic accidents Schaumburg Attorney Barrington boating accident attorney civil litigation attorney capital gains tax deed transfer Deer Park accident attorney trusts Chicago estate planning lawyer Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyers Exclusions Food and Drug Administration's Food Safety Modernization Act Rolling Meadows traffic attorney Illinois estate planning attorney in terrorem provision car accident modern family estate planning driving Illinois workplace lawyer estate tax digital assets, digital fiduciary, estate planning, digital content, Long Grove estate planning lawyers Illinois traffic laws Mount Prospect elder law attorney underfunded trust license reinstatement cell phone tower data liability claims Des Plaines Traffic Lawyer Buffalo Grove injury lawyer Crystal Lake car accident lawyer Illinois employee rights attorney. Des Plaines drug crimes lawyer Illinois traffic accident lawyer boating accidents breathalyzer test denied insurance claim Palatine corporate law attorneys trench injuries IRA trust transfer insurance claim dispute attorney distracted driving accidents elder abuse Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission real estate zoning personal injury Palatine drug lawyer Illinois Trust Code independent contractor product liability hit and run accident Illinois personal injury reckless homicide auto accidents Arlington Heights TBI attorney DUI defense Chicago traffic lawyer insurance claims personal injury law firm Crystal lake insurance dispute attorney spinal cord injuries Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyer Crystal Lake criminal defense attorney Barrington medical malpractice lawyers internet Illinois living will Rolling Meadows employment law attorney operating agreements Inverness civil lawyer Schaumburg insurance lawyers owner responsibility estate planning lawyer digital information Barrington personal injury lawyer foreclosure institutional trustee Crystal Lake medical malpractice attorneys Crystal Lake personal injury lawyer Crystal Lake will lawyer texting while driving Illinois medical malpractice claim natural gas advance healthcare directive Illinois boating accident lawyer defective products Super Mario Forcible Entry traffic tickets Deer Park medical malpractice attorney Home Remodeling Repair Act Des Plaines tax law firm Arlington Heights personal injury lawyer Deer Park employment law attorney Illinois criminal defense attorney llinois Real Estate Lawyers Association Deer Park motorcycle accident lawyer Buffalo Grove traffic attorney Barrington Illinois estate planning lawyer Inverness corporate attorney Illinois law Rolling Meadows tax attorney murder defense Arlington Heights employment law attorneys home inspection lawyer personal injury claims Affordable Care Act first degree murder Illinois business law atorneys Crystal Lake traffic attorney Arlington Heights tax lawyer Illinois registered agent Crystal Lake tax lawyer Illinois personal injury attorney Illinois workplace discrimination attorney Joliet general practice lawyers Long Grove estate planning attorneys overtime pay Illinois trucking safety rollover car crashes Illinois jet ski accident lawyer medical malpractice compensation Inverness insurance attorney Fair Labor Standards Act Palatine estate planning lawyer Schaumburg personal injury attorney Chicago estate planning real estate lawyer employee misclassification Schaumburg real estate lawyer Schaumburg medical malpractice lawyer motorcycle accident Schaumburg construction accident lawyer Arlington Heights Traffic Lawyer new real estate form traffic deaths Palatine personal injury lawyer Policy Cancellation Chicago corporate attorney Barrington attorney Illinois collections attorney DUI attorney Barrington workers compensation attorney personal injury claim life insurance claims living trust Illinois insurance claims lawyers senior citizens Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorneys Rolling Meadows business lawyer suspended license Buffalo Grove law firm Family Medical Leave Act estate plan power of attorney Des Plaines real estate lawyer agent living trust vs will Deer Park DUI lawyer estate attorney DUI manufacturing Barrington criminal lawyer employee rights preventable medical errors Illinois traffic attorney surgical mistakes Fourth of July Schaumburg blood alcohol content personal injury, auto accident injuries, delayed injuries, serious injuries, Des Plaines personal injury attorneys IRELA speeding insurance dispute South Barrington real estate attorney texting and driving Illinois employment laws Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyers Kenilworth estate planning attorney motorcycle accident lawyer Rolling Meadows marijuana attorney Rolling Meadows criminal attorney wrongful termination, employment law, whistleblower protections, Illinois employment laws, discrimination in the workplace Whistleblower Claims ObamaCare accidental death benefits drug crime anesthesia errors insurance dispute attorney BAC Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorney landlord tenant law Buffalo Grove probate lawyer Schaumburg injury lawyer license insurance claim denials Liquor Control Act Mount Prospect real estate lawyer Rolling Meadows personal injury attorney fatal car accidents bad faith insurance claims Palatine real estate lawyer creditors expungement coronavirus Rolling Meadows traffic law firm healthcare comparative negligence Schaumburg employment attorney Illinois car accident attorney Schaumburg estate planning attorney head on collisions insurance claim business litigation pregnant women Rolling Meadows DUI lawyer Barrington Traffic Lawyer insurance agent negligence Deer Park personal injury lawyer Illinois insurance attorney license suspension Barrington estate planning lawyer Legal Info Illinois insurance disputes Mt Prospect Attorney Arlington Heights employment attorney Palatine business attorney crossover accidents caretaker rights life insurance policy low-ball insurance settlement food poisoning Arlington Heights lawyer federal crimes Palatine criminal defense lawyer probate lawyer Illinois probate lawyer murder Inverness DUI lawyer cell phone accidents Illinois traffic attorneys real estate Illinois LLC creation real estate attorney Long Grove real estate attorney wills estate planning attorney Rolling Meadows estate planning attorney criminal record homestead rights Illinois speeding lawyer drug crimes boating under the influence spinal cord injury Arlington Heights criminal lawyer Rolling Meadows litigation lawyer Des Plaines civil attorney Schaumburg criminal law attorney digital media accounts, estate planning, Arlington Heights estate planning attorney, Palatine law firm Schaumburg employment law attorneys Des Plaines real estate attorney trustee Attorney Ken Apicella Illinois mortgages Des Plaines insurance attorney LLCs criminal law Des Plaines DUI attorney Palatine civil litigation lawyer filing a medical malpractice claim Des Plaines criminal attorney Illinois pedestrian accident attorney caregiver Arlington Heights pedestrian accidents Illinois workers compensation lawyer marijuana crimes attorney Crystal Lake personal injury attorney loopholes Buffalo Grove medical malpractice lawyers liability traffic offenses Palatine punch death Class A misdemeanor pay when paid contract insurance disputes Crystal Lake medical malpractice lawyer Barrington employment attorney taxes fault based insurance digital evidence ACA Long Grove estate planning estate planning, death tax, succession plans, business estate plans, Barrington estate planning lawyers Schaumburg personal injury lawyer workplace sexual harassment Landlord Tenant Ordinance Arlington Heights estate planning attorney Retaliatory Discharge Crystal Lake civil litigation lawyer traffic crimes startup company Chicago lawyer employment contract privacy Illinois insurance dispute lawyers college kids Inverness estate planning lawyer Deer Park real estate law firm employment contract, employment law, employment at-will, Deer Park employment law attorneys, contract, insurance denials insurance claim denial Des Plaines trauma after an accident employment attorney Illinois personal injury lawyer small business traumatic brain injury Arlington Heights Attorney breach of contract car crash injuries Colin H. Gilbert Kenilworth estate planning lawyer insurance claim delay Barrington criminal defense lawyer sexual images DUI penalities wage theft sexual harassment natural gas explosion DNR Arlington Heights trucking lawyer sole proprietorship medical marijuana fiduciary rule delay Schaumburg corporate attorney Palatine corporate attorney probate fees loss of consortium Illinois employment attorneys car accidents construction accidents TBI Barrington employment law firm Self-Directed IRA Accounts controlled substance Rolling Meadows car accident lawyers Inverness elder law lawyer Deer Park traffic accident attorney construction accidents, personal injury, wrongful death, Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys, workers' compensation GM ignition switches Schaumburg estate planning lawyer Home Sale Contingencies Rolling Meadows corporate lawyer BUI Mount Prospect wills and trusts lawyers income distribution deducation Chicago insurance claim attorneys medical malpractice claims Long Grove real estate lawyer condo association drug possession blended families Illinois wrongful termination lawyer Illinois estate planning medical research Illinois wills and trusts attorneys Schaumburg criminal attorney Des Plaines pet law attorney Illinois Transfer on Death Instrument Palatine trusts lawyer uninsured motorist civil rights violation Des Plaines personal injury lawyer Schaumburg personal injury lawyers Deer Park workers compensation lawyer Inverness injury lawyer drug crimes lawyer Illinois medical malpractice attorney employment law, Illinois employment laws Illinois real estate lawyer golf accidents tax attorney pain and suffering Buffalo Grove insurance claim dispute lawyers medication errors Crystal Lake law firm Des Plaines collections attorney Rolling Meadows accident lawyer Palatine civil attorney Buffalo Grove employment lawyer trust payments car collision criminal Illinois corporate lawyer Arlington Heights car crash attorneys residential real estate estate planning for college students meal breaks Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers employees icy parking lots personal injury accidents Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act Chicago attorney workers comp Illinois home inspection Deer Park traffic lawyer Des Plaines motorcycle accident attorney contracts Schaumburg estate attorney Arlington Heights car accident lawyer cell phone Illinois medical malpractice case consent to a search drunk driving statistics Schaumburg drug defense lawyer traumatic brain injuries jet ski boating DUI Barrington civil litigation attorney nursing home negligence Buffalo Grove personal injury lawyer rest breaks Crystal Lake bike accident lawyer pedestrian accident swimming pools traffic laws Illinois elder law attorney Illinois attorney probate process Crystal Lake medical malpractice law firm FMLA unauthorized overtime estate planning trusts PTSD no contest clauses traffic accidents Buffalo Grove traffic lawyers Do Not Resuscitate construction contracts problem employees Rolling Meadows employment law attorneys irrevocable trust Des Plaines medical malpractice attorney Crystal Lake pedestrian accident lawyer marijuana Illinois lawyer federal regulations for LLCs Illinois estate planning law firm gift taxes School Visitation Rights Act pedestrian-automobile accident ken apicella Buffalo Grove real estate attorney forming a corporation in Illinois whistleblower protections Illinois trusts attorney Illinois insurance claim attorney Schaumburg civil litigation attorney insurance dispute, insurance dispute lawyers, insurance claim denial, insurance claim delays, Rolling Meadows insurance dispute attorneys Illinois traffic ticket lawyer employment lawyer Inverness accident lawyer Crystal Lake employment law attorney Illinois personal injury lawyers Palatine employment attorney Transfer on Death Instrument Inverness personal injury attorney Rolling Meadows drug defense attorney brain injury Crystal Lake employment lawyer Illinois Sales Representative Act Rolling Meadows real estate attorney Jay Andrew estate planning insurance disputes, Illinois insurance disputes, Illinois insurance dispute attorneys, denied insurance claims, Arlington Heights insurance dispute attorneys Barrington estate planning attorney vacation home fines bicycle dooring accidents Illinois bicycle safety dynasty trusts Arlington Heights real estate lawyer Kenilworth estate planning attorneys trucking accidents Chicago will attorney dram shop law Barrington personal injury attorney insurance negligence paid sick leave life insurance child safety Chicago insurance law firm workers compensation Crystal Lake injury attorney denied insurance claims probate claims Illinois civil litigation lawyer pedestrian accidents Rolling Meadows boating crash lawyer comp time Schaumburg wrongful death attorney Palatine construction attorney Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyer denial of life insurance drunk driving Illinois employment law attorneys Illinois job attorney Buffalo Grove car accident lawyer Buffalo Grove criminal defense lawyer Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyers Chicago biking tips foreclosed rental property installment contracts living wills Rolling Meadows insurance attorney Illinois employment law Illinois tax attorney insurance adjusters social media after death mass shooting Inverness traffic law firm Illinois defective products attorney Illinois red light cameras job lawyers wills and trusts Arlington Heights traffic attorney Illinois construction accident attorney Palatine traffic lawyer traffic violations defense slip and fall Deer Park criminal attorney pet law Illinois medical malpractice lawyers health insurance dispute insurance claim dispute compensatory time hands free device bicycle accidents Barrington litigation attorney slip and fall accidents Des Plaines personal injury attorney truck collisions DGAA traffic violations insurance denial appeals rollover accidents changes to mortgage law liens car accident lawyers Crystal Lake traffic lawyer healthcare claims employment law Des Plaines personal injury lawyers elder law field sobriety test employee discrimination Illinois Chicago trucking accident attorney personal injury attorney Detainer Actions murder charges Rolling Meadows employment attorney Des Plaines drug lawyer Crystal Lake pet attorney Illinois motorcycle accident lawyer commercial leasing Palatine probate lawyer Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyer BAIID eluding a police officer CAM IRA benefits car accident lawyer Illinois small business Barrington employment law attorney Inverness real estate lawyer Illinois employment law firm FSLA Des Plaines accident attorney Illinois injury lawyer back injuries power of attorney for healthcare Schaumburg elder law lawyer Chicago employment lawyer Rolling Meadows medical malpractice lawyers living trust benefits minimum wage Rolling Meadows criminal lawyer rumble strips Des Plaines injury law firm involuntary manslaughter insurance attorney Riverwoods estate planning lawyer car crash real estate attorneys underinsured motorist Illinois insurance lawyer pet bites real estate contract Schaumburg probate attorney underage DUI Arlington Heights injury attorney Arlington Heights personal injury attorney Inverness probate lawyer employment law, meal breaks, rest breaks, hotel employees, Des Plaines employment law attorneys commercial real estate Schaumburg traffic lawyer automated cars gift tax exemption, estate planning, estate planning strategies, Illinois estate planning, South Barrington estate planning attorneys Crystal Lake car accident attorney unpaid assessment