DGAA bLAWg

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


Tags

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

Archive