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


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