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.

Unpaid Life Insurance Benefits are a Billion Dollar Problem

Web Admin - Thursday, January 23, 2014

By Ken Apicella
(847) 934-6000

A recent probe of insurance companies conducted by New York State’s Department of Financial Services revealed that, nationwide, insurance companies failed to pay an estimated $1.1 billion in life insurance to beneficiaries. The issue stems, in part, from a lack of communication between policyholders and beneficiaries. If the policyholder never informed the beneficiary that they took out a life insurance policy, the beneficiary would not know to file a claim. This causes problems because insurance companies rely on beneficiaries to report when someone dies in order to claim their benefits.

At least, that used to be the case. Following this probe and similar investigations across the country, including in Illinois, insurers are starting to follow a different set of rules. For instance, in New York, Governor Cuomo signed a law that requires insurers to make routine searches of a death database in order to determine if any new deaths matched policyholders, so that they could start the process of finding that person’s beneficiary.

The Governor introduced this law in order to put to rest the apparently common practice of using such databases to track the deaths of people to whom the insurance company owes monthly checks, without using those same databases to track the deaths of policyholders.

The investigation also prompted more stringent enforcement of rules requiring insurers to turn unpaid benefits over to the state in some circumstances. Many states run unclaimed property departments. These departments hold on to the property, and then it becomes the beneficiary’s burden to track it down. Fortunately, with some careful planning, policyholders and beneficiaries can avoid problems like this.

The easiest way to make sure your loved ones do not have to spend time tracking down an insurance policy is with communication. If you take a life insurance policy out on yourself, tell the beneficiary. While some people can find it unpleasant to discuss or difficult to go into the details of how much they chose to purchase, you do not need to do that. It does not have to be a long, drawn-out conversation. Even just letting them know that you took out a policy, as well as which insurance company they should talk to if necessary, can be helpful.

If you have found yourself involved in an insurance dispute, contact a Palatine insurance attorney today. Call 847-934-6000 to speak to a member of our team. We serve many northwest areas including Rolling Meadows, Chicago, Crystal Lake, Inverness, and other nearby communities.

Recent Posts


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