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


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