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


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