General attorneys are able to take on and defend a variety of cases. When it comes to insurance claims, these cases are often open-and-shut. Most of them are resolved outside of court, too. If you are struggling with getting a payment on a life insurance claim owed to you as the surviving spouse of the deceased, here is how a general attorney can help.
Most life insurance companies need a death certificate before they will begin processing a claim. If you have already sent the insurance company the death certificate, but it got lost in transit and that is why your claim has been denied, the lawyer can help you get a new death certificate. Usually, just having the lawyer intervene on these cases can help clear up any confusion as to why your claim has been denied.
Terms of the Policy
If your deceased spouse did not keep a copy of the life insurance terms, you might be missing out on the reason why you cannot get your claim processed. Sometimes the terms in a policy can easily reveal why you are having difficulties. Since a life insurance policy is a contract, the lawyer can review a copy of the policy filed with the insurance company in much the same way as the lawyer would view any business contract or contractual agreement.
Cause of Death
Many life insurance companies do not pay out on policies when there is a question pending with regards to how the person died. If it is established that homicide is the cause, there may be no payment until the murderer has been convicted, or there may be no payment at all because the death was a homicide. (It depends on the insurance company and state guidelines.)
Clearly, if all insurance companies paid out on all deaths, including suicides and homicides, people would just go about killing themselves and others to obtain large quantities of money. Insurance companies do all they can to avoid such criminal actions and tragedies. If there is a passage in the policy that states something regarding the manner of death, and/or the death certificate lists the cause as "suicide," "homicide," or "pending," your claim is on hold or denied because of that.
Clearing up Problems to Avoid the Expenses of Lawsuits
While you can hire a lawyer or a team of lawyers to get payment on a claim, it is just better to sort out the causes and confusion with better communication. Your attorney can research the issue and talk to the insurance company on your behalf. Then you can get the answers you need. From there, you can proceed with any needed action or wait for the situation to resolve itself.
For more information, contact a local lawyer like Scott E. Shaffman Attorney At Law.