If your life insurance company wrongfully denied death benefits on allegations that your loved one took his or her own life, seek legal help with our firm today. We will review your claim to ensure you receive the benefits you deserve. These allegations are complex and it is important that your rights and the rights of your deceased loved one are protected.
Most life insurance policies have a clause that explicitly decline coverage for a death by suicide. Varying by state, the suicide exclusion is either a one-year or a two-year period that begins when coverage begins.
If an insured commits suicide during this timeframe, the beneficiary will be reimbursed for premiums, but will not awarded the death benefit.
If the insured commits suicide after a one-year or two-year suicide clause expires, an insurance company cannot use suicide as grounds to deny payment of a death benefit.
If a policyholder replaces one life insurance policy with another policy, the timeframe for the suicide clause is reset, starting over when the new policy becomes effective.
Rationale for a Suicide Exclusion
Insurers have no way to identify when an applicant is or will become suicidal. The purpose of the suicide clause is to prevent someone who may be a suicide risk from taking out a hefty life insurance policy for the purpose of a desired beneficiary receiving a lavish payout.
Often when the insurer enforces a suicide exclusion the matter is genuine. But there are many times when the insurance company gets it wrong—even when the death occurred within the exclusionary period. Was an overdose of drugs a suicide or accidental death? If a loved one battling cancer dies while at the wheel in a car crash, can the insurance company legitimately claim death by suicide?
In these and other situations, you have legal recourse to fight a denial based on the suicide clause. Our life insurance denial attorneys can help you contest the insurance company’s decision, and aggressively appeal a denial that is wrongly based on the grounds of suicide.
The Insurance Company Needs to Make an Arguable Case for Suicide
In many cases, it is not clear if the death of a loved one is the result of an accident, illness or suicide. It is the insurance company’s burden to prove that the policyholder took his or her own life. Such a case is only as strong as the factual evidence and investigation, and the insurance company must show the insured committed suicide by a preponderance of the evidence.
Our insurance lawyers have handled similar cases, and are specifically qualified to help you determine whether you have a case. If the insurance policy is a group benefit plan sponsored by the policyholder’s employer, it is critical that you act quickly as the law sets rigid time limits within which you must appeal.
Attorneys Experienced with Suicide Exclusion Denials
Legal counsel for the insurance company will be prepared to defend their case, and go beyond the general formal discovery process. They will work to present a factual picture of events surrounding the policyholder’s death, and apply various types of evidence to prove their case.
The attorneys at Marc Whitehead & Associates are equally prepared in cases of wrongful denials base on a suicide exclusion. We have the knowledge to appeal these denials, and resources and qualified experts necessary when countering an insurance company’s allegations that a suicide occurred.
Ask Our Life Insurance Lawyers about Your Case
If your life insurance claim or accidental death claim has been delayed or denied, request a free case evaluation with a qualified, experienced attorney today. Let us review your claim to see if benefits should be paid. We can help you wherever you live in the United States.