Tennessee Attorneys Representing Life and Disability Insurance Claimants
Insurance dispute attorneys helping policyholders throughout the Southeast and Midwest
Life insurance and disability insurance can never take the place of your health or the death of a loved one, but they do provide financial stability in a time of severe need. Family members rely on insurance proceeds to keep the bills paid and to start life again. Anyone who is disabled needs the proceeds to pay for their health care costs and daily living expenses so they will not be a burden on family and friends.
The Tennessee-based life and disability insurance attorneys at McWherter Scott & Bobbitt help families and victims across the Southeast get their full benefits. In death cases, we fight for those who are entitled to life insurance proceeds that have been wrongfully denied. In disability cases, we work hard to secure the benefits to which are clients are entitled. In both life and disability cases, our lawyers are ready to contest any unlawful denial or reduction in benefits.
Life insurance issues
People buy life insurance policies for good reasons – to provide stability after we’re gone, to pay for our funeral, to pay off the mortgage, to provide for those we love. By their nature, life insurance policies are often large, and payment is usually due in a lump sum on the death of the insured. We’ve handled many life insurance claims in which the carrier wrongfully denied payment, and we see the same reasons given over and over again, such as:
- The premiums were not paid. Obviously, premiums have to be kept current, but we’ve even seen insurance companies claim payments were not paid when they really were.
- There was a misstatement or omission in the application. Insurance companies often try this tactic if the person died from a medical condition that the company thinks should have been disclosed on the application for insurance. For example, an insurance company may argue a smoker who died of lung cancer never informed the insurance company that the insured person smoked. In many states, there is a period of contestability (2 years from issuance of the policy for example) in which the carrier can deny claims for material misrepresentations that affect the risk of loss. After that, it doesn’t matter, and the insurance company bears the risk.
- The company may claim the death was a suicide. Many insurance policies exclude coverage if someone took their own life. But things aren’t always what they appear, and we’ve been involved (and settled) several claims in which suicide was alleged but the requisite proof did not exist.
Our Tennessee life and disability insurance attorneys are knowledgeable regarding the ins and outs of policies. Perhaps the agent knew the insured had cancer but told the insured to mark “no” on the application, or perhaps the agent was paid the annual premium but failed to send it to the insurance company. Every case is different, and we analyze the facts and law to determine all available options for our clients.
How is life insurance paid out?
The pay-out on a life insurance policy is determined by the policy itself. Many allow for lump-sum payments, but you can also purchase policies offering:
- Installment payouts, where the installment plan can be designed by the policyholder
- Periodic payouts, where the payouts last the lifetime of the beneficiary
- Period certain payouts, which ensure that payouts last a set number of years, and allow for beneficiaries to collect any remaining payouts
- Survivorship payouts, which pays out as long as one person is still alive, and can include a “period certain” addendum
- Interest-only payouts, where the beneficiary only receives the interest of the policy
Disability insurance issues
Disability insurance pays benefits when someone becomes disabled. Disability insurance policies are notoriously difficult to read and strictly regulated. Many employees have disability insurance through their employer, and federal law (called ERISA) governs those. On the other hand, private individual disability policies are governed by standard contract law. Issues that can arise can range from the definition (own occupation versus any occupation), the length of the benefit period, caps on benefits, and many others. If your insurer wrongfully denies your disability claim, call the lawyers at McWherter Scott & Bobbitt.
Disability contracts usually fall into two categories – individual and group.
Get help from an attorney when misfortune or death occurs
McWherter Scott & Bobbitt fights for beneficiaries of disability and life insurance policies. We help insurance policyholders of all types get prompt and accurate payment for their claims. When you pay your premiums, you deserve to have the insurance company uphold their end of the bargain. To review your case with an experienced Tennessee life and disability insurance lawyer, please call 731-664-1340 or fill out our contact form. Our attorneys are licensed in Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, Mississippi and Missouri.