Mansell, Engel & Cole

Life insurance exclusions can jeopardize your claim

It may seem to you that an insurance company carries all the risk when offering life insurance policies. After all, everyone must die, so coverage that promises to pay money when that event arrives may seem like a poor way for a business to make money. However, you do not have to worry that your insurer will go broke by insuring your life.

In fact, if you read the fine print of a life insurance policy, you may learn that the insurer will actually only provide payment upon death under a limited number of circumstances. If your loved one recently died and his or her insurer is refusing to pay benefits, you would be wise to take some time to examine the fine print of the policy and especially those factors that may prevent you from receiving the payout you were counting on.

Read the fine print

Your loved one may have shopped around to get a low price for a life insurance policy. However, one policy may be cheaper than another because it contains more exclusions. Your loved one's life insurance policy should list specific exclusions, which are the circumstances or factors under which the insurer will not pay your benefits. If your loved one's death involved any of those exclusions, the insurer may rightly refuse payment. Common exclusions include the following:

  • Death occurring within the contestable period, which is typically two years after purchasing the policy
  • Death by suicide, usually within a certain time after purchasing the policy
  • Your loved one's false statement of his or her age on the policy application
  • Death occurring while your loved one was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, even if drugs or alcohol did not result in his or her death
  • Death occurring in an aviation accident, usually limited to the crash of a private plane
  • Death occurring during the commission of a crime or participation in an illegal act
  • Death resulting from acts of war

Your loved one's policy may also list specific dangerous activities that exclude you from obtaining benefits. However, if your loved one enjoyed skydiving or mountain climbing, he or she may have paid extra for coverage of those activities.

Now that you are grieving the loss of your loved one, the last thing you need is a battle to obtain the life insurance payout you may need to cover funeral expenses and other bills. You may find that a compassionate Oklahoma attorney can take up the fight for you and help you pursue the benefits you deserve.

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