Husband's Life Insurance Lapsed while Dying

thruitMarch 12, 2006

It was like he died all over again when this happened. He was at the last two months of his life, I was in hospital for a serious car accident. We did not remember to pay the bill and it lapsed. We did not receive notices, just the lapsed notice. He applied for re-instatement claiming healthy... then he died 2 months later. The insurance company claimed it was a pre-existing condition so they won't pay.

I know it was mostly our fault, but we paid for the policy for 20 years, is there any recourse?

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Oh, how terribly sad

    Bookmark   March 12, 2006 at 4:11PM
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It depends on the particulars of the policy and whether they followed their own procedures about notification when a policy lapses. I think you need to see a lawyer with expertise in insurance law, and invest an hour or two. This is an important issue and I doubt you'll get anywhere on your own with an insurance company like this one. You may not succeed, but you'll never know unless you get professional advice. If a lawyer thinks this is a good case, he/she should be willing to take it on a contingency basis so you won't be out of pocket if it does not succeed. If a lawyer won't take it on contingency, that may be an indication that it's a long shot and not worth sinking money into. Good luck.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2006 at 6:59AM
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Go to your state's Department of Insurance. Many of them have complaint forms you can fill out online. Give a detailed summary of your situation.

I work for an insurance company, and actually am one of the people in the my area that responds to DOI complaints. While I will tell you that most of the time, we stick by what we've done (and give detailed documentation as to why), going this route (at least at my company), will guarantee a higher level person will take a look at your policy, and it will be reviewed for consistency of practice.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2006 at 8:08AM
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So sorry about your loss. My MIL paid her auto insurance every 6 months. She died after 3. The insurance company ignored our written (repeated) requests to refund the 3 month overpayment ($450.00).

We finally contacted the State's Department of Insurance. For some odd reason the State Department of Insurance asked for my husband's S.S. no. even though he had already provided a testamentary letter and death certificate proving his mom's demise. We didn't provide it and no more was mentioned. After a few weeks of waiting, we got the refund.

We have since learned how important it is to send this kind of correspondence certified mail/return receipt.

Best of luck to you.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2006 at 7:48PM
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