A statute of limitations, in plain-speak, is the amount of time one has to take action against an offence, once the offence has become known to the injured. In life insurance claims matters, the statute of limitations begins when the beneficiary receives the Letter for Denial for claim benefits. The statute of limitations, in most cases, lasts for 3 years.
A client recently employed The Center for Life Insurance Disputes to appeal a denied life insurance claim that was 2 years old. No problem, as 2 years is well within the statute of limitations.
In investigating all of the facts, we discovered that there was a significant discrepancy as to what time-period the application answers applied to. The claim had been denied, according to the insurer, because health information it found in the medical records was not disclosed on the application. The application was completed in January, the policy was approved in March and the first premium was applied in April.
Between the date of the application and the approval of the policy the insured began feeling very sick. But, as it turned-out, she hadn’t been diagnosed with anything conclusive. This isn’t an uncommon occurrence. Many people are unaware of any health problems inside of their bodies, until one day, for no particular reason, their body begins to shut-down. That was the case here. The insured was unaware of any health issues when she applied for the policy, but within a few months she was diagnosed with cancer. Unfortunately, the cancer won and she died within the 2-year contestability period of the policy.
As was their right, the insurer investigated. It was their determination that the insured knew of her medical issues when she applied for the policy and they denied the claim.
The Center for Life Insurance’s medical professionals reviewed the medical records and gave their opinion, which was different than the insurers. We then demonstrated to the insurer that the relevant date of knowledge was different than the date they had applied to their decision, and that the insured didn’t know of her health issues until after the application had been applied for and, in fact, after the policy was approved.
To their credit the insurer agreed with our findings and reversed their denial. This claim, that had been denied 2 years ago, was now approved and a check was promptly mailed to our client for the full policy amount.
statute of limitations life insurance