Life insurance claims in Colorado and around the country can be denied for several reasons. Insurers may refuse to pay a claim if the premiums were not paid on time and the policy lapsed, or they may assert that the death was not covered. This could happen if the insured died in combat or while participating in a dangerous activity like cliff jumping. Life insurance claims may also be denied if insurers discover that the insured provided them with false information during what is known as the contestability period.
The contestability period
The contestability period begins when a life insurance policy is taken out and lasts for two years. During this time, insurers may deny claims if they discover false information or misrepresentation on the policy application such as the failure to disclose a medical condition, a substance abuse problem or a drunk driving conviction.
The consequences of misrepresentation
Life insurance claims may be denied during the contestability period even if the death is unrelated to the false information, and certain types of misrepresentation can be grounds for denying a claim long after the two-year time limit has passed. Failing to mention a serious health issue on a life insurance application would not usually be grounds for denying a claim after two years, but an exception could be made if the insured convinced a doctor to cover up the condition.
Taking on insurance companies
A denied life insurance claim could make an already difficult situation unbearable. Attorneys with experience in this area could examine the reasons for a denial and look for grounds to file an appeal. When denials are challenged, attorneys could argue that insurance providers made a mistake or false statements were made unwittingly or had no bearing on the decision to issue the policy.