As the beneficiary of a life insurance policy, you are inevitably dealing with the loss of someone you were close to. Someone who felt strongly enough to name you as the beneficiary on their life insurance policy. Now that they have passed away, you are left to deal with the life insurance company. It should be as easy as the company paying you the money that was agreed to be paid to the beneficiary upon the death of the policyholder, right? Not always. Insurance companies are in the business of saving money and using the underwriting process to do so by insuring low-risk events. The policy language is also written in such a way that the companies can find "loopholes" or reasons not to pay on the policy. Insurance contracts are known as "contracts of adhesion" - this means that there is no bargaining power in the hands of the policyholder; the insurance company is the only party to the contract with any say regarding the terms and language in the policy. The policy language is often lengthy, confusing, and not easily understood by a layperson who does not have extensive experience with contract or insurance language.
This inevitably leaves the beneficiary of a life insurance policy in a difficult situation when the insurance company does not pay the policy proceeds. While dealing with the loss of a loved one, the beneficiary is left to decipher the meaning of a contract that their loved one entered into with the insurance company, most often without the beneficiary being involved in the contracting process whatsoever. But the beneficiary now has to assert their claim and argue that they are owed the policy proceeds when the insurance company refuses to pay. The insurance company may refuse for many reasons, some of which include that the event causing the death was not a "covered event," or was not in a location that was covered, or any other number of things that either did or did not happen, and that the policy language purportedly does not cover.
If you are the beneficiary of an insurance policy and this is the situation you find yourself in, call us today so we can examine the policy language and circumstances of why the policy proceeds have not been paid out to you as the beneficiary. Iowa law favors coverage of the insured and we can help to determine if you should receive the benefit of the policy.