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Do you have a bad faith claim against the life insurance company?

Your loved one spent years faithfully paying premiums for the life insurance policy in which you were the beneficiary. Upon his or her death, you expected to receive the proceeds of that policy.

When you file a legitimate claim, the insurance company refuses to pay on the policy or fails to process your claim in a timely manner. What is going on here? Is the insurance company acting in bad faith?

What constitutes bad faith?

A disagreement with you or an honest mistake does not equal bad faith. However, the following could provide evidence of bad faith on the part of the insurance company:

  • Ignoring evidence to support the beneficiary or policy holder's claim
  • Failing to disclose the exclusions and limitations of the policy when purchased
  • Looking only for evidence that supports a denial of the claim
  • Misrepresenting the language in the policy to deny the claim
  • Failing to make a prompt reply to the claim
  • Making unreasonable demands for information and proof of a claim
  • Failing to provide an explanation for a partial payout or denial of the claim

If you believe that the insurance company involved in your claim committed an act of bad faith, you may have a legal claim.

What are the most common disputes in life insurance claims?

When it comes to life insurance claims in particular, the following constitute the most common disputes that could result in a bad faith claim:

  • Claiming the policyholder failed to make all of the requisite payments
  • Claiming the policyholder made a mistake on his or her application
  • Questioning whether the policy covers your loved one's cause of death
  • Questioning whether you are the proper beneficiary

More than likely, you won't jump directly into litigation. The first step involves appealing the insurance company's decision. It may be possible to come to an agreement or correct the problem and receive the proceeds of the policy. If the insurance company continues to act unreasonably, you may then decide that you need to take your claim to an Ohio civil court.

You can bet that the insurance company will use all of the legal tools in its arsenal to defend itself and its decision. Going up against an insurance company alone might not be your best option. Instead, you could seek out the appropriate support to help you receive the monies you deserve and that your loved one wanted you to have.

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Law Offices of Tony C. Merry, LLC
7100 North High Street
Suite 302
Worthington, Ohio 43085-2567

Phone: 614-372-7114
Fax: 614-505-6109
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