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Was Your American General Life Insurance Claim Denied?

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Life insurance is meant to be something that you take care of once and then forget about until it matters.  So long as you continue to pay your premium every month, you have the justifiable expectation that if you pass away, your loved ones will be taken care of.  Unfortunately, many life insurance providers like American General are continually looking for any way to protect their bottom line by rejecting otherwise meritorious claims.

If your loved one has a policy issued by American General and the company refuses to pay out on a claim after their passing, you have the right to fight back.  The California life insurance denial attorneys at Gianelli & Morris can help you get the benefits you and your family are owed after the tragedy you have endured.

Who is American General?

American General is one of the leading providers of life insurance and financial services in the United States.  They provide the domestic life insurance operations for American International Group (AIG) under the umbrella of the AIG Life and Retirement branch.  They have approximately 13 million policyholders nationwide.  They also have a history of bad-faith practices.

How Does American General Deny Claims?

Issues in the Application

Certain grounds can be used to deny a life insurance claim.  Insurance providers have the right to challenge a claim generally and seek rescission of the policy in its entirety if a policyholder dies within two years of the policy date.  Rescission is possible where the insurer finds a material inaccuracy in the policyholder’s application.  The insurance company might try to deny coverage if they allege that the policyholder lied on the application about, for example:

  • Pre-existing medical conditions
  • Unhealthy lifestyle habits
  • Drug usage
  • Hazardous occupation or hobbies
  • Age
  • Income
  • Smoking

These would only be grounds for denial, however, if the policy were triggered within two years of the policy signing date.  If the policyholder dies after more than two years, then it does not matter whether the insurance provider finds actual evidence that the policyholder’s application contained material misstatements.  They are still obligated to pay out on an otherwise valid claim.  If your insurance provider tries to deny a claim based on a mistake in the application, you have the right to challenge their decision, especially if it falls outside the two-year contestability period.

Policy Exclusions

A life insurance company might also deny a claim because it falls within certain policy exclusions.  Some policies, for example, exclude coverage for suicide.  Other policies exclude coverage for deaths connected to alcohol or drug use.  Make sure to carefully review your policy to determine if your insurer is trying to claim an exclusion not present in the policy.  Furthermore, if the exclusion was never disclosed to the policyholder or if it was intentionally or negligently hidden by the insurance agent when selling the policy initially, you might still be able to get the insurance coverage you are owed.

Moreover, you do not have to simply accept the insurer’s conclusion as to the cause of death.  They cannot unilaterally decide, for example, that a death was a suicide, or that it was connected to some other excluded means.  Speak with a life insurance denial attorney to learn how you can challenge American General’s determination that a cause of death was excluded.

Lapsed Policy

American General might try to deny a claim because a policy allegedly lapsed due to missed payments.  Some premiums continue for a grace period even after payments have been missed.  Additionally, if the policy was issued by your family member’s employer and the employer let the policy lapse, you might have a claim against the employer for the lost benefits.  Speak with a life insurance denial lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your options.

Call Gianelli & Morris After a Claim Denial by American General Life Insurance

American General and other life insurance providers are required to pay out claims that qualify according to the terms of their policies.  There are certain grounds on which claims can be rejected, and many life insurance providers try to manipulate and misinterpret the terms of their policies in order to find a way to deny a claim.  If your life insurance claim has been rejected, you do not have to deal with the consequences alone.  A dedicated and passionate life insurance claim denial attorney can help you fight back against the denial, holding life insurance providers to task for wrongful claim rejection.

If someone you love has passed and your life insurance claim has been denied by American General or another California life insurance provider, contact the serious and dedicated Los Angeles insurance denial lawyers Gianelli & Morris for a no-cost evaluation of your claim at 213-489-1600.

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