Many employees in Lower Merion Township have life insurance through an employer-sponsored benefit plan. These policies are governed by the Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) of 1974, a federal law that sets minimum standards for a variety of employee programs, including life insurance and long term disability benefits. ERISA requires life insurance plan administrators to follow certain procedures when reviewing or denying claims. If you have lost a family member covered by an ERISA life insurance plan, you may be unsure as to how the claims process works. This can lead to problems, especially if the insurer denies the claim and the beneficiary does not fully understand their right to appeal. This is where a hiring a qualified Lower Merion Township life insurance attorney can make the difference between receiving benefits and walking away with nothing. Attorney Adam H. Garner has litigated numerous claims involving both ERISA and non-ERISA life insurance policies issued in Pennsylvania, and he can help you fight for the benefits you legally deserve.
Fighting the Insurance Company’s Delay Tactics
A life insurance policy sounds simple enough on its face: When the insured person dies, the insurer pays benefits to a designated beneficiary. But in practice, life insurance policies are complex legal documents that involve numerous caveats, conditions, and exceptions. One problem that often arises with life insurance is competing claims from different family members or potential beneficiaries. For example, say an employee initially designated their spouse as beneficiary but the couple later divorced. Since employer-sponsored life insurance plans are governed by the ERISA, rather than state divorce law, that beneficiary is still legally entitled to benefits unless the employee changed their designation prior to death. This can lead to litigation between competing claimants, which in turn prompts the insurance company to declare it will not pay out any benefits until the matter is resolved. In fact, life insurance companies often employ delaying tactics, even when there is no dispute as to the beneficiary. The insurer may demand excessive and unnecessary “proof” of the beneficiary’s identity. Or perhaps the insurer will claim it needs to conduct a more detailed investigation into the circumstances surrounding the insured employee’s death. Hiring a qualified Lower Merion Township life insurance attorney sends a clear message to the insurer that you will not accept these kinds of delay tactics. At The Garner Firm, we know how to deal with insurance companies. We will explain your rights under the ERISA and how to enforce them should it become necessary. Even if your loved one had a private life insurance policy not governed by the ERISA, we can still advise and assist you in dealing with an insurer.
Have a Life Insurance Problem? Contact The Garner Firm Today to Schedule a Free, No-Obligation Consultation
Keep in mind, at least with respect to ERISA-controlled policies, there is a strict regulatory process that must be observed. If your claim is denied, you must exhaust certain administrative remedies first before attempting to file a lawsuit. The Garner Firm can provide you with more specific advice as to how this process works. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.