Strong Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Mississippi Life and Disability Insurance Policies
Helping families of a deceased and those who cannot work because of a disability get the money they deserve
If you are the beneficiary of a life insurance policy, your loved one paid premiums to provide for his or her bills and for you when he or she died. You deserve to have his or her wishes honored by having their life insurance carrier make timely payments for the full amount of the policy. Likewise, if an individual has disability insurance, that person has the right to expect that if disability occurs the benefits will be paid.
Gilbert McWherter Scott Bobbitt PLC has been helping families and the insured for more than eight decades get the money they deserve. Our lawyers have experience fighting for professional workers who often buy their own disability insurance and employees who get disability insurance through work. We represent spouses, children, and other beneficiaries who are named insureds on life policies. If you are a Mississippi life insurance or disability insurance policyholder, you have rights. We want to help.
Common life insurance policy matters
A deceased normally purchases life insurance to cover the following items:
- Any funeral or hospital bills
- Any debts they may have such as a mortgage
- The money the survivors will need for education, for daily living, and for enjoyment of life
Insurance policies generally require the life insurance company to pay a lump sum, such as $100,000, when the decedent passes away. Unfortunately, some insurance companies try inventive ways to get out of their obligation to pay. Common insurance company defense strategies that our Mississippi life insurance dispute lawyers prepare for are:
- Nonpayment of premiums
- Nondisclosure of a material fact, such as that the decedent had heart disease
- A claim that the death was self-inflicted
While all of these may be valid defenses under the appropriate circumstances, the correct claim decision is not always black and white.
At the Gilbert Firm, we verify the important records and contest any claims that are denied without merit. If the insurance carrier takes an unreasonable position in the hope that the beneficiary is cash poor and wants a quick settlement, we bring claims for bad faith if appropriate.
Individual disability insurance issues
Many professionals or self-employed workers pay for their own disability insurance. The right to payment matures if and when the worker becomes disabled. A few key issues with individual disability insurance that our Mississippi disability insurance dispute attorneys are ready to handle are:
- The type of disability insurance. There are two primary types – “own” occupation and “any” occupation. In “own” occupation, insurance benefits are paid if the worker can no longer do the specific type of job they were doing prior to the disability. “Any” occupation means the worker gets paid only if the worker cannot do any type of work. For example, if a doctor can no longer work as a physician but can work as health administrator, the doctor gets benefits if he or she had own occupation insurance but not if he or she had any occupation insurance.
- Payment term. Payment is usually for life or for a specific number of years.
- Meeting the definition of disability. Insurance companies normally request that an insured get an independent medical examination to determine whether the injuries prevent the patient from working.
When a claim is meritorious, we work hard to assist you in presenting your claim, that payments be made on time, or to reverse coverage denials.
Group policy disability insurance matters
Most workers who have disability insurance get coverage through work. Some of the legal issues in group work policies that our lawyers fight include:
- The length of the benefits. Group policies generally pay disability insurance for the first two years if the worker cannot do his or her prior job. Coverage beyond two years normally just applies to workers who cannot do any job.
- Government benefit offset. Insurance companies will try to argue that the insured’s disability benefits should be reduced if the worker is getting any kind of government benefits, such as Social Security disability or worker’s compensation.
- ERISA. Most workers have a group policy that is regulated by the Employee Income Retirement Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). ERISA claims are more complex and handled differently than other group claims and other individual claims. For starters, most ERISA claims are heard in federal court. Our attorneys understand ERISA and employee rights.
In some contested cases, we may be able to negotiate lump sum payments so you get your cash at once instead of monthly.
Speak with a professional life insurance and disability insurance dispute attorney serving Mississippi today
Do not make the mistake of making a quick settlement. Do not assume the insurance company has your best interest at heart. An experienced Mississippi life and disability insurance dispute attorney helps beneficiaries get the full insurance proceeds they deserve. For help with your claim, please call the Gilbert Firm at 601-709-4664 or complete our contact form for an appointment.