Too often we have clients come to us with horror stories of life insurance investigations that have gone on for over a year. These clients ask us how long they should expect before they receive their life insurance claims. While in rare cases investigations reasonably go on for an extended period of time, we normally refer our clients to the following Missouri Code of Regulations when asked how long they should expect to wait before the life insurance company pays out the benefits:
Within fifteen (15) working days after the submission of all forms necessary to establish the nature and extent of any claim, the first-party claimant shall be advised of the acceptance or denial of the claim by the insurer. No insurer shall deny any claim on the grounds of a specific policy provision, condition or exclusion unless reference to that provision, condition or exclusion is included in the denial. The denial must be given to the claimant in writing and the claim file of the insurer shall contain a copy of the denial.
20 CSR 100-1.050 (1)(A) Standards for Prompt Fair and Equitable Settlement of Claims
If the life insurance company insists it is necessary to investigate the claim then they should abide by the following regulation:
If the insurer needs more time to determine whether a claim should be accepted or denied, it shall so notify the first-party claimant within the time otherwise allotted for acceptance or denial, giving the reasons more time is needed. If the investigation remains incomplete, the insurer, within fortyfive (45) days from the date of the initial notification and every forty-five (45) days after, shall send the claimant a letter setting forth the reasons additional time is needed for investigation.
20 CSR 100-1.050 (1)(C) Standards for Prompt Fair and Equitable Settlement of Claims
You should also be aware that you might be entitled to interest on your life insurance claim:
Interest at the rate of nine percent (9%) per annum shall be paid on all life insurance policy proceeds upon the death of the insured if the insurer fails to pay the proceeds of the policy within thirty (30) days of submission of proof of death and receipt of all necessary proofs of loss. Payment shall include interest at nine percent (9%) per annum, unless another rate has been agreed upon, from the date of death of the insured until the date the claim is paid.
If your claims has been unreasonably delayed contact the experienced life insurance attorneys at Joseph and Eugene, LLC to keep your case moving!