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  • Writer's pictureAhsan Malyk

What Percentage of Life Insurance Claims are Denied?

There are relatively few instances in which a life insurance company may refuse a policy claim. In fact, just 0.02 percent of life insurance payments were allegedly delayed or denied as of the end of 2019. However, it is not insurmountable.

Life insurance might refuse to pay out a death benefit if the policyholder fails to make payments. Upon denial of your claim, the insurer will reimburse the premiums you have already paid into the insurance and terminate it.

You may appeal the refusal by speaking with the service provider. However, it's doubtful that doing so would result in any changes unless there was a real mistake on their part.

Why are life insurance claims refused in the first place?

Failure to Disclose a Medical Condition or Other Relevant Information

As part of the application process for a life insurance policy, you have to report all medical issues. Other possible risk factors, such as hazardous hobbies (like skydiving), are also critical to disclose.

Providing inaccurate information during the application process may result in the denial of your life insurance claim in the future. Your life expectancy (also known as mortality in the business) determines your life insurance underwriting.

It is a "material misrepresentation" when an applicant for life insurance fails to disclose important facts throughout the application process. An insurer's ability to charge proper premiums is jeopardized if a major deception is made.

The following types of information you have to submit on a life insurance application:

● Previous medical history

● Exciting yet potentially dangerous pastimes

● Dangerous behaviors

● Hazardous occupations

After submission of a life insurance policy, the insurer may seek medical records and other documents. This is to analyze them for evidence of substantial misrepresentation in the application.

The premiums for life insurance were not paid

There are rare instances in which beneficiaries may attempt to file a claim without recognizing that you have failed to pay your premiums prior to death.

According to how far you are behind in your life insurance payments, you may be able to catch up. The majority of life insurance contracts include a 30- or 31-day grace period after the payment due date.

You have the option of making up the payment without incurring interest. Even if you die away within the grace period, your beneficiary will still get the death benefit.

If your life insurance policy has expired as a result of non-payment, you may be able to renew it. However, you have to pay your past-due premiums, plus interest, on a monthly basis. The procedures for re-enrolling in a policy will differ according to the firm and the state.

Outliving a Term Life Insurance Policy is a possibility.

If you have term life insurance, it is possible that you may outlast the policy's term. Hence, in this case, the death benefit will not be paid.

If you need more coverage beyond the policy's expiration date, the policy may let you renew. You may also be able to convert a term life insurance policy into a permanent life insurance policy.

If you're thinking about changing your insurance coverage, be sure you know what the deadline is.


There is often a "suicide clause" present in most life insurance plans. It lasts for a period of two years. If a suicide happens within this time period, the insurance company will almost always refuse to pay out any money.

Instead, it will provide a refund to the recipient in the amount of the premiums paid.

Making a Claim on a Life Insurance Policy

According to the American Council on Life Insurance, it is critical to inform your beneficiaries about the location of your life insurance policy in order to guarantee a smooth claims procedure.

When it comes to storing your policy, he suggests placing it among other financial records, legal documents, or wherever else your beneficiaries are likely to check in case they need to submit a claim.

Additionally, maintain your life insurance agent's name and contact information readily available at all times.

How to File a Life Insurance claim in the US?

If you are the beneficiary of a life insurance policy, here's how to file a claim successfully:

In case of refusal of a life insurance claim, beneficiaries get a written claim rejection.

If they choose to file an appeal against the judgment, they must first collect all of the relevant papers and facts to support their claim before proceeding.

If they are unable to settle the disagreement with the insurer, they should seek additional counsel from the state's department of insurance.

What to do if your insurance claim is refused?

A life insurance claim rejection letter instils anxiety in the hearts of beneficiaries. In reality, however, the only time a payment is guaranteed is when the money is received and deposited into the beneficiary's account.

When an insurer determines that the policyholder was engaged in basic dishonesty, the policy and any relevant death benefit are voided.

Make contact with the insurance company

In their first rejection letter, insurers provide a detailed explanation of their decision to refuse a claim. While it is possible that the grounds for refusing to pay the death benefit are unclear or lack adequate supporting evidence, the proper line of action includes requesting further information about the particular objections to the payment of the death benefit.

In situations where refused beneficiaries file an appeal, the proof that will be sought will most likely include medical records, autopsy reports, and insurance payment receipts, among other things.

In the circumstances involving employer group life insurance and other comparable plans, there is only a 60-day window in which to appeal a refusal of benefits.

Contest the decision

Beneficiaries, after refusal of the benefit, may file an appeal by submitting evidence in accordance with the procedures as per the insurer.

Self-representation is free, but introducing complex procedures and stress into the midst of a mourning process is not without its emotional costs.

In certain circumstances, rejected beneficiaries reach out to their state's department of insurance or attorney general to make use of their knowledge of insurance regulations and to seek assistance.

Because some states have insurance appeals experts on staff, state-level representation has a significant amount of significance.

Take Away

Make sure that you provide detailed comments on health and health-related activities, such as smoking, prescription drugs, and dangerous hobbies. The application must have clarity regarding terms and conditions. Review the completed application as filled out by the agent.

Of course, avoiding claim rejections is ideal for all parties. The policyholder's conduct to the insurance application is key to avoiding a refused claim.


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