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Every week we offer five tips on various areas of Illinois law.  Insurance companies will often wrongly deny payment for a life insurance policy because for the most part they have nothing to lose.  This requires you to get an attorney.  Here are five things that you should know if you are in that situation.

  1. You need a copy of the life insurance policy for a lawyer to bring a case.  Just knowing that a policy is out there isn’t enough, although if you can’t find it the attorney should be able to help you still.
  2. There are time limits to sue which vary, but can be rather short.  So the point is that you shouldn’t delay because if a suit isn’t filed in time your rights could be barred forever.
  3. Unlike some areas of law, most of the attorneys we know will consider taking these cases on a contingency basis which means that you don’t pay them any money up front and they get nothing unless they make a recovery for you.  So don’t fail to pursue a claim because you don’t think you can afford it.  You can.
  4. A will or trust is typically irrelevant in these cases.  The life insurance policy typically names a beneficiary.  That is the person that has a right to make a claim.  It’s when no beneficiary is named or they are no longer alive that a will or trust comes in to play.
  5. The biggest lie told by the insurance company to get out of paying is that the policy premiums weren’t paid up or that they cancelled the policy.  That’s quite often a lie or fraud, so don’t take their word for it.  They certainly aren’t looking out for you.

 If you have any questions or need our recommendation of an attorney in Illinois that has experience with these cases please let us know.

Written by Michael Helfand