O’Ryan Law Firm Helps Widow in a Life Insurance Claim

Bill M. worked for a large industrial company until he became disabled in 2005. When Bill’s illness became so severe that he began to become concerned that he may not live much longer, he called his employer’s benefits center in April of 2018 to confirm that he was still covered for $226,000 in group life insurance provided by the employer in order to ensure that his wife Diana would be financially protected if he passed away. The benefits center provided written confirmation that Bill was still covered for $226,000 of group life insurance. The next month, Bill passed away and Diana contacted the employer’s benefits center to file a claim for the $226,000 in life insurance benefits under the group life insurance policy.

Unfortunately, although the employer’s benefits center promised Diana that it was processing her claim through their insurance department, months and months went by without any action on her life insurance claim. After several months and dozens of phone calls to the employee benefits center without receiving payment of her life insurance proceeds, Diana contacted O’Ryan Law Firm to help her pursue payment of her husband’s life insurance benefits.

After thoroughly reviewing Diana’s claim, O’Ryan Law Firm filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana seeking to force the employer to pay the life insurance proceeds. The employer contended that Bill’s life insurance coverage ended when he stopped receiving long term disability (“LTD”) benefits under the employer’s group LTD policy. Diana’s attorneys at O’Ryan Law Firm requested and obtained documents from the employer that provided evidence as to why Bill’s LTD benefits had been terminated and why the employer had represented that Bill was still covered under its group life insurance policy as of April of 2018.

The documents obtained from the employer indicated that after he stopped working in 2005, Bill applied for and received long term disability (“LTD”) benefits under the employer’s group LTD policy. The LTD insurance company continued to provide him with LTD benefits until 2010, when it determined that he was likely to remain permanently disabled and offered him a lump-sum buyout of his remaining monthly LTD benefit payments. Diana and Bill wisely contacted his employer to determine if accepting the lump sum buyout would impact his eligibility to continue receiving other insurance benefits from the employer. After the employer confirmed that the buyout would not impact Bill’s eligibility for insurance benefits, he agreed to accept it.

Soon after Diana’s attorneys at O’Ryan Law Firm uncovered the evidence that Bill had only accepted the LTD buyout after the employer assured him it wouldn’t impact his right to continue receiving group insurance coverage, the employer agreed to settle the lawsuit.

We have represented numerous individuals who have been denied life insurance because of a serious error or mistake by an employer, life insurance company, or claim administrator.  If you have a claim for life insurance benefits that has been denied, please call O’Ryan Law Firm for a free consultation.