Legal Question in Insurance Law in California

My father passed away 2.5 years ago. At the time, he was homeless and had gotten a little behind on his life insurance payments. His life insurance was through Knights of Columbus. He only missed a few payments. If I could pay the amount he missed, could I still collect the life insurance? I was the beneficiary.

Asked on 1/27/12, 12:27 pm

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3 Answers from Attorneys

Edward Hoffman Law Offices of Edward A. Hoffman

I'm afraid not. If the insurer properly canceled the policy, it can't be reinstated retroactively after your father's death.

The company could choose to pay, but the law won't compel it to do so. There is no reason to think the company will pay when it doesn't have to, especially if it has already denied the claim.

I wish I had a more encouraging answer for you.

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Answered on 1/27/12, 12:58 pm

Michael Stone Law Offices of Michael B. Stone Toll Free 1-855-USE-MIKE

Sometimes people miss a few payments immediately before their passing due to their final illness; and I am personally aware of beneficiaries of life insurance policies who have successfully obtained settlements in situations like these. An attorney would need to do legal research into such cases arising both in California, and in whatever state's law applies to the policy. You have waited a very long time -- possibly too long -- to do anything about your situation. If I were you I would immediately obtain his medical records for the appropriate time period, a copy of the policy, and his payment records, to the extent you have any of these documents, and bring them to an attorney. Do not assume the insurer will be cooperative with you.

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Answered on 1/27/12, 1:48 pm
Steven Murray Steven W. Murray, APC

Get as much of the paperwork and take it to a lawyer who is familiar with insurance. It is possible your father had some form of insurance with a cash value, and if so, it is possible the insurer had funds to keep the policy current. Don't wait, get the material as Mr. Stone suggests and see what you can learn. His membership in Knights of Colombus might be important also, so take copies of that material also. Good luck.

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Answered on 1/31/12, 12:56 pm

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