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Life Insurance Results

Representative Cases Involving Life Insurance Claims

Following are examples of actual verdicts and settlements obtained by Pillsbury & Coleman in cases involving claim denials or underpayment of life insurance claims. Additional results can be reviewed when you speak with an attorney at our firm. If plaintiff or insurance company names do not appear it is because confidentiality agreements are in place restricting that information.

Widow v. Insurance Company

Case Issue

Insurance bad faith, claim denial for life insurance policy

Result

Multi-million dollar settlement

Summary

Our client was a widow with no income whose husband of 30 years had died suddenly while overseas. Her husband had obtained a life insurance policy through an insurance broker who was also a family friend. The broker, who completed the application for insurance, knew of the husband's intent to travel overseas but failed to disclose it on the form.

After the widow sought payment on the policy, the life insurance company performed a biased investigation and then denied the claim on the grounds that the deceased had made a misrepresentation on the application regarding intended travel. This was done despite the fact that the insurer was fully aware that the application was completed by the broker.

The case settled after Pillsbury & Coleman filed a motion for summary judgment.

Hartford v. ANICO

Case Issue

Insurance bad faith, claim denial for life insurance policy

Result

Obtained summary judgment, claim paid in full

Summary

Leo Hartford had a life insurance policy from American National Insurance Company (ANICO); however, upon his passing, the company denied the claim made by his widow Lauren Michele Hartford. The insurance company declared the policy lapsed since the annual premium payment was not paid by the due date.

In filing for a motion for summary judgment, it was argued that the annual premium was paid late and ANICO had the right to declare the policy lapsed; the insurance company did not do so. For business reasons and in practice, the insurance company accepted late premium payments and did not lapse the policies.

In granting a motion for summary judgment, the judge ruled that since ANICO did not lapse the policy on the premium's due date, it waived its right to do so and had no legal standing to unilaterally choose a different date of cancellation. As such, the judge ruled that coverage was in full effect at the time of Leo Hartford's death and ANICO was responsible for fulfilling his widow's claim.

Tough Negotiators, Passionate Litigators

To discuss your insurance-related concern, contact Pillsbury & Coleman, LLP. From our law offices in San Francisco, we represent clients throughout California and across the nation.