MetLife Pays Over $200 Million in Regulatory Investigation Over Pension Benefits

A common issue with life insurance benefits is a deceptively simple one: what if the beneficiary doesn't know that they are named in the life insurance policy?  In such cases, life insurers are typically obligated to advise the unknowing beneficiary of the insured's death and their entitlement to death benefits under the insurance policy.  But …

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Medical Proof Required to Deny ERISA Claims Based on Intoxication Exclusion Says Fifth Circuit

Many ERISA plans and insurance policies contain provisions excluding coverage for losses caused by the insured's intoxication.  In cases where the plan or insurer asserts such an exclusion, the question becomes what evidence must the insurer put forward in order to prove the insured was intoxicated and the exclusion applies? The U.S. Court of Appeals …

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State Laws Automatically Revoking Spousal Life Insurance Benefits Upon Divorce Upheld By U.S. Supreme Court

An important dispute when a person dies is often who gets the life insurance policy death benefit.  The life insurance policy may have been purchased decades ago and name the insured's former spouse, from whom the insured was divorced long ago.  The insured's children or other alternate beneficiaries often argue the insured really intended the …

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Ninth Circuit Decision Shows Life Insurance Pitfalls for Policyholders; Clarifies Jurisdiction in Insurance Disputes

The Ninth Circuit’s recent ruling in Elhouty v. Lincoln Benefit Life, Case No. 15-16740 (March 27, 2018) is notable for two reasons.  It illustrates the pitfalls of certain life insurance policies that supposedly pay for themselves, and it clarifies the jurisdictional standard governing when insurance disputes can be litigated in federal as opposed to state …

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Can the ERISA Plan Deny Coverage Because you Made a Technical Mistake When Enrolling?

So you sign up for insurance through your employer.  The HR people say "yup, you're signed up all right!"  You pay premiums for a few years.  Then, you make a claim and the insurance company says you're not covered - turns out, you filled out the paperwork wrong when you signed up for coverage. Can …

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