Court of Appeals Confirms Insured Can Reform Policy Language to Provide The Coverage The Insured Purchased

The Washington Court of Appeals recently answered an important question for policyholders: what if your agent sells you coverage but the insurance policy fine print fails to reflect the coverage you thought you purchased? On November 4, 2019, the Washington Court of Appeals decided Digitalalchemy, LLC v. John Hancock Insurance Company (USA). The court held Digitalalchemy could …

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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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