Preference Beneficiary Clause: Understanding Life Insurance

preference beneficiary clause

You may have heard the saying that life insurance is for the living; however, if beneficiaries are not set up correctly, that could prove futile. Many of us would rather not think about having to buy any type of insurance, and especially when it forces us to examine our mortality further, along with what can sometimes be a challenging chore in dividing up assets. Life insurance can be an excellent investment tool though, allowing you to help your kids and other family members later. They may have college tuition to pay for, along with other necessary expenses. Your surviving spouse may need help getting by without your income after you die. Debt and taxes often need to be paid off—and the burden of the funeral and burial expenses should be taken care of too.

Once life insurance is in the process of being paid out by the insurer you chose, you won’t be around to doublecheck, which is why it is critical to make sure all the details are correct when it comes to your beneficiaries. If one or more is not specifically chosen, a clause such as the preference beneficiary clause will take over, giving preference to a list of provided names on the policy. In most cases, naming your beneficiary should be a simple task—along providing a contingent beneficiary who only receives funds if the primary beneficiary is no longer alive at the time that the life insurance claim is filed.

Insurance companies are expected to act in good faith when paying a life insurance claim, but in some cases, there may be challenges for beneficiaries when it comes to receiving their money. Because life insurance often involves large amounts of money, an insurer acting in bad faith may do everything possible to see the policy rescinded—especially if they can prove details on the application were erroneous or fraudulent, or if premiums had lapsed for one or more payments. Other signs of bad faith include lack of investigation or no processing of the life-insurance claim, long delays with no real explanation, low-ball offers, and complete denials of claims.

If you need help reviewing your life insurance policy, or if you suspect your insurance company may be denying your claim in bad faith, contact the attorneys at the Bolender Law Firm.  If a dispute over a claim cannot be easily resolved through a call or written communication, our attorneys will advocate on behalf of policyholders through litigation, arbitration, or non-binding mediation. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!

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