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Dawson and Rosenthal
Dawson and Rosenthal

Reasons for Life Insurance Claim Denials or Delays

Life insurance is supposed to be there when your loved ones need it the most. Without a doubt, it is one of the most valuable tools available in meeting financial needs after a sudden, unexpected death. Yet, there are many rules to follow and a number of reasons for a life insurance claim to be denied or delayed.

At Dawson & Rosenthal, P.C., we are dedicated to fighting against unfair delays and denials, and we are committed to providing you with exceptional service. As life insurance attorneys, we encourage you to seek out legal help as a first step in fighting against such claims.

Common Reasons for Denials and Delays in Life Insurance

Some of the most common reasons life insurance denials and delays can happen include the following:

Missing Information on an Application

A death within the first two years of the life insurance policy could mean that the company would call into question if there were any missing details from the life insurance policy’s application. The company may look for information that is inaccurate or missing related to health, hobbies, income, criminal history, age, or weight.

If the applicant provided inaccurate information or did not provide full disclosure, the insurance company may try to deny that claim. They may refuse the death benefit payout.

Drug or Alcohol Abuse

Some life insurance policies do not provide coverage in instances of drug or alcohol abuse as these may be excluded reasons for death. They are often considered self-inflicted causes. However, a complication to this may occur if a person suffers death while under the influence of illegal substances, even if the substance itself is not the cause of the death.


Many life insurance policies deny coverage for instances of suicide if it occurs during the first two years of the policy, called the contestability period.

Illegal Activities Such as Reckless Driving

The insurance company may try to deny claims related to what it deems as reckless or illegal acts. For example, if a person is found to be speeding and that caused an accident resulting in their death, the insurance company may state that they were engaging in illegal acts. Using illegal drugs, not wearing a seat belt behind the wheel, and even engaging in an illegal protest can be grounds for denial.

Engaging in Dangerous Activities

Many life insurance policies do not cover deaths related to hazardous activities, including those that may be recreational. For example, if a person goes scuba diving or skydiving, the life insurance policy may become void should they die during these acts. If you engage in extreme hobbies, it is quite important that you understand the risks associated with coverage.

Get the Legal Guidance You Need from Our Life Insurance Attorneys Now

If your loved one’s death has led to a denial of coverage, allow our team to help you. Contact the San Diego life insurance dispute attorneys at Dawson & Rosenthal, P.C., now to discuss your case. We have years of experience fighting against these and other reasons for life insurance companies to deny or delay coverage.