Many group life insurance policies offer a waiver of premium benefit. A waiver of premium benefit provides life insurance coverage in the event of total disability and does not require premium payments.
It means that a disabled person who applied for a waiver of premium benefit may be covered by the same amount of life insurance they had before disability free of charge. In order to take advantage of this benefit, an insured must apply or send in a request to the insurance company providing coverage.
Every group life insurance plan is different and a waiver of premium requirements may vary from policy to policy. Most life insurance companies offering a waiver of premium benefit require proof of total disability that must be certified by an insured’s doctor. In addition, they may place other requirements, such as length of continuous disability and age.
A person who became totally disabled and can no longer work should read her/his group life insurance policy to check whether she/he will qualify for a waiver of premium benefit. Generally, satisfactory proof of disability is a finding that:
(a) the disability has resulted from disease of accidental injury;
(b) the disability resulted in the insured’s inability to work;
(c) the insured became disabled before age 60;
(d) the disability continued for six months before the insured applied for a waiver of premium benefit.
If these (and other if applicable) requirements are met, the insured may continue life insurance coverage free of charge.
However, receiving this benefit requires an insured to provide proof of total disability at least for the first two years. Many insurance companies will not require such proof after two years of continuous total disability.
Insurance under a waiver of premium benefit is not automatic – it must be applied for and proof of disability must be provided. In addition, an insured should be aware that insurance under this benefit will not continue forever and may end.
Usually, life insurance coverage under a waiver of premium ends when an insured is no longer totally disabled or does not submit required proof of continuation of total disability. Insurance may also end when an insured retires or turns 70 (in most life insurance policies). Reviewing your life insurance policy will help you understand in what situations your coverage may end.
Since continuing life insurance coverage under a waiver of premium benefit involves submitting many documents and undergoing many medical exams, very often individuals suffering from a disability do not have the time and energy to follow through with the requirements which may result in losing this coverage.
In other cases, insurance companies and employers misplace important documents, misinterpret policy provisions and fail to process waiver of premium applications properly. This may result in a wrongful denial of a life insurance claim after an insured’s death.
A life insurance claim may be denied if the insurance company claims there was no coverage under a waiver of premium benefit at the time of the insured’s death. If this happens, the beneficiary may feel that the life insurance benefits may not be recovered.
A life insurance attorney may help recover denied life insurance benefits. Insurance companies and employers owe participants of group plans certain duties. They may be liable for denied life insurance claims if they breach their duties and wrongfully deny a valid claim. If you are not sure whether your life insurance claim has been properly denied by an insurance company, call our life insurance lawyer now for a free consultation.
Call (888) 510-2212 for a free consultation.