Portable Life Insurance: Portability Lawyer Explains Coverage Claims

Our life insurance lawyers handle claims against employers who did not provide their terminated employees with proper notice and instructions to port their group policy coverage, resulting in denied death claims due to non-payment of premiums.

When an employee has group life insurance provided to him by his employer, that plan is in force for as long as the employee is actively working and the premiums are paid. When an employee is terminated, stops actively working, retires, or switches to part-time employment, the group coverage may no longer be available to them. In such cases, the insurer or employer has to notify the employee of the option to port their coverage or change it to an individual plan providing the same protections. Porting group coverage must be done before a certain deadline. When insurance companies or employers fail to inform employees who left the job of their portability rights, coverage may be lost, and insurers will use this as a reason to deny your life insurance claim.

If you are the beneficiary of a group life insurance policy and you suspect that your claim was unfairly denied due to failure to port coverage, it is best to consult with a life insurance portability lawyer. At our law firm, we know what employers’ duties are and can help you recover your portable life insurance coverage.

Life Insurance Portability Lawyer Fee

Our attorneys work on a contingent fee basis. It means we do not charge legal fees unless we collect your life insurance death benefit. Only then will we charge a reasonable legal fee. We take pride in offering competitive contingent fee structures and will work with you to ensure you are comfortable with the fee. If your claim has been denied or delayed, call us at (888) 510-2212 to speak with one of our life insurance portability lawyers. We have the experience you can trust.

What Is Portable Life Insurance?

Life insurance portability is an option that allows eligible employees to port their group life insurance coverage when it ends because they voluntarily or involuntarily leave their jobs. With a portable policy, employees take control of their policy and pay premiums themselves. A portable policy is usually a term in a life insurance policy that provides coverage for a specific period of time as long as premiums are paid. The policy expires at the end of the term, and there is no accumulated cash value. It pays the life insurance death benefit only if the insured dies while the policy is in effect.

How Does Life Insurance Portability Work?

When employees decide to port their plan, they will keep the coverage and receive a term life insurance policy. The responsibility to pay monthly premiums to the insurance company transfers to the insured instead of the employer. Coverage remains in force as long as premiums are paid up to the age specified in the contract.

The insured will be asked to complete and sign a portability application form. This form differs from a regular life insurance application in that it may not require answering medical questions or having a physical exam to continue coverage.

How to Port a Life Insurance Policy?

If a life insurance policy includes a portability provision, it does not automatically take effect when the insured changes jobs or retires. While the employer has the duty to give notice of coverage termination, the employee needs to apply for portability within the time frame listed in the policy. If they want the existing coverage to continue, usually there is a 30 to 60 days portability period in which they can apply and pay for the first premium after employment termination.

However, the termination date for employment may differ from the termination date for coverage. Portability is an optional feature that is not always available and depends on several factors, including your employer’s choices, insurance company rules, and state laws. Employees can find this information in their life insurance contract/policy sent by the employer or in the plan documents, which must be made available by the employer or insurer.

What Is the Amount of Life Insurance You Can Port?

For insured employees, the maximum amount eligible for life insurance portability is the amount they had in force on the date their employment ended, assuming it is below the insurer’s limit. You may be eligible to port if your amount of coverage is at least $10,000.

How Do You Know if the Insured’s Policy Was Portable: Eligibility Requirements

Employees can port their group term life insurance policy into a personal term life insurance policy if their plan includes portability.

Portability is not a standard requirement in group life insurance plans. Whether it is included in the policy or not depends on several factors, including the life insurance company’s rules, state laws, and, most of all, whether the employer chooses this option.

Life Insurance Portability vs Conversion

With both portability and conversion, the insured maintains life insurance coverage. The main difference is that portable coverage typically provides temporary life insurance that increases in cost each year, while conversion to a whole life premium plan will result in a life insurance policy that remains in effect for the rest of the insured’s life.

What Is Material Misrepresentation on Portability Application?

Many portable life insurance applications have a sentence that reads: “I guarantee I do not have a serious health condition which materially affects my life expectancy.” By signing it, an applicant makes a representation that may later serve as the basis for denying death benefits. If an insured dies within the first two years of signing such an application (also known as the “life insurance contestability period”), the insurer may deny the life insurance payout if it finds out through a medical records search that the insured did in fact, have a health condition which affected the life expectancy.

Many applicants are unaware that portability coverage, like basic life insurance, may be contested by the insurance company if it was in effect for less than two years before the insured’s death. If the insurer considers that the employee misrepresented the portability application, it can deny the life insurance claim and rescind the policy. Since very few portable life insurance applications ask health questions, you may need clarification on how the insured misrepresented if he did not answer any health questions. Our lawyers explain more about these circumstances in our article about life insurance material misrepresentation.

What to Do if the Life Insurance Claim Was Denied Due to Portability Issues?

There are many reasons why life insurance companies deny paying claims. Regarding portable life insurance policies, the failure to port the policy and material misrepresentation are among the most common. However, regardless of the reason, you should not take the denial at face value.

If your claim has been denied due to portability issues, it is important to keep going because you may still have a chance to collect the insurance death benefits if you submit an appeal. While ERISA is complex, it does award many protections for situations where an employer or an insurer failed to provide proper notice or correct information to the departing employee. We have assisted many people in recovering life insurance proceeds after a wrongful denial of benefits under portability coverage. Call us at (888) 510-2212 for a free consultation.

How Our Attorneys Can Help Recover Your Death Benefits

Our life insurance portability lawyers are prepared to fight on behalf of beneficiaries whose claims have been wrongfully denied by insurance companies. We obtain favorable results in court and out-of-court settlements.

At our law firm, we have considerable experience handling claims based on failure to port coverage and are skilled in:

If your loved one’s portable coverage application was approved, but then after the death, the insurer refused to pay your claim, call Kadetskaya Law Firm for help. We have assisted many people in recovering life insurance proceeds after a wrongful denial of benefits under portability coverage.

Our Experience in Handling Life Insurance Portability Cases

Our life insurance lawyers have years of experience and can hold employers accountable for failing to meet their obligations under the law. We are familiar with the unfair methods life insurers use to deny claims and can create a comprehensive strategy to fight back. We have successfully handled cases involving the following denied life insurance claims:

  • Material misrepresentation on the Portability Application;
  • Misleading terminated employees about the existence of life insurance coverage;
  • Failure to provide notice informing former employees of their portability right;
  • Failure to send a conversion notice; 
  • Refusal to allow the beneficiary to file a claim; 
  • Denial due to termination during disability; 
  • Denial due to termination during FMLA.

If you are facing any of the situations above, contact a life insurance portability lawyer before taking any further steps. We are always available for a free consultation and will offer competent legal advice on the best course of action for you to collect the death benefits you are rightfully entitled to.

Here are a few cases related to the denial of benefits under portability coverage where we obtained favorable results for our clients:

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