A New York and New Jersey Lawyer Who Represents Policyholders and Beneficiaries in Life Insurance Denial Cases

The Washington Post reports that three life insurance companies issued policies for total amount of over $500,000 on the life of a 15-month-old who was allegedly drowned by his father. One policy issued by Mass Mutual was reportedly for $443,000.

The police have asserted that father obtained the policies as part of a horrific scheme to collect money.

From an insurance standpoint, it is shocking that there would be this high amount of coverage for a toddler. Children do not need life insurance, generally, unless they are child movie stars or there is some other unusual situation where there would be a financial fall out in the event of the child’s death.

This unfortunate incident will hopefully serve as a reminder to insurance companies to implement better underwriting practices when evaluating applications and issuing policies. Unless there is other undisclosed information, it would seem that Mass Mutual should not have issued such a large policy in this instance.

The irony is that when insureds die within the two-year contestability period, insurance companies scour the initial application with a fine-tooth comb in order to uncover material misrepresentations, in order to disclaim coverage. Though the criminal case against the father has not yet been decided, this sad incident reinforces that insurers should do a better job evaluating applications prior to issuing policies. In this case, doing so might have been the difference between life and death.

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