Can I sue an insurance company for mishandling the payout of a life insurance policy?

My mother passed away about 6 weeks ago. Then the life insurance company said that I wasn’t this beneficiary. However, they said that my brother and sister were yet the policy has all 3 of our names on it.

Asked on September 27, 2016 under Estate Planning, Minnesota


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, since you were a beneficiary of the policy, and therefore someone with an interest under it, you could sue the insurer for not paying you the benefits to which you were entitled. Not only is the policy a contract (you are a 3rd party beneficiary of the contract) and insurers are obligated to pay as per the contract, but the insurer may also have a fiduciary duty (a legally imposed duty) the beneficiaries. Insurers are legally sophisticated companies, with lots of attorneys--you are advised to retain a lawyer to bring the suit for you, since otherwise you will be at a significant disadvantage.

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