Greenberg & Bederman
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The Problem:
Life insurance companies commonly look for ways to avoid the payment of benefits to policy holders.

Insurance companies regularly inspect the Social Security Master Death File to determine if a person receiving annuity benefits has died. If the company learns that a person receiving these benefits has passed away, the company will immediately terminate payment of the benefits.

Life insurance companies treat WHOLE LIFE INSURANCE POLICIES and UNIVERSAL LIFE INSURANCE POLICIES entirely differently. They do not inspect the Social Security Master Death File to determine if a policy holder has died. If they did check the Master Death File, and learned that a policy holder had died, the companies would then have to pay death benefits under the policy. And the life insurance companies have no incentive to do this because it would mean they might have to pay benefits to the policy holder’s beneficiaries.

Instead, life insurance companies use the accumulated cash value in a UNIVERSAL LIFE INSURANCE POLICY or WHOLE LIFE INSURANCE POLICY to pay the annual premium cost of the policy even though the policy holder has died and the beneficiaries are entitled to payment of the death benefit.

When the accumulated cash value in the policy has been significantly diminished, the companies will then surrender the remaining minimal cash value to the State where it becomes unclaimed property.

This practice by the life insurance companies is unfair and it penalizes beneficiaries of UNIVERSAL LIFE INSURANCE POLICIES AND WHOLE LIFE INSURANCE POLICIES who may not have known that they were entitled to receive death benefits.

Maryland recently passed a law to address this problem, but it does not take effect until October 2013. The law, known as Senate Bill 77, and its legislative history, may be viewed on this website by clicking the appropriate button on the left side of this homepage.


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The Solution:
If you are the beneficiary of WHOLE LIFE INSURANCE POLICY or a UNIVERSAL LIFE INSURANCE POLICY, and the life insurance company has refused to pay you benefits under the policy, you may be entitled to financial damages.

Call Greenberg & Bederman at 301-589-2200 (DC metro area) or at 800-800-1144 (outside DC metro area) for a free consultation, or fill out and submit the form below.

Items marked with * are required
* Name of deceased:
* Date of death:
* Type of policy:

* Beneficiary (your) name:
* Phone:
* Email: