It is one of the more common life insurance problems - You are the beneficiary trying to make a claim on a life insurance policy. The insured died within two years of taking out the policy and the claim is within the contestability period. They want medical records on the person who died and won't evaluate the claim without them. The problem is that you can't get the medical records. So, what can you do?
Options to obtain medical records on a deceased person in Florida
There are two main ways to get medical records on someone who died in Florida - subpoena and medical authorization. Without one of these, the life insurance company may either deny the claim or stall payment until they obtain the medical records.
Getting medical records with an authorization
In order to get medical records on someone who died in Florida, you generally need to open a probate estate and have someone appointed as the personal representative of the estate. The personal representative then has the authority to obtain medical records on behalf of the estate.
Sometimes this may not be an option or may not be a good option. For example, a beneficiary who is not related to the decedent may have no authority to open an estate.
Obtain a subpoena for medical records
A subpoena is another way of obtaining the insured's medical records in Florida. To do this, a lawsuit must generally be filed first. Once the discovery phase has started in the lawsuit, the Florida life insurance attorney can issue a subpoena to any medical provider where the insured treated. If you don't know where the insured treated, the Florida life insurance lawyer can also send a subpoena to family members of the insured and health insurance companies. Depositions of family members can also be taken if necessary to obtain information.
Life insurance claim delay should not be tolerated
While a life insurance company may reasonably investigate, they should not stall without reason. If a life insurance company fails to pay a claim within a certain period of time, they may have to pay interest and possibly attorney's fees and costs on top of the policy limit.
For more information or assistance, feel free to call our office at 800-337-7755 or contact us online for a free consultation.