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death benefit

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after my wife's death nearly one year ago, the medical examiner issued a death certificate with both the cause and manner of death listed as "pending." the insurance company says that they cannot pay a death benefit until the cause and manner of death are listed. the medical examiner says he will not change the death certificate until the homicide investigation is closed. can the insurance company delay the payment indefinately under these circumstances? is there a time limit in which the medical examiner must act?


Senior Member
No they can't delay "forever", but they can delay. Under the laws of most states, any substantial delay in payment of a claim entitles the beneficiary to interest, when the claim is paid.

If the beneficiary was responsible for the homcide - that is if he or she killed the insured -- the beneficiary is barred from collecting the policy proceeds. Thus the company may take its sweet time in paying and would likely not be engaging in bad faith by deferring payment.

If you are a suspect you probably have a lawyer. If not you should. Ask that lawyer what to do. It is FAR too delicate to guess at what the best approach is to get payment.

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