A man is involved in an automobile accident.
He’s killed. His widow and their young son make a claim against the life insurance policy.
The life insurance company denies the claim. Hello and thank you for joining me. My name
is Ben Schmitt. I’m an attorney practicing personal injury and insurance law in Kansas
and Missouri. This case came to me after the insurance company had denied coverage to the
client. You see, the insurance company said, “We don’t pay our life insurance proceeds
if alcohol caused the death”. The insurance company maintained that, in fact, alcohol
and drunk driving did cause the death. It was a single car accident. The insurance company
had credit card receipts from a bar just down the road of over $400 dollars for that evening.
The only conclusion they said was, well, the man was drunk, lost control of his car, ran
into the tree and died. The law in Missouri requires that if an insurance company is going
to rely on an exclusion in a policy, like this one that alcohol caused the death, that
the insurance company be able to prove that. Now there’s certainly evidence that would
lead you to conclude that alcohol caused the accident, but in fact it’s only speculation.
We filed a lawsuit, and I took the deposition of the claims adjuster. A deposition is merely
a question and answer under oath. What I learned was that the insurance company had no more
evidence than what I already explained to you. They didn’t and weren’t able to say who
consumed the alcohol. They didn’t and weren’t able to say what the blood alcohol level of
the dying man was. They weren’t able to say if an animal had crossed in front of the road
and caused the man to swerve, running into the tree and killing himself. So in the end,
all the insurance company had was mere speculation. Not enough to properly and appropriately deny
the benefits which they had done in the first place. After coming to see me, the client
was awarded the full amount of the insurance policy. Why am I telling you this? You’re
having difficulty with an insurance claim right now. Life insurance, automobile. This
is what I do every day. I can answer any question that you might have. My name is Ben Schmitt.
Thank you for watching this video.