A bad faith insurance class action lawsuit has been filed against John Hancock Life Insurance Company involving allegations that the insurer failed to settle death benefits. The lawsuit was filed by Richard Feingold in the U.S. District Court Massachusetts, Boston. It is alleged that John Hancock only paid Feingold as a beneficiary of his late mother’s life insurance policy, four years after her death in 2006. That was when Feingold discovered that the policy existed. Feingold alleges he found information on the Illinois treasurer’s website, which showed he had unclaimed property owed to him from John Hancock through his late mother’s policy. Up until that point, Feingold says he was unaware that his mother had a life insurance policy, or that he was owed death benefits. He subsequently contacted the insurer and was paid. But John Hancock refused to provide him with a copy of his late mother’s policy, or any explanation about the benefits he received, according to the complaint.
The potential class action claims that John Hancock routinely checks the Social Security Administration’s master death list so it can halt payments to annuity holders who have become deceased. But the insurer fails to check the same database to see if a life insurance policy holder has died so the company can promptly pay beneficiaries. The lawsuit alleges that the insurer uses the information solely for its own benefit.
The John Hancock Life Insurance Company recently paid $13 million to settle allegations brought by six states that it didn’t work hard enough to pay life insurance benefits. Brian J. Wanca, of Anderson & Wanca, a firm located in Rolling Meadows, Ill., is representing the Plaintiff in this lawsuit. It will be most interesting to see how it turns out. We will monitor this case as it proceeds through the system. The Plaintiff in the case says he isn’t sure whether or not he has been paid all the money owed to him under the terms of the policy. There is also concern that this case isn’t the only one of its kind and that there may well be others. It was reported that this case could be “the tip of the iceberg.”
Source: The Boston Globe
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