Generally, insurance companies can only deny life insurance proceeds within the first two policy years for two reasons. This is called the "contestability period." After the two years, the insurer generally cannot contest the benefits.
The two reasons are if the death of the insured:
1. Is due to suicide (this does not apply to group life policies).
2. Didn't tell the truth on the application for coverage. This is called the “contestability period.” After the two years, the insurance company cannot contest the benefits.
(Bonus round: Here's a link to our ever-popular post on "How to find old life insurance policies.")
If you’re the beneficiary of a life insurance policy and you think the insurer is wrongly denying your claim for benefits, file a complaint with our office, if you live in Washington state. (If you don't, here's a handy map showing how to contact your own state insurance regulator.) We'll look into the matter and see if we can help you resolve the problem. File a complaint online or give us a call at 1-800-562-6900.