Life insurance lawyers deal with many situations and reasons that life insurance companies use for denying a claim for benefits. A twist to not paying is where the insurance company does not technically deny the claim, rather the company rescinds the policy.
As a general legal principle, prior to a loss an insurance company has the right to rescind the policy procured through mutual mistake or fraud. This was stated in a 1931, Amarillo Court of Appeals opinion styled, Forrester v. Southland Life Insurance Company.
The benchmark case on this issue was issued by the Texas Supreme Court in 1980, in an opinion styled, Mayes v. Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. In Mayes, the court stated that an insurance company may rescind a policy based on the insured’s misrepresentation, if the insurer pleads and proves the following elements: