Under Utah law, you generally have three (3) years to file a breach of contract claim against your insurance company with the district court if it wrongfully denies your insurance claim. See Utah Code §§ 31A-21-313 and 31A-21-314(1). The amount of time you have to file a lawsuit is commonly known as the “statute of limitations.” See id. at § 78B-2-102.
Nevertheless, many types of insurance policies—including many health insurance, long term or short term disability insurance, or life insurance policies—require that you file an internal appeal with the insurance company after the denial of your insurance claim before you may file a lawsuit with the district court.
Many insurance policies are also covered by federal law, including the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”). See 29 U.S.C. § 1003. If ERISA applies to your insurance policy, you are required to file all internal appeals mandated by your insurance policy before you may file a lawsuit in district court. See Holmes v. Colorado Coalition for the Homeless Long Term Disability Plan, 762 F.3d 1195, 1203 (10th Cir. 2014). This is commonly known as exhausting your administrative remedies. See id. If you do not, you are precluded from filing a lawsuit. See id.
Insurance policies covered under ERISA typically require that you file an internal appeal within six (6) months after the insurance company denies your insurance claim. However, the period of time may be less. Insurance policies often have more than one internal appeal.
Due to the complexity of insurance policies, and the great resources of insurance companies, you need an experienced attorney who knows insurance law. At Head Law, we are experienced with insurance policies, denied insurance claims, and will take on the fight against the insurance companies to protect you and your family’s rights.