Consumers buy disability insurance to protect themselves in the event they cannot work because of a physical or mental ailment. So when a consumer files a disability claim that’s then denied by their insurance company, instead of helping the individual, it ends up making life that much more challenging.
Long Term Disability covers a variety of illnesses. Many people think that long term disability only covers injuries that happen on the job. While on the job injuries may be covered, more than 95% of long term disability claims are estimated to be non work-related. For example, cancer, mental illness, chronic illnesses, neurological disorders, and certain degenerative diseases among many others may all be covered by your long term disability policy.
Long term disability insurance companies, such as UNUM, openly admits to denying almost 10% of all the claims it receives, yet disability lawyers claim this number should be much higher.
There are several reasons why a consumer’s disability claim can be denied by an insurance company which could include the fact that a claim doesn’t fall within the scope of the insurance contract or perhaps the policyholder hasn’t complied within the policy’s terms. However, sometimes insurance companies that practice bad faith will deny a policyholder’s claim even if it is legitimate by failing to investigate claims or making the process of filling out paperwork more complex than it needs to be so a policyholder decides to drop the claim.
When you receive a denial letter from a long term disability carrier, to whom you’ve paid premiums for years, it can be frustrating and overwhelming. Too often, legitimate claims are denied because insurance companies look for every possible legal and technical angle available, that will allow them to deny a valid claim. When an insurer does not live up to its end of the contract, it is called insurance bad faith. In addition to denial, other forms of insurance bad faith include: partial payments on disability claims, unreasonable denial, delay, or policy termination, concealing benefits from policyholders, and/or misclassifying injuries to prompt claim denial .
Consumers need to know that just because they are told no, doesn’t mean this is where the story ends. Insurance companies might deny your claim because at the end of the day, when they pay fewer claims benefits, it means more money for them. However, thankfully, denials or low payments aren’t the end of the claims process. If your claim has been rejected, know your rights and options. Contact a Long Term Disability Lawyer today to discuss your case.