Disability Management Services

Disability Management Services (DMS) is not an insurance company, but we include them in our list of long term disability insurance companies because they are a significant player in the disability insurance matrix that we deal with on a regular basis.

For many insurance companies, the ability to outsource the management of disability insurance policies allows them to focus on the two things that they do very well - sell policies and manage assets for the benefit of shareholders. DMS is retained by large insurance companies to control costs and to "implement operational solutions that work the first time." That has a very cold and clinical sound to it, and that's exactly how it works.

DMS has an impressive client list, so we find ourselves in meetings with their professionals quite often. In early 2012, they were retained by Zurich, one of the world's biggest insurance groups, to manage group short and long term disability insurance plans for Zurich American Life.

The corporate website sounds positively altruistic. DMS reports that they work closely with claims adjusters, medical providers, a team of selected medical consultants, forensic accountants, vocational experts and attorneys to conduct a complete and thorough analysis of disability insurance claims. It sounds great - except that we have handled so many long term insurance disability cases where reports and evaluations from DMS are so skewed in favor of the disability insurance company that we have become cynical about their claim of being "independent third party administrators."

True independence would make them more like journalists, reporting the information with a keen eye to providing completely unbiased facts. This has not been our experience with DMS or other third party administrators representing disability insurance companies.

Our experience with DMS is also different than our experience with insurance defense attorneys who are our adversaries. We work with these attorneys often, and while some are better practitioners than others, we have a healthy and professional respect for their commitment to represent their clients. When a DMS representative attempts to have a conversation with one of our clients on the phone, with no attorney representation, we are concerned about their intentions. When the DMS representative tells our client that because they did not answer the questions demanded at the time of the unexpected telephone call, a field audit will be conducted, we find their bullying tactics troubling.

There are many other disability risk management companies, and they all feature the same focus - to minimize exposure and costs for disability insurance benefits.

If you are contacted by a representative of DMS or any other third party administrative company representing the disability insurance company, do not speak with them without the protection and guidance of an experienced disability attorney.