Disability Law Update: Late Summer, Disability Insurance Companies Prepare for Quarterly Results
Tuesday, September 1st, 2020
We hope that everyone has enjoyed their summers as much as can be in these troubled times. We are seeing a late summer push by the long-term disability insurance companies to deny new claims and terminate existing claims. We think the COVID-19 “pause” may have caused this surge. For a short window, it appeared as if insurers were treating claimants with leeway on timing, and were more inclined to approve then deny a claim (other than COVID-19 related claims).
Now however, our office speaks with claimants all across the country, and we hear the frustration and worry in their voices. There’s a never good time to be unable to work, but now is a particularly stressful time. It seems like the insurers are back with a renewed vengeance.
To see where this is coming from, check the insurance company’s stock prices. Most of the LTD insurance companies are publicly owned and traded, so their financial ups and downs are easily seen/revealed. The publicly traded insurers generally release third quarter reports in October, when they explain the three prior months to shareholders.
We believe that the increase in denials and terminations may be part of the companies’ preparation for third quarter reporting. If this sounds cold and business-like, that’s because it is. The company’s first obligations are to shareholders and senior executives, who earn millions in salary and bonuses – and whose jobs may be on the line as well. Whether or not a disability policyowner can pay their mortgage is of no concern. There is often no penalty for disability insurance companies, and no incentive for the multi-national companies not to deny claims.
If you are among the many who have received a denial letter in the last few weeks, here are some important facts:
- You have the right to handle the appeal on your own, but your chances of successfully supporting your claim and overcoming the denial are better with an experienced disability insurance attorney on your side.
- The time limit for responding to the appeal is strict, and there’s no wiggle room. After the deadline, you lose the right to appeal and will be foreclosed from court.
- Talk with your treating physician as soon as possible about any additional materials that can effectively support your claim. What you need depends on your condition and the denial reason. This is where an experienced disability insurance attorney can offer strong value to your claim.
- If you haven’t already, stop posting on social media. Tell any friends or family you see not to include you if they are posting. Social media is one of many ways surveillance of your activities takes place.
We invite you to contact our office at 877-583-2524 for a free consultation concerning your disability insurance claim issues. There is no obligation, and what you learn could make a big difference to you and your family.