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Can you ever discard insurance policy documents?

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

Not your disability insurance policy. Not in seven years, not in ten years, not ever.

To be on the safe side, the disability insurance attorneys at Frankel & Newfield are only half joking when they recommend that you let your heirs shred any disability insurance policies.

A recent item on Fox Business discusses several different types of insurance policies and possible dates when the policies can be discarded. While the reporter half correctly advises that disability insurance policies and any group policies should be saved until they are cancelled, he then later recommends keeping an old disability policy if a pending or ongoing claim is being filed or adjusted.

Yes, the article does say keep old policies for a pending or on-going claim that is being filed or adjusted. But we think shredding any disability insurance policy documents would be a grave mistake.

When it comes to disability insurance policy paperwork, keep it very simple – as long as you are breathing, there’s NEVER a reason to discard or shred any part of the paperwork – the policy, the booklet, payment records, your application. Keep it all.

If your policy is erroneously cancelled and you don’t make a decision to fight back right away, you will need that paperwork. Without it, you will be at the mercy of the company or the sales agent to provide you with accurate copies.

Disability policies sold in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s are completely different than those sold in the 1990s and beyond, when insurance companies realized that claims would be filed and costs would add up into the millions, if not billions. Do they have your original contract on file? Probably. Maybe. But if you are without any paperwork, the delay and aggravation of trying to locate the documents – and ensure that they are the correct documents – is something that can be avoided by simply saving them.

Running out of room? We’d rather you toss out Aunt Mary’s collection of toilet paper covers. Better yet, sell them on Esty or eBay. But keep the disability insurance paperwork.

If you have discarded your disability insurance paperwork and are concerned about needing to file a claim or if you suspect that your disability insurance company is about to deny your claim, call our office today to discuss your options. There may be time limitations, so don’t wait to call. You can reach us at 877-LTD-CLAIM (877-583-2524).

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Sorry, we do not handle SSDI/Social Security claims.

Frankel & Newfield does not currently handle any Social Security Disability Insurance claims.

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