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Disability Insurance Companies are All About the App – Why We are Not

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

Hartford has launched a mobile app that allows policy owners to file for disability claims on their smart phones. Users can file for short term claims, update personal data, and conduct much of the entire claims process through their phones. Kudos to Hartford and CIGNA for getting with the times and the technology. We expect that eventually all disability insurance companies will have mobile apps.

Downloading forms and submitting them by mail seems so last century – but we advise our clients to think carefully before they file their disability claim with an app.

It may feel as friendly as the app that you use to track your steps, or the one that you use for banking. We use plenty of apps in our personal lives. But a disability insurance claim is an important financial document. How the claim turns out can make the difference between a comfortable life and descending into serious financial trouble. We don’t take this lightly, and we don’t think you should either.

The claims process is a complex one, spring-loaded with lots of “gotcha’s.” Using a mobile app for a claim feels too casual for us. When you apply for disability benefits using an app, you are taking an extremely serious financial and legal process and, in our opinion, overly simplifying it.

As a disability insurance policy owner, you have a legal and binding contract with an insurance company. This is a complex document, and any over-simplification could place your benefits at risk.

By its very nature, an app has to appeal to the greatest number of users, must simplify a process into something that can be handled by algorithms, which we understand can be quite complex, but the critical point: the use of an app removes human judgment and decision making from the process.

Just as hiring apps have replaced humans reviewing resumes, dismissing viable and worthy candidates from job searches based on programming that cannot hope to match the judgment that a human can offer, we think these apps will do the same for disability insurance claims.

If you need to file a claim for disability insurance benefits, or are already in the process and are sensing problems, we suggest that you call our office and speak with a person with experience and understanding of the claim process and the potential pitfalls with a claim.

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

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This is about a Social Security Disability claim.

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