Tricks of the disability insurance trade: Deny until death

What’s one sure-fire way insurance companies can avoid paying out a long-term disability claim? When the policyholder dies before he or she can collect.

That seems rather obvious and makes sense — until you realize that some long-term insurance companies will frequently find ways to delay payment on a long-term disability policy as long as possible, basically hoping that the insured will either give up or die.

Frankly, that’s brutal — although insurance companies are apt to say it’s “just business.” How do they get away with it? Well, here are some of the things you may hear as you try to get a claim approved for your elderly parent or sick spouse:

  • You didn’t fill out the paperwork correctly, so you have to start over.
  • You filled out the paperwork correctly, but it wasn’t the right paperwork. Time to start over.
  • You’re missing some paperwork, or your paperwork was mysteriously lost. Nothing to do but start fresh.
  • You finally got all the paperwork in, but now the claim is too old. Start over.
  • Some provision in the policy is cited for the denial, even though that provision doesn’t apply. You get it sorted out, but updated medical records are now needed. Again, start over.
  • You didn’t submit enough medical records, so your claim was denied. Try again.

The list goes on and on. As one former executive of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners stated, “The bottom line is that insurance companies make money when they don’t pay claims…They’ll do anything to avoid paying because if they wait long enough, they know the policyholders will die.”

Don’t let an insurance company deny your loved one’s long-term disability claim. Contact our office to discuss your case.

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