Bad Faith Practices In Long-Term Disability Claims
Long-term disability insurance can provide you with a steady income in the event you are unable to work. While these benefits may have been provided by your employer as part of your overall employee compensation package, you will still need to deal with an insurance company when it comes to filing a claim and getting an approval. Unfortunately, these companies have a reputation for being difficult to deal with. The following outlines bad faith practices they often engage in and how you can protect yourself.
Bad Faith Practices Insurers Often Engage In
Disability benefits help to protect you when injuries or illnesses keep you from working or performing certain tasks on your job. Like any type of insurance, you will need to submit a claim and have it approved by the insurance company involved before benefits are paid. This can be a long, complex, and potentially frustrating process. Research on the insurance industry conducted by the American Association of Justice indicates that even the most well-known insurance companies have a tendency to engage in tactics designed to either deny, delay or downplay your claim.
While insurers are well within their rights to establish certain rules and requirements for obtaining coverage and benefits, there are times when these are so burdensome and unfair to the insured party that they amount to bad faith in practice. Examples of this include:
- Requiring you to submit an excessive amount of paperwork or duplicate forms;
- Requiring that you provide information not relevant to your case;
- Taking an unreasonable amount of time in making a decision on your claim;
- Denying your claim for invalid reasons;
- Not adhering to terms laid out in policy documents in regards to waiting periods, exclusions, and the frequency or amount of your benefits.
Your Options In Dealing With Bad Faith Insurers
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) is a federal law that protects the rights of employees and sets minimum standards for employer-provided benefit plans. In regards to long-term disability insurance, it requires employers to provide copies of all related policy documents to workers so that they can review the terms. It also requires insurers to submit to certain time limits and other practices in dealing with claims.
If your insurer requires excessive paperwork, does not adhere to the terms of your policy, or fails to not notify you in a timely manner of whether your claim is approved, you can file a complaint against them. This subjects them to fines and other penalties. If they end up denying your claim, you have a right to appeal. If the insurer continues to deny your benefits or engages in bad faith practices, you may be able to file a civil action seeking damages against them under the Florida Statutes.
Let Us Help You Today
In long-term disability claims, Farrell Disability Law protects you against bad faith insurance practices so you can get the benefits you deserve. Call or contact our Orlando long-term disability attorney online today to request a consultation in our office.