Tactics Used By Insurance Companies in Disability Bad Faith Cases

When you file a long-term disability claim, you expect your insurance provider to handle your case with integrity and fairness. However, not all claims are straightforward, and sometimes insurance companies use tactics that can be classified as bad faith practices. It is crucial to be aware of these strategies to better protect your rights and interests. Here, we will explore some common tactics that insurance companies may resort to during the disability claims process.

Delaying the Claims Process

Endless Requests for Documentation

Insurance companies might intentionally slow down the claims process by repeatedly requesting additional documentation or clarifications. This can take the form of:

  • Asking for the same information multiple times
  • Requesting irrelevant or excessive details
  • Prolonging reviews and decision-making processes

Slow Communication Responses

Another delaying tactic is taking an unnecessarily extended period to respond to correspondence or claims updates, which can leave claimants in limbo.

Questioning the Severity and Legitimacy of Disabilities

Frequent Medical Reviews

Insurers may subject claimants to excessive medical evaluations to question the severity of their disabilities, sometimes ignoring the opinions of treating physicians.

Surveillance Operations

Some insurance companies go to the extent of conducting surveillance on claimants, hoping to capture evidence that could contradict the claim of disability.

Minimizing Claim Payouts

Partial Disability Undervaluation

In cases of partial disability, insurers may undervalue the claimant’s impairment level, leading to unfairly reduced benefits.

Offering Low Settlements

Insurers might present low settlement offers, banking on the financial desperation of claimants to accept less than they are due.

Misrepresentation of Policy Terms

Twisting Policy Language

Insurance providers may interpret policy language in ways that are beneficial to them, sometimes outright misrepresenting terms to deny benefits.

Inadequate Explanation of Policy Provisions

Insurers may fail to provide a clear and comprehensive explanation of policy provisions, leaving claimants unaware of their entitlements.

Denying Claims Outright

Citing Pre-existing Conditions

Claims are often denied under the pretext that the disability is due to a pre-existing condition that is excluded from the policy coverage.

Arbitrary Deadlines and Conditions

Insurers may set strict deadlines for submission of evidence or create conditions for coverage that are challenging or impossible to meet.

Using Medical Professionals on Their Payroll

In-house Experts

Insurance companies may rely on the opinions of in-house medical experts who are more likely to favor the insurer’s perspective, downplaying the claimant’s disability.

Discouraging Appeals

After a claim denial, insurers can make the appeal process seem daunting or futile, discouraging claimants from seeking the benefits they deserve.

How to Protect Your Rights

To safeguard your rights when dealing with potential bad faith insurance tactics, it’s crucial to document every interaction with the insurer, have a deep understanding of your insurance policy, adhere to all claim submission deadlines, and be proactive by following up regularly on your claim status.

An experienced disability insurance attorney is invaluable in this process as they bring extensive legal expertise to the table, including the ability to analyze policy details, negotiate with insurers, handle appeals, and if necessary, pursue litigation. Their skills can not only potentially increase the chances of a fair claim outcome but also provide peace of mind, allowing you to focus on your well-being rather than the complexities of insurance law.

The Importance of Understanding These Tactics

Understanding these tactics helps prepare claimants to face potential bad faith practices by their insurance companies. It’s vital to maintain detailed records, be proactive in communications, and consult with a legal professional if you suspect that your insurer is acting in bad faith. Your rights should be protected, and awareness is the first step i

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