The Hartford Long-Term Disability Denials
When you purchase a disability insurance policy in good faith, you expect to receive benefits if the need ever arises. However, many insurance companies don't reciprocate in good faith and try to avoid paying disability benefits.
The Hartford Financial Services Group has earned a whopping revenue of over $26 billion dollars in recent years and often adds to that revenue by denying a legitimate individual or ERISA disability claim. If you have received a Hartford long-term disability denial, we can help.
Common Long-Term Disability Denial Tactics Employed by The Hartford
It is unfortunate that The Hartford is among a group of insurance companies who regularly try to avoid paying benefits using a number of bad faith practices. The following list includes just a few of the most commonly used denial tactics.
Requesting Independent Medical Exams by the Wrong Doctors
Insurance companies have the right to ask that you undergo examination by one of their independent physicians. Depending on the type of disability you have, your insurance company will typically want documentation from a specialist as part of the claims process. However, if the company sends you to an independent doctor of their choice-who is in the wrong specialty for your disability, this can delay or confuse your benefits claim.
Repeated Requests for Duplicate Documentation
An insurance company that is trying to avoid paying benefits may bury you and/or your physician under requests for documents over and over. Beware of excuses from the insurance company about your claim documents being lost or never arriving at the insurance office.
Vague Explanations for Benefits Denial
If your claim is denied, the Hartford may not give a clear explanation about why your claim was denied or they may not cite corroborating proof. They're probably hoping you'll accept the decision without asking for more specific information. Always ask for details.
Dragging Out the Decision-Making Process
The insurance company may try to impede the claims process by failing to give you a decision in a reasonable amount of time. Long delays might cause individuals to give up on long-term disability benefits which put you at risk financially.
Not Disclosing Policy and Benefit Information
It is important for you to understand the terms of your disability policy, because your insurance company may fail to provide you with important information to complete your claim.
Your Long-Term Disability Insurance Should Protect You
Benefits from a long-term disability policy are intended to provide you and your family with a portion of your income, as much as 66 percent of your income, if you are unable to work for a long period of time. Policyholders rely on these benefits to help them and their families get through periods of financial vulnerability.
Depending on the terms of your disability policy, long-term disability insurance generally covers serious injuries, heart attacks or strokes, congestive heart failure or heart disease, neck and back pain, long-lasting illnesses such as pneumonia, asthma or other lung diseases, fibromyalgia, Lupus, Lyme disease, and complications from pregnancy.
Improve the Chances of Receiving an Approval
Another reason you should be familiar with your insurance policy is so that you can understand the procedures and timeline for filing claims. Improper or incomplete claims applications are one reason insurance companies use to deny long-term disability benefits. Read directions carefully and provide all necessary documentation:
- File your disability claim by the insurance company deadlines
- Make sure documentation from your employer and health care providers is complete and accurate
- Organize the documentation for your claim neatly in a logical order
- Complete all treatment your physician(s) prescribe for you
- Consider hiring a long-term disability attorney
ERISA Litigation and The Hartford
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act, or ERISA, sets standards for insurance plans provided by private employers to protect policyholders. If an insurance company like The Hartford does not comply with ERISA standards, they are open to litigation. The Hartford is currently involved with numerous ERISA litigation cases across the country. Here are a few examples of ERISA violations:
- Failure to provide accurate plan information to policyholders that describes what the policy does and does not cover
- Not meeting expected standards of conduct for plan managers
- Not protecting the disability plan funds that are used to pay qualifying policyholders
- Failure to provide the directions for filing a benefits claim to policyholders
- Failure to provide information about the appeals process if a claim is denied
Don't Be Intimidated by a Hartford Long-Term Disability Denial
At CJ Henry Law Firm PLLC, we are well aware of the bad faith tactics The Hartford uses in denying long-term disability claims. We may be able to help you fight against them. Contact us today.