Many companies offer short and long-term disability insurance coverage to protect a portion of an employee’s monthly income in the event the employee is unable to work as a result of a sickness or injury. Employees pay the premiums for this insurance on a monthly basis so they’ll have something to fall back on if they ever become sick or injured. Of course, many individuals have a sense of security because of this. However, most employees are unaware that once a claim for disability benefits is submitted, the disability insurance company has a “structural conflict of interest”, as it is usually the long-term disability insurance company that both administers and pays any approved claim. This structural conflict is significant as a claim denial allows the insurance company to keep the money for itself and increase its profits. Fortunately for disability claimants, the courts are required to consider this structural conflict of interest as one of many potentially bias factors that inappropriately motivate a disability insurance company to deny disability benefits.
As a disability insurance attorney that has handled thousands of claims against every major disability insurance company, I am constantly trying to educate potential claimants about the tactics of disability insurers. A recent case is a victory for disability policyholders as it exposed the “signs of bias” exhibited by Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Company throughout its decision making process.