What Makes Assurity Different
Assurity Insurance isn’t one of the biggest disability insurance carriers out there, but they have 100 years of history and offer some high-value products. Unlike many long term disability insurance carriers, Assurity offers primarily individual policies, not group policies, which come with some unique rights and benefits. Learn more about what we’ve learned during our time helping disability claimants manage their Assurity long term disability claims.
Most of the biggest names in the disability insurance industry deal with group disability or ERISA policies. These policies are available to employers at a discounted rate, and many employers offer ERISA disability policies to their employees as a benefit of employment. But while these policies are “free” to the employee, they can come at a cost when it comes time to apply for disability benefits, explained in further detail below.
Assurity, on the other hand, generally offers policies to individuals, not large swaths of employees. This allows for coverage to be more tailored to the individual, and—perhaps most importantly—ensures that any disability claim will be litigated under state law, not federal law.
Individual Disability Policies Have Major Advantages Over ERISA Group Disability Policies
An individual long term disability policy like the ones Assurity offers provides quite a number of advantages when compared to the more common group employer-provided policy. Though Assurity’s policies are budget-friendly when compared to other individual long term disability products, the adage “you get what you pay for” often applies here. An ERISA policy generally costs the employee little to nothing, but also requires claimants to take one internal appeal before they can file a lawsuit seeking benefits, delaying the approval process.
Furthermore, when an ERISA policy is litigated, the claimant must not only show that they’re disabled, but also that the insurance carrier’s initial denial of the claim was arbitrary or capricious. In other words, if the insurance carrier had some objective reason for its denial (such as insufficiency of the medical records), the lawsuit will be decided in the insurer’s favor even if the claimant has proven they are currently disabled.
Individual policies, on the other hand, are filed in state court and decided under a state law interpretation of the policy language. This means claimants can file a civil lawsuit as soon as a claim is denied, without going through an appeal process, and need to prove only that they’re disabled in order to recover benefits. Because this threshold is far lower than the “arbitrary and capricious” ERISA standard, disability insurance carriers have much more incentive to settle claims before they ever make it to a courtroom.
Assurity Disability Claimants Need Strong Medical Documentation to Be Approved
Claimants should always keep in mind that their claim is only as good as it looks on paper. Regardless of how “visible” your disability may be in person, if you don’t have the medical records or occupational statements to support your claim that this condition prevents you from working, your claim is likely to be denied. It’s a good idea to consult a disability attorney early in the process, before even filing a claim, to make sure you’ve set the stage for an easy approval.
Regardless of where you are in the disability claim process, Dell & Schaefer can help. We’ve worked with Assurity and other long term disability insurance carriers enough to know the ins and outs of the process and how to achieve the quickest resolution. Give us a call today to schedule your FREE consultation with one of our experienced long term disability insurance attorneys.