Many people carry insurance. Most people should carry disability insurance. Some statistics put the percentage of adults who will require this type of insurance, at some point in their lives, as high as 10%. Disability insurance coverage can be available through group insurance (usually through your employer) or through the purchase of an individual policy. This type of insurance is meant to provide you with disability insurance benefits, should you ever become disabled.
A disability policy may provide for total, residual, or partial disability coverage, in the event that you become disabled from working. These definitions will be specific to the policy, and will vary from policy to policy. The definitions of “disability”, “sickness”, “own occupation”, or “any occupation”, again will be specific to the policy. The definitions, as well as the waiting period, the exclusions, and other clauses, should be considered before purchasing the policy (if it is an individual policy), and will need to be carefully considered before a claim for benefits is made.
Regardless of the type of disability insurance policy, disability insurers are obligated to live up to the terms of the insurance policy. If the disability insurer does not fulfill its obligations under the policy, then the insured is entitled to bring a claim for damages. Depending upon the circumstances, a disability insurer that does not provide coverage according to the terms of the contract may be sued, not only for breach of contract, but for failure to deal fairly or in good faith with the insured, and for damages for mental distress.
If you are disabled, and your disability insurer has failed to pay your claim, or has terminated your benefits, your claim should be investigated as soon as possible. There may be time limits, such as providing notice to the disability insurer, or commencing a lawsuit, which affect your claim.
The Watson Goepel Disability Insurance team represents clients seeking advice with respect to disability insurance coverage, or pursuing claims against disability insurers who have terminated disability benefits, or denied or delayed providing coverage or disability payments. Please feel free to contact us should you have any questions regarding your disability insurance policy, or your claim for benefits.