What is “Bad Faith” in a Long-Term Disability Claim?
Long-term disability insurance is designed to ease the financial burden that results from an accident, injury, or the onset of an illness. Many disabled individuals rely on long-term disability benefits not only to maintain their household and living expenses but their health as well.
While it’s not unethical for insurance companies to examine claims meticulously to look for information or discrepancies to deny a claim — there are some unethical tactics they use as well. Here are some red flags to watch out for after submitting a long-term disability claim.
Common Bad Faith Tactics
Insurance companies cannot deny claims without just grounds. Here are some ways they may act in bad faith when reviewing your claim:
- Ignoring substantial medical evidence that you are disabled.
- Disregarding the financial and emotional hardship you continue to endure.
- Terminating benefits after not receiving an update from a doctor appointed by the insurer.
- Making low settlement offers and deducting operational costs from them.
- Denying benefits for an unreasonable amount of time.
- Denying, delaying, and prolonging settlement to put financial pressure on you so that you will accept the offer they have made.
The Consequences of Bad Faith Behavior
Each state has an insurance commissioner — their job is to ensure that insurance companies are conducting business in an ethical manner. Here are some steps to take if you think your insurance company is displaying bad faith behavior:
- Contact a long-term disability attorney for assistance with your claim.
- File a complaint with your state insurance commissioner (consult with your attorney on how to proceed).
- Keep all documentation and proof of behavior organized and handy.
You have the right to file a complaint, but many individuals fear that the insurance company will retaliate in some way. This action would be illegal and the insurance company would face legal consequences for doing so.
You should not attempt to fight the insurance company alone. You need the expertise and experience of a long-term disability lawyer. Working with an experienced long-term disability attorney can make all the difference in your case. If you’ve been a victim of bad faith from your insurance company, contact Dabdoub Law Firm at (800) 969-0488 today.