Insurers May Be Using COVID-19 to Deny More Claims

It’s your ultimate David vs. Goliath situation,” says our very own Attorney Edward Dabdoub of the insurance industry’s latest tactic to deny disability claims. Insurance companies give claimants an insurmountable obstacle, and the only way they can overcome it is with a good legal strategy.

I have to wonder how many people don’t have a savvy attorney in this practice area,” Dabdoub tells Bloomberg Law in an article about insurers’ push for in-person health exams during a global pandemic.

Unsafe Independent Medical Evaluations

According to the Bloomberg article and many firsthand accounts from disability lawyers nationwide, insurance companies are requesting more in-person independent medical exams (IMEs) than ever before, then denying claims if policyholders deny the requests. The rate of requests has increased, and many claimants feel like they must decide whether to risk losing their benefits or contracting a life-threatening disease (COVID-19).

Fortunately, most insurers are backing down when challenged, and attorneys are pushing back, asking insurance companies why IMEs are necessary during this time. One lawyer asks insurers to justify the increased health risk and accept liability for anything that goes wrong, and so far, the strategy has worked.

Paradoxical Reasoning

To the frustration of disability attorneys, some insurers who typically won’t so much as offer IMEs when claimants specifically request them have been requiring in-person exams for the first time, thus putting their clients in difficult positions. Some IME requests are arriving in the middle of 10-year coverage periods for people who are permanently disabled and show no signs of improvement.

In one particularly shocking case, Guardian asked a permanently disabled claimant to attend a 4-hour, in-person exam at the start of the pandemic to “measure his functional capacity.”

Although many lawyers argue these requests are paradoxical and unreasonable, some acknowledge they may not be nefarious. In-person medical care is declining, so insurance companies that link the frequency of an individual’s treatment to the severity of their condition may suspect the claimant’s medical condition is improving.

While this usually could not be farther from the truth, claimants cannot just refuse insurance company requests “carte blanche.” Instead, claimants must find another solution or contact a lawyer for help, and as Attorney Dabdoub points out, not everyone has access to legal counsel.

Legal Help Is More Accessible Than You Think

At Dabdoub Law Firm, we never charge our clients legal fees until we recover the benefits they deserve. This helps make our services accessible to everyone, including you. If you are concerned about an in-person medical exam or your insurance company threatens to terminate your benefits or deny your claim unless you put yourself at risk, call us first.

Attorneys That Specialize in Handling Your Disability Insurance Claims

As a firm that specializes in helping people get disability benefits from insurance companies, Dabdoub Law Firm has expertise in disability insurance.

Why Us?

With so much at stake, shouldn’t you have experienced disability lawyers on your side?

Because federal law applies to most disability insurance claims, your disability lawyer does not have to be located in your state to help.

Call us at (800) 969-0488 or contact us online to speak with a disability insurance lawyer during a free consultation.

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