Disability Insurance Center
Bad Faith Disability Claim Denials
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Article 4 of 9 in Disability Insurance Claims, Disputes, and Attorneys
Disability benefits law requires insurance companies to review any claim in good faith. Although disability benefits law can be different in each state, an insurance company acts in good faith if it gives an honest and accurate review of your claim, and does not try to make it unjustly difficult for you to recover disability benefits owed to you. If an insurer denies a claim inbad faith then it is in violation of disability benefits law and you have a potential legal claim to recover wrongfully denied benefits.
TIP: If you suspect that your disability benefits claim has not been fairly reviewed, has been unduly delayed, or has been wrongfully denied then contact a bad faith attorney immediately!
Bad Faith Disability Benefits Law
Consider the following examples of bad faith behavior according to disability benefits law:
- Denying a disability insurance claim without policy language to support that denial
- Unnecessary delays in paying disability benefits
- Failure to pay all or up to the allowable disability benefit amount outlined in a policy
- Making excessive demands for documentation that are not required by the policy
- Illegal or fraudulent methods to investigate your disability claim
Because bad faith disability benefits law does not always have a strict list of behavior, if you feel wronged by your insurance company than you may have a claim. If you would like to know if your situation involves bad faith, click here to ask an experienced insurance professional for assistance.
How to Enforce Disability Insurance Law
The Department of Insurance for your state is an excellent point of contact if your state's disability insurance laws have been breached or your claim has been handled in bad faith. If you are unsure, but suspect the insurance company has acted in bad faith, the Department can answer any questions you may have concerning disability insurance law in your state. Contact your state's department of insurance and inquire about how to file a formal bad faith complaint. Filing a complaint serves three purposes:
- It reports the action of your insurance carrier to the Department of insurance giving them an opportunity to investigate, respond and resolve your complaint.
- It makes the complaint public record allowing the public to know about the actions of this carrier (the number of complaints filed, category of the complaint-bad faith, delay in paying, wrongful denial, etc., the line of business).
- It allows the state to keep a record of the insurance company's action and allows the department of insurance to take punitive action if a pattern of this behavior is found leaving open the option of punitive fines if warranted.
It is best to always put your complaint in writing in the event you need documentation that the complaint was filed. Most states' department of insurance will investigate the complaint and give the insurance company a certain number of days to respond to the bad faith complaint in writing. Then the DOI representative will forward you a letter of their findings and the status of your complaint.
When to Contact a Bad Faith Attorney
If you find yourself fighting an uphill battle and your claim still has no resolution, consult with a bad faith attorney that can further review your claim on the merits of bad faith. A bad faith attorney can work to resolve the matter by negotiating an amicable settlement between you and the insurance carrier or if necessary, filing suit.
Disability benefits law can be tricky, however, any act by the insurance company that pressures you into making a settlement or puts you in unnecessary financial harm (delay of paying covered disability benefits) is certainly a red flag and warrants a legal expert's eye. Most consultations with a bad faith attorney are free and this free advice can be invaluable in getting you the results you need on your claim. Contact a disability insurance attorney in your area by clicking here to have one review your case for free.