The possibility of having a medical issue arise that prevents someone from supporting themselves or their family is a serious enough concern to warrant specialized insurance coverage. People can carry long-term disability coverage that will protect them for a few years or until they are old enough to retire by covering a significant portion of the wages they can no longer earn.
Of course, when someone intends to make a claim that is worth tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, the claims process is often fraught with challenges and pushback from the insurance companies involved. One particular mistake is responsible for a significant portion of the disputed or failed long-term disability claims that occur each year.
Deadline errors can leave people without benefits
Insurance providers are subject to laws that require that they handle claims in good faith. They can face financial penalties if they unfairly deny valid claims. Therefore, insurance companies often riddle their policies with red tape and complicated requirements so that they can deny claims on technicalities without running afoul of bad faith insurance laws.
It is common to impose very strict paperwork deadlines for long-term disability claims. Individuals who do not file their paperwork in the right order and on time may find themselves denied coverage or waiting extended amounts of time before the company finally processes their claim. The documents that people must submit are often very technical and lengthy, which may lead to procrastination. These issues are a feature of the system, as the saying goes, rather than a bug. The insurance companies know it is hard for people to navigate the claims process, and they want to keep it that way.
Large claims often require professional assistance
Those who know they have long-term disability insurance coverage that should apply to their situation will often benefit from bringing in a lawyer to assist them with the application process. An attorney can quickly make sense of complicated policy paperwork and company requirements. They can help ensure that the execution of the paperwork is thorough and appropriate.
Additionally, they will already be familiar with the details of the case if they have to move forward with a bad faith insurance claim because the company does not want to support its policyholders in the ways that it should. Learning from the mistakes that other people make when navigating long-term disability claims can help those who are facing serious medical challenges.