Hartford has a Pattern of Conducting Surveillance on a Claimant’s Birthday

It is no secret that insurance companies perform routine surveillance to confirm the authenticity of the claim under review. The last thing a disabled claimant wants to worry about is being secretly followed by an undercover investigator especially on his or her birthday. Unfortunately, this is a pattern we have been seeing in disability claims with Hartford. Disability carriers will most often perform surveillance right around or during an IME exam, or several months before a definition of disability changes from own-occupation to any occupation. Hartford is well known for performing surveillance a few weeks or days before and/or after an in-person interview of the claimant.

We regularly receive calls from claimants worried that they are being followed by an investigator. Some insurance companies – like Hartford – are predictable as to when surveillance will be performed. One of our clients contacted us when Hartford terminated his long-term disability claim based primarily on an “activities check” – Hartford’s term for surveillance – which had been conducted on our client’s birthday. Mr. B had been on claim for over 4 years due to chronic pain syndrome, degenerative disc disease, neuropathy, severe low back pain and neck pain, as well as other disabling conditions.

Hartford had conducted surveillance on several occasions and had consistently reported that Mr. B lived an inactive lifestyle. Due to the severity of his symptoms, Mr. B would rarely leave his house for extended periods. On his birthday, Mr. B and his partner decided to celebrate by having dinner and going to a casino – a very rare activity and certainly not an accurate representation of Mr. B’s usual daily undertakings. The video surveillance consisted of short snippets of video and served as the basis for Hartford terminating Mr. B’s LTD claim.

On Appeal, we focused on the unreasonableness of Hartford’s decision to terminate Mr. B’s claim. Hartford had completely ignored Mr. B’s inactivity the entire day following his birthday – as Mr. B was undoubtedly suffering the effects of his birthday “activities.” The appeal also included additional evidence supporting Mr. B’s claim which ultimately led to Hartford overturning its denial. Mr. B is currently on claim and continues to be represented by our firm.

At the time it was unclear if Hartford had strategically chosen Mr. B’s birthday to perform an activities check or if it was merely a coincidence. Recently, we received a call from a claimant receiving long term disability benefits from Hartford who had received a denial letter based on surveillance video and an in-person interview that was requested by Hartford shortly after the activities check.

Upon reviewing the denial letter it came as no surprise that the activities check happened to coincide with Ms. W’s birthday. Coincidentally, Ms. W’s husband’s birthday happened to fall on the day before. Shortly following Ms. W’s birthday Hartford requested an in-person interview with Ms. W. Ms. W described her capabilities as she believed them to be and explained what her daily activities typically consist of. Several months following the interview, Ms. W was notified that her claim was terminated. The denial letter detailed the activities check and Ms. W’s interview answers.

Other carriers have been known to perform surveillance on days that the insurance company expects the claimant to be most active. After years of handling claims with Hartford it is clear that Hartford likes to perform surveillance on or around their claimants’ birthdays.

While video surveillance is common it is rarely a problem unless the claimant is seen doing something that he or she has claimed they cannot do.

Read more:

Questions About Hiring Us

Do you help Hartford claimants nationwide?

We represent Hartford clients nationwide and we encourage you to contact us for a FREE immediate phone consultation with one of our experienced disability insurance attorneys.

Can you help with a Hartford disability insurance policy?

Our disability insurance lawyers help policy holders seeking short or long term disability insurance benefits from Hartford. We have helped thousands of disability insurance claimants nationwide with monthly disability benefits. With more than 40 years of disability insurance experience we have helped individuals in almost every occupation and we are familiar with the disability income policies offered by Hartford.

How do you help Hartford claimants?

Our lawyers help individuals that have either purchased a Hartford long term disability insurance policy from an insurance company or obtained short or long term disability insurance coverage as a benefit from their employer.

Our experienced lawyers can assist with Hartford:

  • ERISA and Non-ERISA Appeals of Disability Benefit Denials
  • ERISA and Non-ERISA Disability Benefit Lawsuits
  • Applying For Short or Long Term Disability Benefits
  • Daily Handling & Management of Your Disability Claim
  • Disability Insurance Lump-Sum Buyout or Settlement Negotiations

Do you work in my state?

Yes. We are a national disability insurance law firm that is available to represent you regardless of where you live in the United States. We have partner lawyers in every state and we have filed lawsuits in most federal courts nationwide. Our disability lawyers represent disability claimants at all stages of a claim for disability insurance benefits. There is nothing that our lawyers have not seen in the disability insurance world.

What are your fees?

Since we represent disability insurance claimants at different stages of a disability insurance claim we offer a variety of different fee options. We understand that claimants living on disability insurance benefits have a limited source of income; therefore we always try to work with the claimant to make our attorney fees as affordable as possible.

The three available fee options are a contingency fee agreement (no attorney fee or cost unless we make a recovery), hourly fee or fixed flat rate.

In every case we provide each client with a written fee agreement detailing the terms and conditions. We always offer a free initial phone consultation and we appreciate the opportunity to work with you in obtaining payment of your disability insurance benefits.

Do I have to come to your office to work with your law firm?

No. For purposes of efficiency and to reduce expenses for our clients we have found that 99% of our clients prefer to communicate via telephone, e-mail, fax, GoToMeeting.com sessions, or Skype. If you prefer an initial in-person meeting please let us know. A disability company will never require you to come to their office and similarly we are set up so that we handle your entire claim without the need for you to come to our office.

How can I contact you?

When you call us during normal business hours you will immediately speak with a disability attorney. We can be reached at 800-682-8331 or by email. Lawyer and staff must return all client calls same day. Client emails are usually replied to within the same business day and seem to be the preferred and most efficient method of communication for most clients.

Dell & Schaefer Client Reviews   *****

Todd H.

My experience of dealing with The Hartford for my company LTD benefit was a nightmare from the start. Our company chose an “any occupation” clause from day 1 of disability leaving the door open to almost automatic decline. Of course, that is what happened.

I researched on the internet for days for a firm that knew ERISA Disability Laws and specialized in them. After an email to Dell & Schaefer, I received a call from an attorney named Victor the same day. After I described my occupation, he said “We have another attorney that I work with here who has helped many others in your occupation and I think he is better prepared than I to get you this benefit”. He about blew me away-sending business AWAY for MY sake? I knew, right then, that my choice of Dell & Schaefer was the correct one.

***** 5 stars based on 202 reviews

Speak With An Attorney Now

Request a free legal consultation: Call 800-682-8331 or Email Us