The answer to this question depends on multiple factors. If your disability policy is governed by ERISA then the court will conduct an analysis to determine if an attorney’s fee award should be granted. To learn more about this analysis please see our discussion on attorney fees for ERISA governed claims.
If your claim is not governed by ERISA then an attorney fee award will usually depend on the attorney fee statutes in the state in which your policy was delivered. Most states do not provide attorney fees for prevailing parties in long-term disability insurance cases. In states that do have attorney fee statutes there is sometimes a requirement to prove intentional bad faith conduct in order to collect attorney fees. In all states, a disability insurance company will never be required to pay attorney fees unless the case is won at trial. In rare circumstances, a disability carrier will agree to pay attorney fees prior to trial.