Recent Disability Insurance Company Trends
Author: Attorney Victor Peña
Attorneys with Attorneys Dell & Schaefer have handled thousands of Long Term Disability claims with all the major insurance companies and have seen the changes that have occurred over the years. Below are some recent trends seen with 10 of the major companies:
- Aetna: Aetna’s U.S. group life and disability business was recently acquired by Hartford and will make Hartford the second largest group life and disability insurer according to total earned premiums. The acquisition will hopefully provide new claimants with better claim reviews.
- Cigna: Claim reviews are sloppy and predictable and processing and review of appeals is no better. Recently Cigna has been offering policy buyouts to claimants early in the claim to avoid having to pay beyond change in definition.
- Hartford: Very predictable when denying claims. They perform frequent reviews while on claim and will seize the opportunity if an attending physician statement is deficient in some way.
- Liberty Life: Recently acquired by Lincoln Financial Group. We don’t see as many claim denials from Lincoln as we do from Liberty Life and the denials that we do see from Lincoln are typically thorough and more reasonable than most. We hope the merger will have a positive impact on the way Liberty Life claims are handled.
- MetLife: Their appeal reviews set claimants up for failure.
- Prudential: Their high claims handler turnover rate makes even long term claimants vulnerable to denial. As such, claimants must be vigilant in maintaining consistent treatment.
- Reliance Standard: One of the more reasonable companies when it comes to disability claim reviews. They thoroughly review claims before deciding to terminate benefits. However, once they make a decision to deny they are very tough to get overturned.
- Sun Life: Like Cigna, Sun Life has been offering policy buyouts to claimants early in the claim to avoid having to pay beyond change in definition.
- Unum: The oldest disability insurance company in America and largest disability insurance provider in the world. Unum offers Group (ERISA) disability insurance policies as well as Individual disability insurance. Having been around so long they have been sued a lot and we see major problems in both types of claims. Their history and experience also makes them very hard to fight denials.