Disability insurance provides income replacement to individuals who suffer from disabilities and cannot work for the short or long term. While certain eligible individuals can collect Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), it often fails to cover all their expenses – or even come close. Therefore, private disability insurance can be a valuable investment for those looking to protect their financial stability in the event of an unexpected disability.You may need help from a disability claims lawyer.
Not everyone chooses their disability insurance provider, as many are employer-sponsored. Whether you selected your provider or went with your employer’s chosen provider, you must deal with the inner workings of that insurance company if you suffer a disabling condition and cannot work.
Below are some of the best and worst disability insurance companies in the United States as rated by Consumers Advocate, Forbes, Policy Genius, and the National Law Review, among other sources.
Remember that even a top-rated company can still be difficult during the disability claim process.
Top-Rated Disability Companies
Several insurance companies offer disability insurance in the United States. Below are some that policyholders and claimants consider the best disability insurance companies in the U.S.
Guardian Life Insurance Company
Guardian Life Insurance Company has been in business for over 150 years and has a reputation for its excellent customer service. The company offers both short-term and long-term disability insurance policies.
Each policyholder can customize their policy to fit their individual needs, and benefits can provide up to 60 percent of the individual’s prior income in benefits. Guardian also offers a return-to-work program to help individuals get back to work as quickly as possible after a disability.
Mutual of Omaha
Mutual of Omaha is another popular disability insurance provider. The company offers both individual and group disability insurance policies, which can provide up to 60 percent of an individual’s income in benefits. Mutual of Omaha’s disability coverage also includes a rehabilitation program to help individuals return to work whenever possible.
MassMutual is a well-known insurance company that offers both short-term and long-term disability insurance policies. The policies are flexible to fit the needs of each individual and can provide up to 60 percent of the individual’s income if they cannot work. MassMutual has a similar rehabilitation as the above two companies, as well.
Principal Financial Group
Principal Financial Group is another respected disability insurance provider in the U.S., offering short-term and long-term disability insurance coverage. You can customize your policy and receive up to 60 percent of your former income in benefits to help support you. Principal Financial Group also sponsors assistance in returning to work when you are ready.
Northwestern Mutual is a highly-rated insurance company that offers both short-term and long-term disability insurance policies. The policies can be customized to fit the needs of each individual and can provide up to 60 percent of the individual’s income in benefits. Northwestern Mutual also offers a rehabilitation program to help individuals get back to work after a disability.
Ameritas is a well-known disability insurance provider offering individual and group disability insurance policies, providing up to 60 percent of the policyholder’s income should they develop a disability. Ameritas also offers a rehabilitation program.
The Standard is a top insurance company that offers short-term and long-term disability coverage of up to 60 percent of the individual’s income in benefits. The Standard also helps policyholders return to work through rehabilitation when possible.
Each company is on this list due to its excellent customer service, customizable policies, benefits, and assistance in returning to work following a disability. Even though these companies have great reputations, policyholders regularly hit roadblocks and face challenges when trying to get the benefits they deserve.
Just because one disability claimant had a positive experience with an insurer does not mean you will. Never hesitate to seek assistance from a disability claims attorney if you need to file a claim or appeal a denial.
Some of the Worst Disability Insurers
Disability insurance is critical to provide financial support if you have a disability and can no longer work. Unfortunately, not all disability providers are created equal. Insurance companies and policies can differ widely; some companies are better than others in providing coverage and benefits to their policyholders.
Some disability insurance companies have a reputation for wrongfully denying claims and providing inadequate support to their clients. Below are only some of the worst disability insurance companies in the United States.
Unum is one of the largest disability insurance providers in the United States, but it has a reputation for denying claims and using deceptive practices to avoid paying benefits. In the past, Unum has faced several lawsuits and accusations of engaging in bad faith insurance practices.
Many policyholders have reported that Unum denied their claims or terminated their benefits without adequate justification. Unum has also faced criticism for using biased medical opinions and ignoring the opinions of independent doctors and medical professionals.
Aetna is another major disability insurance company that has faced criticism for its handling of disability claims. Aetna has a reputation for denying claims and terminating benefits without proper reasoning. Aetna also regularly relies on biased medical opinions and does not take into account the opinions of independent medical professionals. In addition, Aetna has been the defendant in several lawsuits related to its handling of disability claims, including a lawsuit by the California Department of Insurance.
CIGNA is a large disability insurance company known for mishandling disability claims. Many policyholders have reported that CIGNA wrongfully denied their rightful disability claims or ended their benefits prematurely. CIGNA also regularly ignores the opinions of independent medical examiners and uses its own medical providers to provide biased exam results so the company can deny benefits. CIGNA has been involved in several lawsuits regarding how it handles disability claims, including a lawsuit by the New York State Attorney General’s office.
MetLife is one of the largest insurance companies in the world, but it also regularly mishandles and wrongfully denies valid disability claims. Policyholders regularly struggle to obtain the benefits they need, and then MetLife might cut off their benefits when they still have a disability. MetLife has also faced several lawsuits regarding how the company handles disability claims and policies.
Prudential is another major disability insurance company with a reputation for its poor handling of disability claims. Many policyholders have reported that Prudential denied valid benefits claims or terminated disability benefits that they relied on for financial support. Again, Prudential has received criticism and faced lawsuits regarding its mishandling of claims for policyholders relying on its coverage.
If the above list seems like a broken record with the same issues noted over and over, it’s because the worst disability companies in the country all have the same problems. They deny valid benefits claims, prematurely terminate benefits for disabled individuals, and face accusations of bad faith.
When you purchase a disability policy or sign on through work as a policyholder, you expect the insurance company to protect your income and financial security in case of disability. However, if your policy is with certain companies, you might find the process to be a real struggle. You already have a disability and cannot work; now, you have to deal with a challenging insurance company that does not have your interests in mind.
If you are considering purchasing disability insurance as an individual, always research and compare different companies to find the one that best meets your needs and provides the best coverage and benefits. Stay aware of the worst disability insurance companies and avoid them if possible to ensure you receive the benefits you need and deserve in case of disability.
If you have coverage with one of these less-than companies, ensure you have the right legal support from a disability lawyer if you need to file a claim.
Reasons for Disability Claim Denials
Disability insurance should provide financial support to individuals who cannot work due to a disability – this is the purpose of this type of coverage. However, insurance companies are for-profit businesses and can find many reasons to deny your disability claim. When you need benefits the most is usually when you will receive a denial.
Understanding the reasons an insurance company might deny your claim can help you prepare and increase your chances of success with an appeal. Your denial should come with a letter clearly explaining the reasons the insurer denied your claim for benefits. Always bring this letter to a disability claims attorney so they can determine the best course of action for a possible appeal.
Below are some common reasons for disability denials.
Lack of Medical Evidence
One of the most common reasons for a denied disability claim is a lack of medical evidence to support the claim. The insurance company will require documentation from your healthcare providers to verify your disability, and if there is not enough evidence, the claim may end in denial. To avoid this, always provide the insurance company with complete and accurate medical records, including reports from all treating physicians, therapists, and specialists.
Many disability insurance policies have pre-existing condition clauses that exclude coverage for conditions that existed before you purchased the policy. If you have a pre-existing condition related to your disability claim, the insurance company may deny your claim, stating that the condition does not qualify for coverage under the policy.
Failure to Meet the Definition of Disability
Every disability insurance policy has its own definition of disability. To qualify for benefits, you must meet the specific definition in your policy. For example, some policies require that you cannot perform your current job, while others may require that you cannot work in any job. If you do not meet the definition of disability in your policy, the insurance company may deny your claim.
Failure to Meet Waiting Period Requirements
Most disability insurance policies have waiting periods, which means you must wait a certain length of time before you can receive benefits. If you file a claim before the waiting period is over, the insurance company might outright deny your claim.
Lack of Cooperation
If you fail to cooperate with the insurance company’s requests for information or refuse to participate in required medical evaluations or treatments, you might receive a claim denial. Always cooperate with your insurance company and provide them with all the information they need to process your claim. If you have questions about certain requests, never simply ignore them. Instead, seek guidance on how to proceed from a disability lawyer.
Insurance companies have deadlines for filing claims and providing the required information. If you miss these deadlines, it can result in a denied claim. Make sure to keep track of all deadlines and ensure that you provide the necessary information on time. This is one area where an experienced disability attorney can provide great benefits for you.
Lack of Work History
To qualify for disability benefits, you must have a work history and be out of work due to a disability. If you do not have an adequate work history or do not meet the work history requirements in your policy, your insurance company might deny your benefits.
Submitting a fraudulent claim can result in denial of your claim and potentially criminal charges. Always be honest and provide accurate information to the insurance company. If your insurer accuses you of false claims when you are telling the truth, immediately consult with an attorney.
Speak With a Disability Claims Lawyer
Whether an insurance company has a good or bad reputation, there are many reasons why an adjuster may deny your disability claim and benefits. To increase your chances of success, you should understand the specific requirements of your policy, provide complete and accurate medical documentation, cooperate with the
If you receive a claim denial, you have the right to appeal the decision and work with an experienced attorney in Louisiana to help you navigate the process. Never wait to seek the legal help you need to obtain your disability benefits.
Following graduation from Loyola Law School in New Orleans in 1990, Price McNamara served as a Federal Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable John M Shaw, Chief Judge, United States District Court Western District of Louisiana.
Mr. McNamara founded J. Price McNamara ERISA Insurance Claim Attorney, and began putting his past experience to work for the injured and disabled clients he now represents against the insurance companies in personal injury and long term disability and other insurance disputes in both federal and state courts