One of the hardest things I must explain to clients is how the insurance company does not care about the client’s disabling condition. Disability insurance companies are for-profit corporate entities and are constantly looking for ways to increase their bottom lines. More often than not, they accomplish this by denying long-term disability claims. In this article, we discuss an insurance salesperson who was later denied disability by Unum, the very insurer she had been selling policies for.
To provide an example of just how little the insurance company cares about your claim, I’m attaching an article that was published in the Los Angeles Times newspaper on August 21, 2005. Although it is quite a few years old, it is just as relevant now as it was then. Click here to read “The Safety Net She Believed In Was Pulled Away When She Fell.”
The article is about a woman named Debra Potter. Prior to the onset of her own disability, Ms. Potter made a good living selling disability coverage. She was a top saleswoman. She earned a quarter-million dollars ($250,000.00) a year selling more disability and health insurance policies than just about anyone else in the state of Virginia. Ms. Potter took comfort in the fact that she was placing a safety net under middle-class and affluent families. She believed so much in the coverage she was selling that she ensured she had her own coverage under a disability policy with her employer, BB&T, financial services giant in the Southeast. BB&T had group coverage through UnumProvident Corp., the nation’s largest disability insurer.
Things began to change for Potter in 2002, when she started having balance problems and began falling down. She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. No problem, she thought. She had disability insurance with UnumProvident. Unfortunately, she quickly discovered that the income protection did not work anything as advertised. UnumProvident (whose policies previously sold as an agent) disputed her disability claim and refused to pay her.
As many other hard-working Americans discover, Ms. Potter learned the hard way that federal laws and regulations favor insurance companies in disability claims. Ms. Potter appealed the decision to deny benefits. Ms. Potter retained an attorney, and fought UnumProvident’s decision. Although Ms. Potter ultimately prevailed, it took three years for the decision to be overturned. It was almost too late. The Potter family ran through nearly all of their savings, and even pulled one of their five children from college due to their lack of ability to pay tuition.
Click the link above for her story.
If you’ve been denied benefits and would like to discuss your appeal rights with an experienced long-term disability attorney, call Mr. Ortiz at (888) 321-8131.