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Unfair Denials of Long-Term Disability Insurance

Imagine that an insurance salesman has just persuaded you to sign up for long-term disability insurance. You're relatively young now, but you are thinking ahead to the time when you will no longer be able to work and will perhaps need residential or nursing home care. Long-term disability insurance is a serious financial investment, but you decide to go for it because you don't want to be a burden to your family. Year after year you pay your premiums on time and in full. After many years, maybe decades, of faithfully paying your premiums, the time comes for you to collect the benefits promised you by the insurance company those many years ago. You enter into a nursing home, confident that the insurance company will pay benefits as promised and you will be well-cared for. The insurance company maybe pays as promised for the first two years or so and then with a cursory form letter telling you that you have been "rehabilitated," the insurance company denies your claim and cuts off your benefits!

According to a recent report from the American Association for Justice, entitled "Standing Up for Seniors: How the Civil Justice System Protects Elderly Americans," this is a scenario facing thousands of seniors who have had their insurance benefits denied or cut by insurance companies who put profits over people. According to Mary Beth Senkewicz, a former senior executive at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), "The bottom line is that insurance companies make money when they don't pay claims. They'll do anything to avoid paying, because if they wait long enough, they know the policyholders will die."

And indeed insurance companies are doing everything they can to avoid paying claims as promised. Seniors all over the country have received form letters telling them that their stay in the nursing home had "rehabilitated" them and they should be ready to leave. Other tactics that insurance companies are using include deliberately mailing the wrong forms and then denying claims on the basis of incorrect paperwork; declaring policyholders to have abandoned the claim if they failed to submit forms within 21 days; withholding payments until the policyholder submits documents not even required under the terms of the policy; locking checks in safes until claimants complained; delaying payments until they are a year late; and disposing of important correspondence during routine "pizza parties."

Insurance companies calculated that few of their terminated policyholders would ever do anything about it, but some seniors and their attorneys have been challenging these deplorable practices. Mary Rose Derks, a 77-year old, was one of the seniors who decided to fight back. Her family was forced to sell their business after their long-term care insurer, Conseco, denied her legitimate claim for more than four years. Derks' case exposed Conseco as employing many of the practices described above and led to a Congressional investigation of Conseco and the long-term care insurance industry. The case resulted in a settlement for the Derks family and a change in the company's tactic of denying every claim.

If you or a loved one have been denied long-term disability it is important that you consult with a lawyer, so you can determine the strength of your case and what to what you may be entitled. Call Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys and our team of elder abuse attorneys at 800-849-4905. The call is free. The advice may be priceless.

Call the personal injury lawyers in Los Angeles for a free professional evaluation of your rights by attorneys who have been representing victims of medical malpractice and senior abuse since 1978. You will experience award winning representation and outstanding personal service by a compassionate and understanding law firm in a comfortable environment.


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