Assurant, Inc. (formerly Fortis Insurance) is one of the United States’ largest providers of individual and employee benefits, including short and long-term group disability insurance. With offices across the nation, the company claims $30 billion in assets and $9 billion in annual revenue.
Assurant’s long-term disability (LTD) product is group disability insurance that ranges from basic coverage helping disabled employees recover and return to work, to long term disability benefits for workers with more severe disabilities.
If you have problems with your Assurant LTD claim, contact Marc Whitehead & Associates or call us Toll Free at 1-800-562-9830. Our law firm serves disabled clients every day by holding major insurance companies like Assurant responsible when they wrongly deny valid claims for disability benefits.
What You Need to Know about Assurant Group Disability Claims
Most of the products sold by Assurant are done through employers, which means that your insurance claim will most likely be governed under Federal ERISA law and regulations.
ERISA stands for Employee Retirement Income and Security Act, and this law unfortunately tends to favor the insurance companies, rather than the disabled claimant in need of benefits. For this reason, you need a disability attorney with experience and advanced training to recognize the tactics that insurance companies use as a way to deny your claim.
Read more about how ERISA rules can work against the policy holder.
The company’s long-term disability product is sold by Assurant Employee Benefits, a part of Assurant, Inc. Assurant Employee Benefits is the brand name for insurance products underwritten by Union Security Insurance Company (USIC).
If your disability claim has been denied by Assurant or Union Security Insurance Company, request a free consultation today to discuss your claim and how we can help.
Reasons Assurant / USIC may Deny Valid Disability Claims
Disability insurance companies such as Assurant / Union Security have various approaches to denying valid claims for LTD benefits.
- Assurant employs a special investigations unit to investigate and practice surveillance upon claimants whose claims they think may be fraudulent or otherwise not do not meet the requirements of disability according to the policy. The company employs their own medical and vocational team of advisors as well as private investigators to look into the disability claims they receive.
- As part of its review, Assurant may require a claimant to participate in a Functional Capacity Exam (FCE). The FCE is a series of tests designed to evaluate a claimant’s physical capabilities in relation to their ability to work at their current occupation, or at any other occupation. Information found through FCEs is creatively used by insurers to deny disability benefits, and often used in conjunction with surveillance.
- The company may conclude that you are no longer disabled after a certain period of time, as your condition no longer prevents you from performing at least one material duty of your regular occupation. Based on Assurant’s occupational and medical assessments, they may determine that you are sufficiently recovered to resume working at your own occupation. This frequently occurs with sedentary occupations.
- Common to many disability policies, after 24 months the definition of disability changes from “regular” or “own occupation” to “any occupation.” Assurant may decide that a claimant, after receiving short-term disability benefits for two years, should be denied long-term disability benefits because the claimant now meets the policy’s definition of being able to perform “any occupation.”
In addition, Assurant has their version of a “return to work” program called WillReturn, designed to put disabled employees back to work as quickly as possible. WillReturn uses computer software to calculate how long it will take a claimant to recover, based on the medical condition that caused the claimant’s disability. Such programs may call for an unrealistic recovery of a disabled worker.
If Assurant / Union Security Denies Your Claim, What Can You Do?
Once your claim is denied, you may appeal the denial. You have a 180-day time limit from your receipt of the original denial letter for filing your appeal.
Assurant may give two separate chances to appeal the denied claim, first with the Disability Claims Appeals Committee, and then with the Disability Claims Manager. These are administrative
appeals and it is extremely important that these appeals are handled properly.
If the administrative appeal is denied, the claimant has the right to bring a lawsuit. The lawsuit would be a civil suit governed under the ERISA law, and we emphasize again, the law leans heavily in favor of the insurance company.
You MUST have an experienced disability lawyer to prepare an administrative appeal to make the most of your chances of winning on appeal or in court if the case goes to trial.
Do NOT Give Up – Contact Attorney Marc Whitehead
At Marc Whitehead & Associates, we have handled thousands of disability insurance denials, and are prepared to help you. Our firm is a national disability law firm based in Houston, Texas. Where ever you live in the United States, we can assist you.
Call us for a prompt, completely free phone consultation: Toll Free at 800-562-9830. We will listen carefully to your situation, and will answer all of your questions.