Long Term Disability Insurance claimants can frequently feel abused by their own insurance companies during the claims process. The Employee Retirement Income Securities Act (ERISA). ERISA applies to most disability insurance claims and therefore claimants have little recourse against such abusive tactics. The most common is secretive video surveillance of the disabled claimant.
Secret Video Surveillance in Disability Insurance Claims
Some insurance companies make a habit of videotaping claimants after they have received benefits for a year or two. The insurance company will claim that there are “red flags” that indicate a claimant may be working, so an “investigation” is necessary. Often, the only activity that that is “caught on tape,” is a claimant going to a doctor’s appointment, going to the pharmacy or driving through a fast food chain. The insurance company will always claim that the claimant is capable of more activity that originally reported because the claimant was “able to enter and exit a motor vehicle unaided,” “use a cell phone,” and “walk about in a non-guarded fashion.” Later, a representative of the insurance company will visit the claimant for an “interview” and show the claimant the footage. This can be very intimidating to a claimant. Then the insurance company will use the video surveillance as evidence to terminate benefits even when the record as a whole supports a finding of disabled.
Disability Insurance companies such as Unum, Cigna, Aetna and Prudential often use video survelliance to cut off disability benefits. They also write their policies to take full advantage of ERISA rules and regulations. Other insurance companies that are known to use this tactic include The Hartford, Standard Insurance, SunLife, MetLife and Liberty Mutual, Provident, CNA, John Hancock, Colonial, AXA Equitable, New York Life, Guardian, and Penn Mutual.
The key to overcoming secret video surveillance is to have good medical documentation of the disability and have a treating physician who will effectively advocate for you. Having a good attorney can help too.
If you have questions, ask disability attorney, Marc Whitehead by visiting DisabilityDenials.com or you can download Marc Whitehead’s free E-book, Disability Insurance Policies-How to Unravel the Mystery and Prove Your Claim.