The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. — most often referred to as The Hartford — is an investment and insurance company based in Hartford, Connecticut. Founded in 1810, it offers a range of insurance products, including both short and long-term disability insurance. In 2019, it had over $1.8 billion in profits and was ranked as number 161 on the Fortune 500 list.
Despite these astronomical profits, The Hartford is well-known for both denying and delaying legitimate insurance claims. This is particularly true when it comes to long-term disability claims (LTD). The Hartford may have used a number of different tactics to wrongly refuse to pay policyholders’ claims.
Fortunately, there is a way that you can fight back against unfair tactics by The Hartford. A seasoned Cherry Hill disability benefits lawyer can appeal a denial of benefits, and even file a lawsuit against the company to help you get the benefits that you are entitled to under the terms of your policy. Read on to learn more about common denial tactics used by The Hartford — and how you can fight back.
Applying for Long-Term Disability Benefits from The Hartford
Long-term disability (LTD) insurance is a type of insurance policy that is often offered by employers as a benefit. If you are self-employed or your employer doesn’t offer this benefit, you can also purchase LTD insurance as an individual. This type of insurance can be incredibly important to your overall financial health — and may even be more important than life insurance.
The way that it works is simple. If you are unable to work due to a disability, you can apply for LTD benefits. If your application is approved, then you will receive anywhere from 50 to 60% of your salary each month while you cannot work. These benefits may last for as little as 2 years, or until you reach retirement age, depending on the terms of your policy.
To file a claim for benefits through The Hartford, you have two options. First, you can call The Hartford’s group benefits claim line at 1-800-549-6514. Second, you can file a claim through The Hartford’s website.
To support your claim, you will need to provide basic information about yourself, including your contact info as well as your education, training, and experience. You will also have to submit documentation of your disability as well as evidence of how that medical condition impacts your ability to work.
For example, if you suffer from pulmonary fibrosis, you will need to submit documentation of your diagnosis — doctor’s notes, a letter from your treating physician, and other medical records, such as x-rays and test results. In addition, you will have to submit evidence of how it affects your ability to work, such as how the medicines that you take to treat your condition cause side effects like dizziness, sensitivity to light and diarrhea. Together, this documentation will show that (1) you have a disability and (2) this disability makes you unable to work.
What to Do If The Hartford Denies Your Long-Term Disability Claim
Filing a claim with The Hartford is just the first step in what can often be a long process. While insurance companies should accept and pay on legitimate claims, they often use a number of denial tactics. In this way, insurance companies make even more profit — while you are left without the benefits that you need to survive when you can’t work.
The Hartford may deny your claim because:
- Your evidence does not support the request for LTD benefits;
- You did not provide enough proof of your diagnosis;
- You have a pre-existing condition that excludes you from coverage;
- You provided a “materially false” answer on the application for insurance coverage;
- Surveillance shows that you are exaggerating or faking your symptoms; or
- You allegedly failed to pay an insurance premium
Of course, this is just the insurance company’s view of your claim. The reason that The Hartford gave for denying your claim isn’t necessarily accurate. For example, the insurance company could just have a different interpretation of a policy term than what your lawyer does.
In addition to flat out denying your claim, The Hartford may also ask for more evidence or engage in other strategies that are designed to delay paying out on your claim. Even after signing authorizations so that the company can get medical documentation from your doctors, The Hartford may still insist that you haven’t provided enough support. This may mean that you are without benefits for months while you battle with the insurance company.
If The Hartford denies your application for LTD benefits, then you can file an appeal. The first step is generally to file an appeal directly with the company. If your claim is denied again, then a Cherry Hill disability benefits lawyer can file a lawsuit against the company on your behalf. Depending on what law governs the claim, the lawsuit may be filed in either federal or state court.
Was Your Long-Term Disability Claim Denied by The Hartford? We Can Help.
Far too often, companies like The Hartford deny legitimate claims for LTD benefits for unfair reasons. When this happens, you may find yourself in financial distress as you struggle to pay bills without a paycheck. At Bross & Frankel, we understand how difficult this can be — which is why we are fierce advocates for our clients in these situations.
Since 1995, our firm has worked to protect the interests of individuals who are unable to work due to a disability. We will pursue every avenue and work tirelessly to get you the compensation that you deserve. To learn more or to schedule a free disability claim review, contact our office today at (856) 795-8880 or reach out online.
Rich Frankel is the managing partner of Bross & Frankel. He is a member of the New Jersey and Pennsylvania bars. He has focused exclusively on disability and social security benefits since 2005.
Mr. Frankel joined what is now Bross & Frankel after having watched his father struggle with disability, fighting a lengthy illness. Mr. Frankel founded the firm’s veteran’s law practice and substantially grew the social security disability practice, focusing Bross & Frankel’s ability to fight for all of the disability benefits available to his clients.
Mr. Frankel additionally fights for clients in court, obtaining frequent victories in Social Security appeals and against insurance companies in Federal court.