The First 100 Is The Hardest

When we first started blogging on April 15, 2009, to try to help disability income insurance claimants, we had plenty of butterflies in our stomach because we had never blogged before and knew that a blog requires a long term commitment and exposes one’s thoughts to public view.

The first blog was written without having any idea of what the subject of the second would be. We just knew, somehow, that we had the “hands-on” experience and savvy in the law of insurance to help people with disability income and other complicated insurance problems.

So, here we are writing our 100th blog on April 21, 2011, just a tad over two years later.
Looking over our first hundred blogs, we found that some stand out in our mind either for informative content, originality or a nice turn of phrase. We thought, why not list them here for anyone to see what we are proud of.  So, here goes:

Pull In The Welcome Mat – A warning that insurance companies just love to cuddle up to claimants so they can evaluate a claimant’s strength and weaknesses. Hear this - the insurance company IS NOT your friend, no matter how friendly they try to seem. The adjuster’s job is to destroy or diminish your claim. A friendly adjuster is just a viper waiting to strike. The rule: Be as cooperative as the policy and law require; not one whit more.

Hippa, Hippa Hooray – People with psychiatric disabilities have special needs because they usually are mentally fragile and need understanding and protection. Insurance companies love to get inside this type of claimant’s head. Shock them and move their world around and the psychiatrically disabled may be unable or unwilling to pursue the claim. That’s why providing medical info to insurers should be and can be strictly constrained by mental health professionals and attorneys. However, many are unaware of this and are unwittingly providing psychiatric notes and other reports that are strictly forbidden by Federal law. Case notes and similar material must not be provided to insurance companies. Both the attorney and the mental health professional have a duty to protect a client’s personal, psychiatric information.

No “Do-overs” in Disability Claims – Don’t start learning the ropes when you file a disability income insurance claim. This very first step in this process may be the one that sinks you. If you or your doctor omit a necessary fact required by the insurance policy or the law, the insurer will hang onto that omission throughout the claims procedure so as to cast doubt on your claim. Get it right from the get-go.  Starting “fresh” is not an option in an income disability claim.

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished – Old habits are hard to break, but an old habit can break a claimant. If you have an “own occupation” policy, you can’t be Mr. Nice Guy with your employer. Most people want to try to keep working if they can, despite a disabling event. They might try to work doing something else, if they can’t do their usual occupation. If they do that with an “own occupation” policy, the insurer will pay you what you were earning at the time you were forced to give in and stop working, rather than at the rate you were earning at the time you first were disabled. If you have such a policy, stop working when you are unable to perform the job listed in the policy. Trying to be a “hero” can cut the legs from under you.

Insurers Love “Docility” – Disability insurers just love people who don’t make waves. If an insurer first denies a claim (an almost automatic insurer reaction), many of these “waveless wonders” will just go away, giving up valid claims and dropping those claim dollars to the insurer’s bottom line. Disability income insurance claimants need backbone to stand up to the insurance company and get what was paid for in premiums.  In other words, for your own benefit, Don’t Be A Wimp.

So, there it is – 100 blogs and counting. We hope to keep blogging until every DI claimant gets a square shake from the insurance company.

Unfortunately, even Methusaleh didn’t live long enough for that to happen.