The Hartford is a $20 billion, Fortune 500 company that was originally founded in 1810 to offer fire insurance. Even legendary baseball star Babe Ruth once purchased a Hartford policy. Today, The Hartford has built up its own legend as a company that likes to deny claims under its long-term disability (LTD) policies.
Hartford LTD policies generally promise to pay 50-70% of your pre-disability earnings once you can no longer work, but the company uses a variety of tactics and policy clauses to terminate or deny LTD benefits.
If you’re in the greater Minneapolis, Minnesota area and you’ve been denied benefits or had them canceled by The Hartford, contact our team of disability attorneys at Beedem Law. With more than 50 years of combined experience, we know how insurance companies operate and are ready to help you press your claim on appeal.
We proudly serve clients not only in Minneapolis but also in Duluth, St. Paul, and throughout the counties of Hennepin, Ramsey, Dakota, and Anoka.
Common Reasons The Hartford Denies Claims
Minnesota law sets standards for insurance company conduct, and it holds insurance companies liable for a claim denial when there is an “absence of a reasonable basis for denying the benefits of the insurance policy….”
That being said, insurance companies like The Hartford (which is a notable example) have several vehicles at their disposal for denying an LTD claim, including:
- Your Condition Doesn’t Qualify as a Disability: The fine print of your LTD policy will define what the company considers to be a disability, and if your condition doesn’t match, your claim can be denied. The Hartford also maintains a list of conditions it considers disabling, and if yours is not on the list, you will most likely be denied:
- Lack of Sufficient Medical Evidence: Another standard reason for denial is that your claim was not backed up by what the company calls “sufficient medical evidence.” Sometimes, a statement by your attending physician or medical group will not be enough, and you will need to supply X-Rays, MRIs, or other test results to back up your claim. A statement by a vocational expert attesting to the fact that you cannot work is also strongly suggested.
- Interviews & Medical Reviews: The Hartford might also send representatives to your home to interview you and assess the situation. The company may also have its own team of medical professionals review the supporting evidence you submitted to verify if your condition is truly disabling.
- Video & Other Surveillance: If The Hartford has already begun paying you — and sometimes even before — it is not uncommon for the company to hire a team to follow you and conduct video and photographic surveillance. This is perfectly legal as long as you are in a place where there is “little expectation of privacy,” such as a supermarket, restaurant, public street, or even a church.
- Social Media Evidence: As part of the surveillance, any comments, photos, or videos you post on your social media accounts will be viewed. If they show that your disability doesn’t prevent you from dancing or partying when you claim your back prevents you from working, the company can use that to withdraw your coverage.
What to Do If Your Benefits are Denied or Canceled
If your claim is denied, or your benefits are later canceled, The Hartford will send you a letter notifying you of the reasons. The letter may also give you a deadline for filing an appeal. Depending on whether you obtained your LTD policy through your employer or purchased it on your own, the appeals process and subsequent legal options may be a bit different, so you need to check with us at Beedem Law.
Any appeal is going to need to address the reasons stated in the cancellation or denial letter. We can help you assemble strong medical evidence and supporting documentation to buttress your appeal. You should also request a copy of your claim file, so you and we can assess where more evidence and documentation may be needed.
Contact Beedem Law for Your Claim or Appeal
With our more than five decades of experience in representing clients in their disability claims, we know how big insurers like The Hartford operate, and we are prepared to launch a strong appeal process. Better yet, before you even file your claim, contact us and let us help you assemble a claim package that covers all of the bases.
For all of your LTD insurance claim needs in or around the greater Minneapolis, Minnesota area, as well as Duluth, St. Paul, and throughout the counties of Hennepin, Ramsey, Dakota, or Anoka, contact us immediately at Beedem Law.