Founded in 1810, The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc.—better known as "The Hartford"—is an investment and insurance company offering a range of products, including both short and long-term disability insurance.
As of 2019, The Hartford had a net income of $2.1 billion and was ranked 161 on the Fortune 500 list.
Despite these astronomical profits, Hartford is well-known for both denying and delaying legitimate insurance claims.
This is particularly true when it comes to claims for long-term disability (LTD).
Hartford uses different tactics to wrongly refuse to pay policyholders’ claims.
The Hartford was mentioned in Congressional Testimony for its bad faith claims handling practices. And The Hartford was even sued by the Atlanta Braves for its disability claims practices and investigated by California’s Insurance Commissioner for its practices.
Was Your Hartford Disability Claim Denied in Bad Faith?
Unfortunately, disability insurance companies act in bad faith more often than one might imagine.
There are several reasons why Hartford may deny your LTD claim.
One reason is that their process is set up for you to fail from the beginning.
It’s no secret that the majority of LTD claims are denied the first time.
Hartford often words their disability applications in such a way to solicit a denial.
Common red flags of possible illegitimate claim delays or denials are:
- You failed to meet Hartford’s definition of “disability”
- Requests for independent medical examinations by doctors in the wrong specialty
- Massive requests for duplicative claim documentation
- Denials that are not accompanied by any real explanations or evidentiary proof
- Failing to make a claim decision within a reasonable amount of time
- Failing to relate relevant policy and benefit information to the claimant
- They claim you have a preexisting condition
- They claim there is no objective evidence of your disability
- Hartford misinterpreted the extent of your limitations
- Hartford had inaccurate information about your job description and duties
- Hartford disregarded your doctor’s recommendations
- You were “caught” on surveillance
Am I Able to Appeal My Hartford Long-Term Disability Denial?
Fortunately, there is a way that you can fight back against unfair tactics by Hartford.
If Hartford denies your long-term disability claim, you have every right to appeal their decision and fight for your benefits.
Because ERISA governs employer-provided group disability insurance plans, you are required to exhaust Hartford’s internal appeals process before you will be allowed to file a lawsuit in court.
Your denial letter will tell you why the company decided to deny your claim and will outline how you can file an appeal as well as the deadline for doing so.
In most cases, you will have only 180 days to appeal their decision. Don’t miss this deadline!
If you do, you will not be able to try to recover benefits for your disability from Hartford in the future.
How Can a Long-Term Disability Attorney Help You After Hartford Denied Your Claim?
If you decide to file your claim on your own, be aware that the process isn't always easy. Not having a long-term disability attorney makes you vulnerable to the insurance company giants, and Hartford knows this.
Gathering medical records from all of your doctors and remembering deadlines can be extremely difficult when all you feel is constant pain.
When you’re dealing with a disability, you need someone in your corner. Someone whose only interest is your best interest.
An experienced LTD lawyer will ease the burden of hunting down medical records and filing reports.
They’ll keep track of Hartford’s deadlines and fight for you to get the long-term disability benefits you rightfully deserve.