Florida Disability Insurance Lawyers
Disability Insurance Attorneys Proudly Serving Florida
There are two types of disability insurance policies. The more predominant type of policy is a group contract, provided to employees by their employer. As an “employee benefit” it is governed by a federal law, ERISA, that also governs health benefits, pensions, life insurance, etc. Disputes pursuant to these contracts are adjudicated by the federal courts, as a breach of ERISA, where the case law tends to favor the carriers. ERISA-classified claims do not have the advantage of attempting to recover punitive damages. Knowing the difference is key. Contact one of our skilled Florida disability insurance lawyers for a free case evaluation.
Private Disability Insurance
The second type of disability plan is a private policy, which covers an individual rather than a group, in a benefit insurance contract. The individual obtains, or purchases, his/her own policy from an insurance company and usually owns the policy, not the group or employer. Disputes relative to these private policies are usually adjudicated in state courts as a simple breach of contract. The rules for these private contracts can vary from state to state, but they are generally more favorable to the policy holder than an ERISA or group contract.
Procedures in state courts tend to be more lax or lenient and there is no automatic presumption of “arbitrary and capricious review” if insurers reserve discretion, or the authority over the administration of the claim. In these cases, damages may not always be limited to the monthly benefit multiplied by the number of months not paid. Additionally, those who are independently insured can seek punitive damages as a result of wrongfully denied claims or bad faith practices. Due to these factors, there are more liberal provisions for payment of attorney fees if the claimant prevails. Generally, benefits for private policies are non-taxable because the premiums are paid by you, the policyholder.
Contact the Experienced Florida Disability Insurance Lawyers at Lieberman & Zagoria Today
Whether you are covered by a group plan or have obtained a private policy, when you have been denied your disability benefits it can be frustrating. Knowing the specifics of insurance rules and the legal procedure is overwhelming. It is a mountain of insurance-talk, paperwork and deadlines. Let us do the heavy lifting for you. Contact Lieberman & Zagoria, P.A. for a free consultation today.