Liberty Mutual’s Disability Insurance Practices Not Consumer-Friendly

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Aug 5, 2019

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Liberty Mutual’s disability insurance practices may not be what most call consumer-friendly. In fact, the insurer was recently named one of the ten worst insurance companies in America according to the American Association for Justice because it simply doesn’t follow the rules.

Rules vs. practices

There are rules and then there are practices. Unfortunately for companies like Liberty Mutual, the two are generally very different. Bob Scott, a California attorney and partner with the Advocate Law Group, told us that he believes disability insurance carriers don’t follow the rules intentionally and thinks that the top echelon of the company is to blame. He explained:

The insurance companies legal departments’ obviously know that rules are not being followed because they get sued over it time and time again. I also think that the reason for some of it is because they often train non-skilled people. Many of these claims folks do not have college educations, do not have a background in insurance, do not have a background in medicine or in the insurance regulatory background and they just do what they’re told.

Scott told us that he has seen a report by one of the big actuaries providing a strategy to these companies on how to avoid applying the rules, and that is – don’t let the treating doctor ever decide disability. He says that insurers tell their claims people to decide disability in a vacuum and then don’t even tell the doctors the definition of disability.

Liberty Mutual Bad faith

Liberty Mutual has been accused of many tactics in the past, including abandoning policyholders after receiving too many claims due to hurricanes, allegedly engaging in bid rigging and delaying and denying claims payments in cases where valid claims have been submitted. All of this equates to bad faith insurance practices. While not consumer-friendly, consumers can do something about it.

Take it to the top

When a disability insurer has acted in bad faith, consumers can contact their state’s Insurance Commissioner and file a complaint. According to Scott, “It’s very important because it lets the Commissioner, and the world, know how many complaints there are against this company. Those are all public record; any citizen can go on any insurance commissioner’s site and find the number of complaints that have come in on any individual company, and that’s very important for them to look at.”

If Liberty Mutual has acted in bad faith regarding your valid disability insurance claim, contact an attorney whose practice focuses in the area of disability insurance law. Consultations are free, without obligation and strictly confidential. To contact an experienced insurance attorney, please click here.

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