The Standard Insurance Company Denials
Are you or a loved one struggling with The Standard disability insurance? The experienced disability lawyers at Robinson & Warncke know that your struggle is all too common. For-profit disability insurance companies like the Standard sometimes take a hard line on both short and long-term disability claims.
Thankfully, disabled claimants have clear legal rights. We help our clients demand justice and the compensation they deserve when The Standard unfairly denies or delays their disability claims. Keep reading to learn more about our approach to The Standard disability insurance claims.
We Understand The Standard Insurance Company’s Tactics
Based out of Portland, Oregon The Standard Insurance Company is a major writer of both individual and group disability coverage. It is one of the largest providers of disability insurance in the United States. In 2018 alone, it collected more than $3 billion in insurance premiums from its policyholders. The Standard frequently partners with Minnesota Mutual Life Insurance Company in its disability insurance policies. It’s not uncommon to see both The Standard and Minnesota Mutual’s names on documents associated with a disability insurance claim. The companies handle both individual and employment-based disability plans.
In our experience, The Standard Insurance Company has penetrated the market in our home state for group disability coverage for doctors, lawyers, and other professionals. Standard also tends to use a relatively small group of doctor consultants to pick apart claims involving a wide range of medical conditions. In many of the cases we have handled, the insurance company has not given the policyholder the benefit of the doubt, despite all evidence suggesting the client was highly credible and hard working before an illness or injury changed everything.
We Have Recovered Millions of Dollars of Previously Denied Benefits Against The Standard
We have handled an unusually high percentage of cases against this company where it aggressively applied a “mental and nervous disorder limitation” to limit the claimant to 24 months of benefits on a career-ending injury. This company has some unique claims practices that can run afoul of federal claim handling regulations. And we have successfully sued The Standard based upon these violations. We have recovered millions of dollars of previously denied benefits against this company, including:
A total disability claim denied against our client who was the 61-year-old former managing partner of a major, multi-state law firm.
He had been working for years with a diagnosis of lymphoma. When he had to stop working The Standard Insurance Company denied the claim contending he could have kept working indefinitely. We convinced The Standard to pay this claim outright.
We handled a claim for another lawyer who fell down some stairs and suffered a “mild” traumatic brain injury causing incapacitating migraine headaches.
The Standard denied his claim and claimed that if he was disabled at all, it was due to depression. We sued The Standard and won the case on summary judgment.
A claim for yet another lawyer who was rear ended in a car wreck by a speeding car.
After the wreck our client was never the same mentally, and he could no longer practice law. The Standard asserted he was disabled by bipolar disorder that had previously been well controlled his whole life. We sued and determined that The Standard had applied its “mental and nervous disorder limitation” far too aggressively. After two favorable judicial rulings, the case settled favorably for the client.
These are but a few examples of the claim denials we have had overturned. Even as this copy is being written we are handling cases against The Standard Insurance Company involving remarkably similar issues. If your claim has been denied by this company, call the lawyers with a proven track record of bringing them to justice.
Did The Standard Deny Your Disability Insurance Claim?
The Standard Insurance Company offers a wide variety of disability insurance policies, including both short-term and long-term coverage. Standard offers different coverage features at different price points. Predictably, the better the coverage, the higher the premiums, and vice versa. Unless you are a business owner, you probably did not get any say in which version of Standard’s product your employer selected.
At Robinson & Warncke, we know that the first step in any Standard disability insurance claim is to carefully assess your plan documents. The fine print in these policy documents can have a major impact on the eligibility and procedural requirements for recovering benefits. Knowing the eligibility requirements upfront helps us determine how to tailor the proof to the policy conditions. Oftentimes, doctors intending to be supportive accidentally fill out your forms or write reports in a way that causes problems in the claims process. Having a disability insurance expert to interact with your doctors can help you avoid these problems.
If Standard denies your ERISA-governed claim for group disability benefits you will need to file an administrative appeal. As explained more fully here, the ERISA administrative appeal is absolutely required under the law, and your failure to appeal will almost always be the death of your claim. Moreover, the administrative appeal is, by far, the most important phase of your case. It is your best – and last – opportunity to submit detailed proof supporting your disability. Any subsequent lawsuit filed will adjudicated on the contents of your appeal, alone. The administrative appeal is also when a disability insurance expert attorney can best influence the outcome. To learn more about appeals, read our article Should I Handle My Own Appeal?
The Standard Disability Insurance Appeal Process
During the appeal process you have the right to obtain your claim file from the Standard, and you should always do so immediately after receiving notice of the adverse claim decision. The claim file will contain reports from whichever medical consultants and/or vocational consultants Standard retained to refute your evidence. During the administrative appeal, the lawyers at Robinson Warncke can assist you in understanding those reports, obtaining additional testing to help verify and quantify your symptoms and functional restrictions, and interacting with your doctors to respond to or rebut any omissions and inaccuracies in the insurance company consultant’s analysis.
The administrative appeal process is daunting, and borderline impossible to get right without expert guidance. If there is missing evidence at the end of your internal appeal of Standard’s disability insurance denial, you might never get another chance to fix the problem. The level of detail required to win an administrative appeal is far beyond what most laypeople believe necessary. This is not a criticism of our clients; it’s simply a fact that without a great deal of research and/or experience in these matters it is unlikely that anyone would ever get this right.
At Robinson & Warncke we have a 95% success rate in preparing administrative appeals that cause claims to be paid without having to resort to litigation. And in the other 5%, we are willing and able to file a federal lawsuit to keep pursuing your claim for benefits.
If you need help reviewing a denial of a Standard disability insurance claim, contact us today. Our lawyers offer free, no-risk consultations and would love to hear from you.
What Happens If The Standard Denies My Administrative Appeal?
If Standard has already denied your disability insurance appeal, don’t panic. It’s not uncommon for insurance companies to deny administrative appeals — even ones with compelling evidence. At this point, you’ve completed your internal appeal and can file a federal lawsuit against The Standard.
Notably, if you have an individually-purchased Standard disability insurance policy (which are not governed by ERISA), you may not be required to complete an administrative appeal process; however, it is generally still advisable to submit additional proof and request reconsideration. Not only might you be able to avoid litigation and get your claim paid – always a good thing – but in the event of litigation you can say to your jury (because it is true) that you tried everything possible to avoid filing a lawsuit.
It is important to understand that both state and federal laws impose strict deadlines on disability insurance claims. If you do not file your appeals within the correct time frame, you may lose your right to benefits. The filing deadlines and procedural requirements can vary from policy to policy. Again, if you need help understanding the time limits associated with your claim, contact Robinson & Warncke right away.
Request a Free Consultation of Your The Standard Disability Insurance Claim
If you believe that The Standard wrongfully denied your disability insurance claim, contact Robinson & Warncke today. Our team of experienced disability insurance lawyers will help you understand the complexities of your claim. We will also educate you about your legal rights and options. We offer free, confidential consultations and will not charge an attorney’s fee unless we accept your case. To get started, contact us today.