By Jamie K. Fleischner, CLU, ChFC, LUTCF
President, Set for Life Insurance
I often get calls from clients telling me they were recently diagnosed with an illness or were in an accident and are unsure if they should file a claim.
The companies want to be notified within 30 days of such an occurrence to start the claims process. But how do you know if you are going to need to file?
This week I had a client of mine who is an anesthesiologist (I’ll call her Dr. Irving) informed me she was in a bad accident about a month ago. She has been completely out of work is getting ready to have back surgery. She was unsure if she needed to file a claim.
The first thing I needed to know was her prognosis. How long was she going to be out of work completely? Did she expect to be able to go back full time or part time?
In Dr. Irving’s situation, she was unsure at this point. She knew she was going to be completely out for at least 6 weeks. Thereafter, she may be able to go back either full or part time during her recovery.
The best thing for Dr. Irving to do is to keep track of her hours and her pay. Under her policy’s residual rider, if she has a 20% or more loss of income, she would be able to file a claim for that percentage of her policy. If she has more than a 75% or more loss of income, she would receive full benefits.
Since Dr. Irving already has future increase options on her policy, she does not need to worry about purchasing more benefits in the future. As such, she can file a claim and it won’t adversely impact her ability to increase her benefits in the future without medical exclusions.
By filing the claim early, this will expedite the process if/when she needs to start receiving benefits.
Each case is different. It is important to make sure you are working with an experienced disability insurance specialist who can assist you at the time of claim to help you determine what is best for your individual situation.
For more information about disability insurance and the claims process, please contact Set for Life Insurance today!