Beyond the issue of premiums, insurance rarely gets the attention it deserves until a traumatic event occurs. In personal injury cases, the type of policy may have a profound impact on the life of an injured or impaired person, especially when long-term disability is involved.
Long-term disability benefits protect employees’ earning power, whether they have a large group of dependants to support or only themselves. But when a serious personal injury strikes, the only thing more terrifying than a long recovery process is the thought of being left financially unprotected.
Group disability insurance plans are a popular choice for employees, particularly because insurance companies can spread risk over a wider area. But common complaints of group policies include poorer coverage and a less favourable definition of disability.
While individual disability policies can be tailored to meet your unique needs and status, group policies offer only a blanket, easy-to-manage solution. Group plans typically pay out a lower maximum monthly benefit, which won’t satisfy the needs of higher-earning employees. Here, a private policy can work on its own or to supplement this lower payout.
And while policies vary on a case-by-case basis, it often happens that group long-term disability policies use the “any occupation” definition of disability rather than the more forgiving “own occupation” test. With “any occupation,” long-term benefits would apply only if you couldn’t perform any job for which you are reasonably suited by education, training or experience.
This represents a major sticking point in long-term disability cases, where insurance companies often pressure injured or impaired workers into an unfavourable situation, such as retraining for another less-desirable position or simply cutting off benefits because they view the individual as ready to work again.
Horowitz Injury Law has extensive experience in winning clients their wrongfully denied long-term disability benefits. Whatever your level of coverage, you can request a free consultation of your case by visiting www.horowitzinjurylaw.com.