THE NEED TO BLABBER………
Nearly every caller to DCS in the last month describes “horrible” claims experiences “when speaking to insurers on the phone.” Of course, as most of my readers know, DCS, Inc. supports the rights of insureds to request all communications in writing so that he/she will actually have time to think about what appropriate responses should be. Insureds taking certain prescribed medications should also be aware that written communications are in their best interest.
When given the opportunity, most insureds, by human nature, feel the need to try to convince insurers claims are credible. As a result insureds OVER SPEAK claims feeding insurers with information that really isn’t relevant to claims decisions. In addition, some insureds can only calm their stress and worry by picking up the phone to gain reassurance from claims handlers that all is well. Speaking to insurance companies on the phone is generally a recipe for disaster whether the conversation is between claimant and insurer, or claimant’s physician and insurance doc.
To be clear, insureds and claimants need to provide honest and truthful answers to financial, occupational, and medical questions raised by insurers. As long as the information is provided in writing, and insureds are forthcoming with relevant information, there is no negative context or consequence to requesting all communications in writing. It’s generally NOT the insurance company that has a problem with written communications, but insureds who just can’t keep their hands away from the phone, or who continuously need to be reassured all is well with their claim.
Insureds should also be reminded that it is impossible for anyone to convince their insurance company of the credibility of a disability claim. Insurers do not care what YOU have to say, but rely on their own assessment of internal review to make determinations to pay or not pay claims. Most of, “I wish I could return to work, but I just can’t” goes in one ear and out the other and probably isn’t even written down in the record.
The only time insureds should communicate with insurers by phone is to inquire, “When can I expect to receive my check?” Disability checks can be late , and literally the only way to resolve anxiety is to call and find out when you can expect to receive it. Other than this one situation, all communications with insurance companies should be in writing.
For claimants who are still trying to manage claims themselves, all communications between insureds and insurer should be in writing. If disability insurance were any other business transaction you would insist on having written communications. DCS, Inc. continues to support the rights of insureds and claimants to request all insurance communications in writing.
Creating a paper trail with accurate information that cannot be misrepresented is a best practice in disability claims management.
STAY AWAY FROM INSURER EMAIL WEBSITES…..DON’T ENCRYPT…FAX.
Insureds and claimants are reporting major confusion and delays when communicating with insurers via designated websites. Paperwork is continuously lost; and, communicating with insurers by email probably causes more of a danger of OVER SPEAKING claims than phone calls. As most of you know, email isn’t the best means of communication, and insureds may have a tendency to write more in emails than they ordinarily would say.
DCS, Inc. opts for the more conventional paper trail of faxing well-written, clear letters to insurers. Information should be sent US Priority Mail with Signature Confirmation. Priority Mail can be tracked and it’s very hard to dispute lack of receipt when signature confirmed.
Encrypted email websites also do not insure communications from the sites are added to Administrative Records and claim files. Attorneys should take particular notice whether disclosed claims files contain downloads of encrypted website communications and paperwork creating a complete disclosure of the official record.
In any event, insureds and claimants should stay clear of insurance email websites and opt for faxed written communications and Priority Mail.
As a reminder, communications should also not be taking place between patient and doctor by email.
This just in…..
Apparently, Unum’s website places a tracking cookie on your system. Think about this very carefully.