Posts Tagged ‘investigation’

Pin itGuardian has been on my radar quite a bit lately from not paying previous residual periods of disability, to irate claims handlers, to over-the-top investigations that cross the line into personal privacy issues.

Another insured called DCS today to report that already Guardian’s investigators have knocked on her door and she hasn’t even filed a claim yet! Notice of claim was given by a financial advisor (a story for another post) and as a result the company took off on investigating her with an impromptu visit from a private investigator who alleged “he was in the area and thought he’d  just stop by.”

I have never really regarded Berkshire/Guardian as a fair insurer, but for a long time my dealings with the company have been relatively good. Recently though the company and its representatives seem to have made a double-turn into aggressive investigation beyond what is required for investigation of a disability claim.

Unfortunately, the insured who called me today was a victim of two sources of awful information – a financial advisor who actually called Guardian to make “notice of claim” for the insured, and an attorney who refused to help complete application paperwork, but who recommended she apply for SSDI when the insured didn’t meet the criteria for SSDI. Oh my……

It has always been my experience that when a disability insurer seems to take an arbitrary left turn in “patterns of business practices”, management is redefining internal protocols to keep the liability acceptance rate down. I suspect in the last several years Guardian’s management increased its investigatory goals and practices and is redefining the claims process in order to pay fewer claims.

Guardian is really not doing itself any favors by gaining the poor public reputation it seems dedicated to have right now. Some have said that Guardian is not the company it used to be and many prospective insureds are moving over to Northwestern Mutual. Loss of market share isn’t a good thing for any insurance company.

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