Disability Insurance for Businesses – Radio Guesting December 14, 2021

Disability Insurance for Businesses – Radio Guesting December 14, 2021

| News & Updates

00:00

I’m going to go in with my first guest. And I’m really excited about bringing it because we’re going to be talking a little bit about something a little different than we normally do. I have Troy Froderman with me, and he’s one of the principles of FR Law Group. Before you came on, we’ve been talking a little bit about this new subject that we’re going to talk about today. And one of the things that you said to me was Carol, you either are going to get disabled, or you’re going to know somebody who’s going to be disabled at some point in their life. So welcome to the show. Tell everybody a little bit about yourself about FR Law Group, and then about what we’re going to talk about today. 

00:34

Thank you, Carol. Yes, FR Law Group, we have been practicing as a group. Now starting our fifth year, I started back in 1989 with a large firm then moved to an international law firm, where I was head of the litigation department for a lot of years. And we were traveling around the globe and learning a ton of information, and were able to have the luxury of working for very large clients that had a very large legal spend. And four to five years ago, I decided that maybe it’s time to take all of that experience and be able to represent clients that didn’t have that type of budget, where you could just spend all your time researching and providing legal advice to very large companies. And so my law partner and I, and then several of our colleagues, we formed the group haven’t looked back once. And it’s been a really great experience after spending, you know, 27 years, with a large firm. What I thought we could talk about today is a little different, but it’s something that at FR Law Group, we’re able to provide to individuals. I could never do this at a large national law firm. So everybody who’s employed, the vast majority of people have disability insurance. They either have it through their employer, which is called a group plan. Or, if you’re a consultant or a small company, you may go out and buy what’s called an owner-occupied policy. I’m going to spend most of our time today, Carol talking about the latter part. The group policies are all governed by ERISA, which was formed in 1974. And it was really to provide security to employees who are working for unions in large organizations. There’s not a lot of wiggle room within those policies. So if there’s a dispute, you’re going up against a very large institution that has most of the rules on their side. So unlike that, a group policy is something that you’re not obligated to buy. But if you do, you purchase it through a number of different companies. And the benefit to you is you pay a premium. And then, if you are disabled, God forbid, that policy should be in there for your protection and your families. And I thought what might be worthwhile in terms of talking about that is giving you a real-life example. Yeah. So we had somebody come to us who was an IT consultant, again, I could not have done this in a large law firm. He came to us and said, You know, I’ve spent decades in the IT field, I travel around, I give advice. And unfortunately, I ended up having to have eye surgery. And as a result of the eye surgery, I ended up with a disability that basically prevents him from looking into a strain for any significant period of time. So he said, I tendered that claim to my life and nurture my disability carrier. And the response back initially was that, well, now you’re an IT consultant, you’re not in front of a computer screen, you’re out visiting with people giving them advice. And his response was, Well, the only way I can give people advice is through the research and the computer work that I do. So we were able to get the company to resend the denial. But then some period later they came back and said, Well, we’ve had a somebody, one of our medical consultants, review your medical records, they didn’t meet with the client that just looked at his medical records, and determine that, well, you know, you really could be able to still do computer work looking at a screen by resting your eyes every 30 minutes for a few minutes.

04:39

We said, well, that’s ridiculous. And so, like we’ve said in the past with other types of policies, an insurance policy is nothing more, and it’s nothing less than a contract. So the terms of that contract govern the obligations of the parties. And so his particular Disability Policy said that he is deemed to be disabled if he cannot function with regular duties of his regular occupation. And we listed what those duties were. And he can only do maybe five of the 20. And so long story short, we ended up reaching a resolution that made our client whole. And again, that everybody has in their lifetime, at some point, a need for that type of policy. Not all the time do you have a lawyer such as myself get involved. But when you think that you’ve been wronged? Or that you have a question about what they say, I’m not disabled under the terms and conditions of the policy, that’s when you should go to somebody like FR Law Group?

05:52

Well, as I was listening to you, my brain was thinking for everybody else. Right. And I’m a layman person, so I’m going to ask that kind of question. So they’re listening, the person that is working, who is the employee? He? Would they be the ones that would call you? Or is it the firm or the company who would be the one that would make that call to you?

06:16

It would be the individual because remember, if you’re in, if you’re employed by a company, that company is going to have an ERISA policy. 

06:27

They’re the ones that they’re going to call you. And when you work with people, you do free consultations, yes. Okay. So the best thing to do, and I also asked you this before, because sometimes somebody listening is able, that happened to me. But it happened maybe a couple of years ago, or what have you. And I asked you before you came on, were there, you know, any statutes of limitations?

06:47

Sure, on a written breach of contract, so if the insurance company denies your claim, you have six years to sue them to try to get that?

06:57

Well, to me, when I love my show. And the reason why it’s because of all of the information that people get here. So you’re listening to this, maybe you may be someone that you know, we all said you said it, it’s either you or someone that you know is going to have this happen. So their phone number to call is 602-566-7425. It’s frlawgroup.com. The best thing to do is to call and have that consultation and find out, you know, ask the questions. That’s the best thing to do.

07:27

It really is, and when you’re looking at a lawyer to advise you on that, I wouldn’t want somebody to come to me and ask me about tax advice. So make sure that the lawyer who you’re dealing with is actually an expert in the area that you need.

07:43

Like them, their phone number again, it’s 602-566-7425. It’s frlawgroup.com. Hang tight, and we’ll be back in just a minute.

11:01

So welcome back everyone, disability, and you know what you said before disability insurance for businesses, I want to make that really clear. But one of the things at the break that we were talking about is that most people don’t even know that they can even buy something like this or that they buy whole life insurance policies. And let’s go talk a bit about that.

11:22

So life insurance policies and disability policies, people who buy them, the vast majority don’t have any idea of what’s actually contained in the policies. I just think that they have the security of having both. So in addition to the private disability policy, if you do become disabled, for whatever reason, you should also look at your life insurance policy and talk to your agent who sold you that life insurance policy, because most of those policies, in addition to a death benefit, also have disability payments. And so those would be in addition to supplementing what your disability policy is already going to pay you. And the other thing that is helpful in that regard is that when you are on disability, most policies waive the premium requirement. That makes sense. The same is true for your life insurance policy. If you’re paying annual or quarterly, or monthly premium payments, but you’re disabled, and you’re getting a benefit from that life insurance policy, those premiums would likely be waived as well. So not only are you receiving income, but you’re reducing your costs.

12:37

I also want to make it clear to them too that we’re talking about anyone, not just businesses right now, anyone that’s working for a company, correct.

12:45

This is for anybody who is employed. Usually, it’s self-employed, or a consultant, or the management of a company. They make it for their executives, private disability policies,

12:59

I asked you while we were on the break talking to Facebook land, how many times does this happen?

13:06

It happens more than we would like to think. The number of reported disability claims on a daily basis would shock you. It’s well into the hundreds. Yes. And part of it is maybe our society in terms of 30 years ago, we’d probably just say I’m just gonna go work through this, you know, I’m not that person. Today that is less of a case. In fact, there’s probably more people who file for disability who probably don’t apply, or it doesn’t apply for them, right. But nonetheless, there are, and we’re talking about this on the break. So as the individual, when you have your disability claim, you submit the claim to an insurance company, ABC. ABC has a whole cadre of consultants and staff whose primary job now is going to sound jaded, whose primary job is, they would say, to get you back to work. But it is really to deny your claim. I guess it could be one horse. But if you literally can’t do your job yet, they’re trying to make it so that you don’t get your benefits. Then it’s a stacked deck. It’s you against the insurance company and all of its legions of consultants and staff members.

14:31

That’s needing somebody like you who’s experienced. 

14:35

Yeah, you really do. And, again, no one should come to me for tax advice. We do insurance recovery, and we do it in a lot of lines there. We’ve talked about this before. There are as many lines of insurance for businesses and individuals as you could possibly imagine. I thought what might also be of interest is another example of a private policy, which actually involves the lawyer. The lawyer was, had been practicing for about 25 years, and got some bad press, serious bad press, it was all kind of a hatchet job on this lawyer, without getting into the details. She was so afraid that she became depressed, possibly suicidal, and couldn’t, could not function as a lawyer. And she did try work. And she just couldn’t do it. She had a private disability policy. She tendered it to the carrier, and the carrier initially accepted the claim. And then after about, I’d want to say one or two years, the consultants came back for the insurance company and said, Well, we see here that you know, she did this type of legal work, what she could do, kind of what, like what a paralegal might do, or first or second-year associate might do. And so no, you’re no longer disabled, according to the terms and conditions of the policy. She came to us. We fought it out with the carrier. We were able to get her to a point where she doesn’t have to go back into an environment that was very, very hostile for her health.

16:16

Well, what scared me is what you said that they came back two years after they had already taken the claim, right said they took it on, right?

16:25

The first example I gave you with a gentleman who had an eye problem. They came back five years later, five years, well, how can they do that. So under the terms of those policies, you have to submit on a quarterly basis, sometimes even more frequent medical records, you have to fill out the information as to what you’ve been doing, really, for how long until your policy no longer provides the benefits. And so that part of it’s really not that severe. But when they take the information that you’re putting down, they manipulate it for the purposes of denying coverage. That’s wrong. 

17:06

To me, it’s severe for the person that’s dealing with it, right. And, I mean, again, that also is what I call a service that you don’t really need. And you have to have somebody that is there for you that is experienced. You have to know your claim. You have to understand the claim. I think that’s where it all starts.

17:24

We talked about this. I made this on the break. These cases are all very heavy medical intensive. Because the insurance company has any type of specialized medical consultant that you can imagine that is on their pay to review medical records. They also sometimes do what’s called the independent medical examinations, where they require the insured, the policyholder, to go and be physically examined by a doctor who doesn’t treat them. And I mean, that’s okay, you know, it’s alright for the insurance company to confirm that you’re still disabled. But typically, what happens is that they will go out and get a physician who’s already in the bag, if you will.

18:11

I also wanted to ask if thinking about this to some of the things that we’re trying, let’s say if you are working for a construction company, like you said, this IT guy did attorney that this happened, so we’re going all over the board right here. Could it be even somebody like I was thinking about somebody who I know that worked for a big, like, Marriott spot, let’s put it that way. Let’s say that’s the name of it, and they got hurt. Would they be someone that could also call someone like you that came back on something that they did while at work that happened to them?

18:46

They could, but those types of claims, again, are governed by ERISA. 

18:51

So again, that’s back to ERISA. And so how do you know if it is or not? 

18:57

Well, if it’s a group plan, that’s ERISA, if it’s something that you individually go out and purchase?

19:02

Again, so how many did you say a lot of people do? How many people go out and purchase that when they go and work for someone? I think they think they’re covered.

19:10

But most do, but I think a lot of people go out and do it by their own policies because they’ve had a bad experience.

19:18

If you’ve been working for something like a construction company and you’re making, like you’re walking on those really high places and you might fall, I’m sure you bought one, right?

19:28

Probably not because it’s no. Well, doctors, consultants, executive management, self-employed individuals.

19:41

Okay, there you go. So it’s, but again, it’s still sort of all over the board.

19:46

It is, and I feel like I’m portraying the disability insurance carriers as evil. Because we’ve said this in the past, with just a general insurance claim called a general liability claim. Not every insurance claim is good or legitimate, but most are. And you can view that because that’s typically the way we are dealing with it as a business going after a loss for its insurance company. In this realm, however, I tend to personalize it a little bit more because now you really are the little person. Yeah, against a big bully. So not all disability claims, you know, they come to us, and I’ll read the policy, and I’ll read their, their profile, I’ll talk with them. And if I don’t think they are going to fall within the definition of disability, we will certainly tell them so. But I can tell you that by a wide margin, most legitimate claims get messed with by the insurance company.

20:51

The phone number to call them is area code 602-566-7425, their website is fr law group.com. They do free consultations. I mean, that is what it’s all about is really sitting down and finding out what’s what happened. And let’s see what we can do.

21:08

Right. And on these types of claims that we’re talking about. Those are usually on a contingency fee basis. And remember, I said I could never do these at a large firm because a large firm, you have to pay for the staff, you have to pay for all the associates, you have to pay for the overhead. You know, ours is a fraction of what they have. So we can take on contingency fee cases of this nature. Because it’s again, the cost of just the experts to pay for them to battle the insurance concept is very expensive, and even somebody with a modest income probably couldn’t afford that without some type of assistance from his or her law firm.

21:51

Well, again, I always tell myself what I love about the show again. I’ll say it again, it’s the information that they hear. It might be you and it might be someone that you know we started it off with, and I think we said it once before within the segment. Either it’s going to happen to you, or you’re going to know somebody that it happens to, and the best thing to do is to have that consultation with them their phone number again it is 602-566-7425 again, that website is frlawgroup.com, final words real quick.

22:23

Just like we say with all of your insurance. Make sure that you have your insurance policies in hardcopy. You have them organized because you don’t want to be hunting them down when you are in desperate need of them.

22:35

Again, that number to call is 602-566-7425 It’s frlawgroup.com.