Meeting with a Disability Insurance Agent
Save any marketing brochures, pamphlets and ads presented by the insurance company. These may be beneficial should there be any inconsistency in policy coverages.
Question the Agent.
Ask for a full and complete disclosure of all the key provisions in any policy you are thinking of buying. This should include an explanation of what is and is not covered by the policy. You need to know about all important coverage, exclusion, limitation and restriction provisions, as well as dollar deductions, waiting periods and limits.
Based on the information you provide, you are entitled to receive an evaluation of the amount of coverage you need, and an explanation of the basis for the amounts that would be provided. This is in order to assure that the coverage under the policy is sufficient and in order to avoid underinsurance in the event of a loss.
You must be sure to read the insurance application yourself, before submitting. If there is any significant misstatement or omission in the application you could wind up paying premiums for years only to have the company rescind (refuse to honor) your coverage at the time of a claim.
You have the right to be shown a copy of the actual policy being purchased, not just a proposal or summary, before you purchase it.
Ask if your policy is governed by ERISA. ERISA policies eliminate important rights under state insurance laws. Always ask the agent whether there is an alternative, NON-ERISA policy available.
Ask the agent whether any recent, substantial fines, disciplinary actions, jury verdicts or appellate rulings have been rendered against the insurance company you are considering. Bear in mind that the larger the insurance company, the larger the number of its policyholders, and the greater the chance a company may have made mistakes in the past. There is a difference between making mistakes and patterns of fraudulent or unfair claims handling.
In many situations, if the company’s insurance agent has misstated the coverage offered, the company can be held responsible and must make good on the agent’s promises.
Ask the agent if he or she can give you a comparison between different companies and policies, including pros and cons pertaining to your particular situation.
Ask the agent for copies of each policy under consideration? If they are unavailable, ask “why not,” and “How long will it take to obtain them?