When a disabled individual’s claim has become what many companies call “stable and mature,” the insurance company may seek to buyout (settle) the claim for something less than its total value. There are administrative costs to an insurance company to monitor the claim, which includes the annual process (or more often) of collecting claimant information, additional opinions from attending physicians, and other administrative functions. For this reason, an insurance company will attempt to take advantage of a claimant and offer a lump sum, which at first may look quite attractive to the disabled individual. We recommend that individuals in this situation have their disability buyout offer reviewed by an experienced attorney who can offer advice on the reasonableness of the offer presented by the insurance company and to negotiate a better deal.
Disability insurance companies look at several factors in determining whether to offer a lump sum settlement. These factors may include:
- Medical and financial information available at the time of the buyout review
- The bond rate as published in the Wallstreet Journal, or some other barometer of the appropriate discount rate
- General uncertainties of the future such as interest rate fluctuations, unforeseen accidents, and other risks
- Morbidity and mortality rates
- The possibility of medical advancements
The Denver disability attorneys at the McDermott Law have assisted many individuals in the negotiation of a fair buyout of their disability claim. Please contact us, if you are faced with this issue, and require a review of your claim to determine if a buyout of your long-term disability claim makes sense for you.