Waiver of Premium – (Life Insurance) Claims
Many employer benefit plans also include a provision that entitle a disabled individual to receive group life insurance at no cost. This is commonly referred to as a “waiver of premium” or “disability premium waiver” benefit. The available life insurance often comities for the duration of the disability, or until retirement age, such as age 65.
Disability premium waiver benefits may be handled automatically where, for example, the same insurance company insures both the employer’s long term disability plan and its life insurance plan. In such cases, the insurer may accept a single claim form for both long term disability income replacement benefits and for life insurance disability waiver of premium benefits. However, in other cases, the disabled employee will be required to file a claim and must do so near the end of the waiting period, which is typically anywhere from 6-12 months.
Even if a disabled employee has no dependents and does not view the life insurance coverage as an important financial planning component for the employee’s family, submitting a claim for disability waiver of premium benefits should not be overlooked. If the employee has already applied for long term disability benefits, much of that claim information may be re-purposed for the disability waiver of premium claim.
The definition of disability required to obtain disability premium waiver benefits can vary, as is the case with long term disability benefits. Depending on the life insurance plan, the claimant may have to be disabled from “any occupation,” the employee’s “regular occupation,” or the employee’s “own occupation.” Although life insurance coverage and long term disability coverage may be offered by the same insurance company, the disability standard may be different as between the two plans.
Our attorneys can assist with a targeted claim for disability waiver benefits, appeal a denied premium waiver claim, or fight in court for a waiver claim that has been denied through the appeals process. We have also successfully negotiated lump-sum buyouts of waiver of premium life insurance claims.