Could Your Tech Be Hurting You? : Apps
Welcome to part two of our three part series dealing with digital media and the ways that it can affect the disability insurance claims process. We have already taken a look at Facebook and how your profile can affect your claim. This week, we are discussing insurance company mobile apps. We’re taking a look at this potentially harmful form of technology, and how insurance companies could use it to deny you benefits.
Since everything from food to transportation has an app, insurance companies are also looking to take advantage of this growing technology. This can be helpful to disability insurers seeking to reduce costs and eliminate human error in claims administration, as apps can streamline processes that would normally require at least a phone conversation. The Hartford, for instance, created a mobile app that allows you to manage your claims wherever you have a smartphone, which in most people’s cases, is everywhere. Unum Group has also joined the technology rush by developing an app of its own.
The Hartford’s app claims that you can start a short-term disability claim, update your personal data, and check the status of a claim, including your payment information. It also provides you with definitions and benefits details meant to help you navigate through the claims process. The Unum app comes with features that allow you to upload images of documents and authorization forms that are needed to evaluate claims and you can also get in direct contact with a service representative. While it seems that these apps could be extremely handy, we would caution you to use care in filling out any of the information, just as you would completing paperwork on a claim.
An insurance company could potentially use information that is carelessly filled out, or mistakenly filled out incorrectly to deny a claim. Further, mobile apps, while convenient, can lead to an over share of information. For example, it’s not hard to imagine an insurer creating a mobile app that includes location tracking—a common feature of many apps—to aid in surveillance. We would advise you to carefully consider whether to use an insurance company app, be very vigilant about what information you put in the app, or to at least consult with a disability insurance lawyer before using it.