Proof of Loss Requirements:
A Case Study

As part of the disability insurance claim process, your insurer will ask for various categories of proof of loss to support your disability claim. What happens if you fail to provide all of the requested information? In all likelihood, your claim will be denied.

This was the case in Lipsky v. Principal.[1] Lipsky, a licensed insurance agent, filed a claim for residual disability with his insurer, Principal. In reply, Principal asked for evidence demonstrating Proof of Loss, including claim forms, proof of loss of prior earnings, proof of current earnings, medical records and attendance at a interview with a Principal agent. In response, Lipsky submitted one of the claim forms, but none of the additional requested information. Principal went on to deny the claim and uphold its denial when Lipsky did not produce the remainder of the request.

Lipksy, for his part, claimed that had submitted enough evidence to establish his eligibility for residual disability. He also argued that Principal, under Nevada law, could not request specific form documentation. The Court found that Principal was within its rights to request specific information to establish proof of loss and that Lipsky had not provided sufficient information to make a claim under the policy.

The case highlights the importance of carefully reviewing your policy and all communication from your insurer to determine what evidence is required to establish a claim for benefits. An experienced disability insurance attorney can help you determine whether what your insurer is asking for is allowed under the terms of your policy.

If you feel that your claim has been targeted for not meeting proof of loss requirements, please feel free to contact one of our attorneys directly.

[1] Lipsky v. Principal Life Ins. Co., 2:05-CV-0967-RCJ-LRL, 2007 WL 9728677 (D. Nev. March 22, 2007).

Every claim is unique and the discussion above is only a limited summary of the court’s ruling in this case. If you are concerned that your insurer is using any of the tactics above to evaluate your claim, an experienced disability insurance attorney can help you assess the situation and determine what options, if any, are available.


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