South Carolina Disability Insurance Claims

We are a healthcare/professional disability insurance law firm with a national reputation for obtaining successful results for our clients. Our firm has represented physicians, dentists, lawyers, executives and other professionals throughout the country, with the goal of securing and protecting their entitlement to benefits on own-occupation disability insurance policies.

We consult with physicians, dentists, attorneys and business executives filing disability claims throughout South Carolina, including the Columbia and Charleston areas. If you’d like to discuss your particular claim with our attorneys, we are happy to set up a free consultation.

Below are some resources for policyholders filing disability insurance claims in South Carolina. If you would like to learn more about the disability claim process or insurance bad faith in other states, please visit our homepage.

Does South Carolina Recognize Insurance Bad Faith?

South Carolina does recognize insurance bad faith, and the Supreme Court of South Carolina has confirmed that “the insurer owes the insured a duty of good faith and fair dealing” arising under insurance contracts. Charleston Dry Cleaners & Laundry, Inc. v. Zurich Am. Ins. Co., 355 S.C. 614, 617, 586 S.E.2d 586, 588 (2003).

As outlined by the South Carolina Court of Appeals, “[t]o establish a bad faith claim against an insurance company, the plaintiff must show: (1) the existence of a mutually binding contract of insurance between plaintiff and defendant; (2) an insurer’s refusal to provide benefits due under the contract; (3) resulting from the insurer’s bad faith or unreasonable action and breach of an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing arising out of the contract; and (4) causing damage to the insured.” Peterson v. W. Am. Ins. Co., 336 S.C. 89, 102, 518 S.E.2d 608, 614–15 (Ct. App. 1999) (internal citations omitted).

Additionally, “[i]f a mutually binding contract exists and the denial is found to be in bad faith or unreasonable, the insurer is liable for consequential losses caused by its breach of the express and implied obligations of the contract.” Id.

The case excerpts above are not meant to be a comprehensive discussion of each state’s first-party bad faith or disability insurance law. They are merely meant to act as a resource/starting point for those interested in learning more about how insurance bad faith works in their state.

You should always speak with an attorney before making any legal arguments relating to your disability claim.

Notable South Carolina Disability Insurance Cases

Russell v. Penn. Life Ins. Co., No. 2014-000671 (S.C. Ct. App. Apr. 13, 2016) (South Carolina policyholder filed a disability claim after injuring his left leg and hip in a motorcycle accident; Penn Life initially paid benefits but then learned that alcohol might have been involved in the accident, cited the policy’s intoxication exclusion and refused to pay benefits; the court determined that whether the policyholder was intoxicated was an issue of fact and remanded the case back to the lower court to resolve the factual questions at trial).

Dunlap v. Metro. Life Ins. Co., 235 S.C. 206, 110 S.E.2d 856, (1959) (South Carolina Dentist filed a disability claim with MetLife after injuring his right hand; he did not have an “own occupation” policy and his policy required that he be disabled “from engaging in any occupation or employment for wage or profit”; MetLife denied benefits because the dentist engaged in horticulturist and farming activities and received some compensation for his services, in addition to having investment income from stocks and bonds; on appeal, the court determined that “[t]he fact that an insured receives income from sources other than work or occupation does not preclude his recovery of disability benefits”; the court held that the dentist did not have to disclose his stock and bond purchases to the insurance company and left it to the trial court to resolve the other issues in the case).

Davis v. Metro. Life Ins. Co., 164 S.C. 444, 162 S.E. 429 (1932) (South Carolina clerk filed a disability claim due to an elbow injury and resulting complications necessitating multiple operations; MetLife determined that he was only partially disabled, but the jury determined that MetLife’s denial was improper; on appeal, the court affirmed the judgment).

Common Disability Claim Questions

What should I expect when filing a disability claim?

What issues am I most likely to face handling my disability insurance claim alone?

Why are disability insurance claims made by physicians, dentists and other professionals especially targeted for denial or termination?

My disability claim was just denied. What should I do now?

What can my insurance company do when it is investigating my claim?

Do insurance companies conduct surveillance and, if so, when are they watching?

Why does my insurer want to conduct a field interview?

How can I tell if I have a true own-occupation policy?

What are the different types of disability policies?

South Carolina Federal District Court Locations

Professional disability claims are often filed in, or removed to, Federal Court given the amounts in controversy. When we work with local counsel to be admitted pro hac vice, we identify the courthouse that is closest to you. Below is a list of the primary Federal Courthouses in South Carolina, but there may be satellite courthouses that are closer to where you live.

Charleston. J. Waties Waring Judicial Center, 83 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC 29401; 85 Broad Street, Charleston, SC 29401.

Columbia. Matthew J. Perry, Jr. U.S. Courthouse, 901 Richland Street, Columbia, SC 29201.

Who Do Your Disability Insurance Attorneys Represent?

The lists below provide a representative overview of the types of professionals we represent, the disability companies we file claims with and litigate against, and a non-exhaustive list of some of the disabling conditions our prior clients have had.


Anesthesiologists | Attorneys | Cardiologists | Chief Medical Directors | Chiropractors | Commercial Real Estate Brokers | Corporate Executives | Emergency Medicine | Endodontists | Gastroenterologists | General Dentists | Gynecologists | Internal Medicine | Neurologists | Neurosurgeons | Obstetricians | Ophthalmologists | Oral Surgeons | Orthodontists | Orthopedic Surgeons | Otolaryngologists | Physical Therapists | Podiatrists | Professional Athletes | Prosthodontists | Psychiatrists | Psychologists | Pulmonologists | Radiation Oncologists | Radiologists | Rheumatologists | Veterinarians

Physician Claims & Resources | Dentist Claims & Resources

Disability Insurance Companies

Aetna | AIG | Allstate | Anthem | American General | Ameritas | Berkshire Insurance Group | Boston Mutual | Cigna/LINA | Colonial Life | Connecticut General | Davies Life & Health/Disability Management Services, Inc. | Disability Reinsurance Management | First Unum | Fortis | Great West | Guardian Life | Hartford | Jefferson | John Hancock | Liberty Mutual | Lloyd’s of London | Mass Casualty | Mass Mutual | MetLife | Monarch | Mutual of Omaha | National Life of Vermont | New York Life | New England Life | Northwestern Mutual Life | Ohio National | Paul Revere | Penn Mutual | Phoenix Life Insurance | Principal Life | Provident | Prudential | Reassurance America | Reliance | Reliance Standard | Sedgwick | Standard | Sun Life | The Equitable Life | Transamerica | Trustmark | Trustmark Disability Advisors | Union Central | Unum | UnumProvident

Disabling Conditions

Aneurysms | Anxiety/Panic Attacks | Angina Pectoris/Ischemia | Arthritis (Osteo, Psoriatic, Rheumatoid) | Atrial Fibrillation (AF) | Autoimmune Disorders | Bipolar Disorder | Brachial Plexus Injuries | Bulging Discs (Cervical/Lumbar) | Bursitis | Cancer | Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) | Cervical/Neck Pain | Crohn’s Disease/IBD | Complex Regional Pain Syndrome | Congestive Heart Failure | Coronary Artery Disease | Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) | Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) | Dislocated Elbow/Shoulder | Dislocated Hip/Hip Replacement | Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) | Essential Tremors | Focal Dystonia | Ganglion Cysts | Glaucoma | Hand/Arm Pain – NOS | Head Trauma/Cognitive Difficulties | Hearing Loss | Herniated Discs (Cervical/Lumbar) | Ligament Tears | Long-Haul COVID | Lumbar/Back Pain | Lyme Disease | Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) | Macular Degeneration | Meniere’s Disease | Migraines | Multiple Sclerosis (MS) | Musculoskeletal Disorders | Myasthenia Gravis (MG) | Myelopathy (Cervical/Lumbar) | Myofascial Pain Syndrome | Nerve Impingement/Entrapment | Neuroma | Orthostatic Hypertension/Hypotension | Osteoarthritis | Paresthesia/Dysesthesia | Parkinson’s Disease | Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction | Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) | Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction | Posterior Vitreous Detachment (PVD) | Radiculopathy (Cervical/Lumbar) | Repetitive Stress Injuries | Retinal Detachment/Floaters | Rotator Cuff Injury/Tears | Sciatica | Scoliosis | Serotonin Syndrome | Shoulder/Back/Neck Pain – NOS | Sleep Apnea | Spondylolisthesis | Spondylosis | Stenosis (Spinal/Foraminal) | Stroke | Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS) | Traumatic Injuries | Tumors | Ulnar Neuropathy | Vertigo/BPPV | Visual Impairment

The information provided above is offered purely for informational purposes. It is not intended to create or promote an attorney-client relationship, and does not constitute and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

Every claim is unique and the discussion above is only a limited summary of information that may be relevant to your claim. An experienced disability insurance attorney can help you assess your particular disability claim, or potential disability claim, and determine what options are available to you.