Vermont 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 Vermont, including the Burlington and Rutland 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 Vermont. If you would like to learn more about the disability claim process or insurance bad faith in other states, please visit our homepage.
Does Vermont Recognize Insurance Bad Faith?
Vermont does recognize insurance bad faith in certain circumstances. As explained by the Vermont Supreme Court, “Vermont recognizes a claim for tortious bad faith brought by an insured against its own insurer when an insurer not only errs in denying coverage, but does so unreasonably.” Peerless Ins. Co. v. Frederick, 2004 VT 126, ¶¶ 13-15, 177 Vt. 441, 446-47, 869 A.2d 112, 116 (2004) (internal citations omitted).
More specifically, “[t]o establish a claim for bad faith, a plaintiff must show that (1) the insurer had no reasonable basis to deny the insured the benefits of the policy, and (2) the company knew or recklessly disregarded the fact that it had no reasonable basis for denying the insured’s claim.” Id.
Vermont also recognizes “a contractual bad faith claim based on a violation of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing.” Id. Additionally, [w]hether the claim is for tortious or contractual bad faith, an insured/insurer relationship is still a prerequisite to sustain the claim.” 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 Vermont Disability Insurance Cases
Massachusetts Mut. Life Ins. Co. v. Ouellette, 159 Vt. 187, 617 A.2d 132, (1992) (Vermont optometrist filed a mental health disability claim under his MassMutual disability policy after surrendering his license and being imprisoned for improper conduct with a minor; MassMutual denied the claim and the court upheld the denial because the optometrist “did not seek medical attention for his mental disorder in the ten years prior to his conviction and “was able to physically and mentally perform all of the duties of optometry until the time of his incarceration and loss of license”; the court also noted that public policy considerations made it “inappropriate to transfer the responsibility for this defendant’s conduct onto the shoulders of [other] disability insured” by imputing liability upon the disability insurers that would result in higher premiums being charged for disability insurance).
Tracy v. Massachusetts Bonding & Ins. Co., 121 Vt. 371, 159 A.2d 86 (1960) (Vermont farmer filed for disability after a lower back injury due to a ruptured disc at L4-L5; his doctor determined surgery would not be appropriate given his age but insurer only paid one month of benefits when the policy provided for a max of 12 months of benefits; the court reversed and ordered the company to pay the full 12 months of benefits).
Common Disability Claim Questions
Vermont 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 Vermont, but there may be satellite courthouses that are closer to where you live.
Burlington. 11 Elmwood Avenue, Room 200, Burlington, VT 05401.
Rutland. 151 W. Street, Room 204, Rutland, VT 05701.
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
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
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.