Virginia 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 Virginia, including the Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, and Richmond 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 Virginia. If you would like to learn more about the disability claim process or insurance bad faith in other states, please visit our homepage.
Does Virginia Recognize Insurance Bad Faith?
Virginia does recognize insurance bad faith. As explained by the Supreme Court of Virginia, “[a] covenant of good faith is implied in insurance contracts, and imposes a burden on both parties that neither will do anything in bad faith to injure the others’ rights under the agreement.” Manu v. GEICO Cas. Co., 293 Va. 371, 386, 798 S.E.2d 598, 606 (2017).
In Virginia, “[t]here are two common elements in a bad faith claim: (1) the insurer’s contractual liability to pay under the policy; and (2) the lack of a reasonable basis to deny or compromise the claim.” Id. “Bad faith” itself means a “failure to perform one’s duty of good faith, and, in the insurance context, that duty flows from the obligations created by the insurance contract.” Id. This means that “there can be no bad faith by an insurer in declining to perform an action the insurance contract does not require of it.” 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 Virginia Disability Insurance Cases
Feder v. Paul Revere Life Ins. Co., 228 F.3d 518 (4th Cir. 2000) (Virginia general surgeon filed a mental health disability claim with Paul Revere/Unum based on dysthymia and mixed personality disorder; after over two years of paying benefits, Unum determined the surgeon was no longer disabled and terminated benefits; the court held that the underlying plan did not have a discretionary clause and remanded the case back to the lower court for review under a “de novo” standard of review).
Chavez v. Cont’l Ins. Co., 218 Va. 76, 235 S.E.2d 335 (1977) (Virginia hairdresser filed for permanent disability under her spouse’s group policy after suffering a spine injury in a car accident; the policy provided coverage for dependents, but the insurer argued that she had to show that she was totally disabled from being a “housewife”; the court held that “[t]otal and permanent disability provisions should be liberally construed in favor of the insured” and determined that she only had to show that she was disabled from being a hairdresser and “from any other occupation or employment for which she was fitted by reason of her education, training and experience”).
Common Disability Claim Questions
Virginia 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 Virginia, but there may be satellite courthouses that are closer to where you live.
Norfolk. Walter E. Hoffman U.S. Courthouse, 600 Granby Street, Norfolk, VA 23510.
Richmond. Spottswood W. Robinson III and Robert R. Merhige, Jr., Federal Courthouse, 701 E. Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23219.
Roanoke. 210 Franklin Road, S.W., Suite 540, Roanoke, VA 24011.
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.