The Edge Series: What is "Notice of Claim?"
The lawyers in our firm are focused on helping people with disability policies and ERISA claims. We want to give you the edge in understanding your policy. Today, we want to help you understand what the term "notice of claim" means in your disability policy.
"Notice of claim" is just that. If you intend to make a claim, then you need to provide notice of that claim.
It is a requirement that can be found in many disability policies. It requires you to provide general information, not proof, just general information, so the insurance company is made aware of the disability claim coming. It allows the insurance company to begin investigating the claim, even before the proof is submitted. There can be time limits, such as 15 to 30 days for providing notice that is separate from the time limits for proof of claim.
The "Notice of Claim" triggers the insurance company to provide claim forms to you. That is important.
Notice of claim allows the insurance company to investigate preliminary matters, such as whether the policy is enforceable, whether premiums have been paid, and other similar matters.
The short time limit for the provision can be unfair, given that many people are not focused on providing a Notice of Claim when they first become disabled from an injury or sickness.
Nonetheless, if you reasonably could have provided that Notice, it can cause you issues with the insurance company. it would be terrible to see your claim denied for that reason, and it has happened. Make sure that you look at the Notice of Claim requirement in your policy, so there is no delay in moving forward with your claim when needed.
The Policy or Plan Document should suffice in giving you information on where to send the notice. A phone call, email, or letter may suffice.
We don't personally recommend a phone call, as there is no record of a phone call unless you are recording the conversation. Nonetheless, a phone call should at least get the ball rolling.