Frequently an insurance company that has been paying monthly disability payments to you will offer to cash you out. What this means is that in lieu of the future monthly disability benefit payments they will offer to fully discharge the future obligations by paying you a lump sum of money. You will receive a letter from them outlining what will be paid and how the amount will be calculated.
Before agreeing to settle on this amount, several factors need to be assessed such as the present value of your claim; your statistical life expectancy; and the anticipated future interest rates. It is imperative and often required by the insurance company that before accepting this amount you consult with an attorney.
An attorney who is experienced in handling disability claims will review the claim not only from the standpoint of the fairness of the cash out offer but also among other things will review the insurer’s calculation of the monthly disability benefit, (which may be in error) and the interest rate used by the insurer in calculating present value. For example, Stennett & Casino recently reviewed a cash out offer by CIGNA where we found that over several years CIGNA had been underpaying the monthly benefit. We not only recovered those benefits for the client, but also obtained a much larger lump sum buyout for the client.
When you get one of these letters you should immediately contact an experienced disability attorney. Often the insurance company will pay for an attorney to review the buy out agreement. So you truly have nothing to lose in contacting an attorney.