Northwestern Mutual is a major provider of individual or private disability insurance policies, with a strong sales focus on physicians, dentists, medical students, and other high-income professionals and executives.
Like many equally large disability insurance companies, it has tailored its policies to appeal to its targeted market. One of these is the Residual or Partial Disability clause. Note that each policy is different, and only a review of an individual policy can reveal specifics, but generally speaking, these clauses address how much coverage is in place if the claimant is still able to work in their profession but is not able to work or earn as much as they did before they became partially disabled.
For instance, a neurosurgeon who can no longer perform extremely complex surgery due to a shoulder injury may still be able to perform a limited number or type of procedures or assist other surgeons in evaluating patient cases. Their income would have decreased commensurate with their inability to perform the tasks of their prior full-time occupation, and their hope would be that their disability insurance policy would make up the difference in lost income.
Certain Northwestern Mutual Disability Insurance policies require a certain percentage of loss of income before benefits can be collected. It is important to review a Northwestern or any private disability insurance policy with an experienced disability insurance attorney to determine exactly what benefits the claimant is eligible for and define the specific requirements for eligibility.
The Law Office Of Justin Frankel, PC has represented many clients with claims filed with Northwestern Mutual. Many of our clients are medical professionals or executives who purchased private policies from Northwestern Mutual, often to supplement disability insurance policies that were part of their employment benefits. Most of these clients have more than one private disability insurance policy, as they understood that the income from their company-provided policy would not be enough to fully recover the income that they were accustomed to, or that the company-provided policy would not provide disability benefits for an extended period of time.
The rationale that Northwestern Mutual offers in targeting doctors and executives as a market is actually very reasonable. Even as we do battle with this insurance company, we understand this philosophy: having invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in expensive, challenging, and lengthy training, disability insurance is one way for medical professionals to protect what may well be one of the biggest investments they’ve made: their careers.
Physicians, attorneys, dentists, chiropractors and other professionals who are accustomed to working with insurance companies often believe that their own experience gives them the tools they need to handle their own disability insurance claims. In this regard, Northwestern Mutual is no different than any other disability insurance company. Their claims are reviewed by third-party administrators (TPAs) or in-house medical professionals, often nurses, who are looking closely at doctor’s office notes, reports, and financial data.
They are looking for information about the claimant’s ability or inability to perform the material and substantive duties of their occupation. They are not going to read physician notes that say “extreme shoulder pain” and rubber-stamp the claim. They want to know exactly how the shoulder pain makes it impossible for the claimant to perform specific tasks of their daily work. They also want to know a lot more information about the claimant’s income from their profession than most people are comfortable providing. These are just two of the issues that claimants seeking to file for disability benefits will come across when they own Northwestern Mutual disability insurance policies.
Our firm represents many clients in actions against Northwestern Mutual, or those who need to file claims. Our clients come to us when their disability claims denied, delayed, and terminated.
If you need help with a Northwestern Mutual disability claim, call our office for a free consultation at 888-583-4959.