What Are Some “Bad Faith Insurance Claims Practices” That Might Occur In Houston?

You got long-term health insurance for a reason. Whether you bought the policy on your own, or you acquired it through your employer, the idea was to have some financial protection in place should you become unable to work. Despite paying premiums, providing documentation, and answering all their questions, you still don’t have what you need, and what you were assured you would have.

What Are Some "Bad Faith Insurance Claims Practices" That Might Occur In Houston?

If you’ve ever had the experience of an insurance company that treated you well while you were making payments, but changed significantly when you filed a claim, you’re not alone. Whether it’s auto insurance, life insurance, or long-term disability, bad faith practices are universal.

How Bad Faith Is Used

The term “bad faith” refers to any insurer’s tactics that back down on its obligation to customers when one files a claim against their policy. This can take the term of stalling, or taking a very long time to process a policyholder’s claim, or outright denying their claim. Both are intended to avoid paying legitimate claims to a policyholder who has faithfully paid premiums according to the policy’s terms.

You may not realize at first that your insurer is actively working to deny your claim. Over time, you may start to wonder what’s going on, especially when you begin looking for answers and have none.

How They Do It

Common bad faith practices by insurance companies include:

  • Failing to acknowledge the receipt of a claim
  • Delaying action without an explanation
  • Requesting unnecessary or excess documentation, then claiming “failure to submit” as a reason to deny the claim.
  • Misrepresent a policy’s language to avoid paying a claim
  • Delay or failure to investigate your claim
  • Fail to disclose a policy’s exclusions and limitations to a policyholder before purchase,
  • Make unreasonable demands of the policyholder to prove that their loss was covered under the terms of their policy.
  • Failing or refusing to explain why a claim was denied
  • Withholding important claim information
  • Attempting to settle a case for less than a fair amount
  • Inappropriate premium increases
  • Advising a policyholder not to hire an attorney

These are just some of the ways an insurance company might attempt to dissuade you from making a claim or encourage you to give up.

What Texas Law Says

Should you discover that your LTD insurer is engaging in bad faith tactics, you do have the law on your side.

All insurance policies and contracts in the state of Texas include the implied covenant of good faith. That is, the insurance company is required to treat you fairly and honestly, even if it isn’t included and written into the policy. If the insurer fails to abide by this covenant, they have committed “bad faith,” and can be sued once you’ve gathered adequate proof.

Both Chapters 541 and 542 of the Texas Insurance Code disallow insurance companies from “unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the business of insurance.”  If you sue your insurer and win, you could possibly collect as much as three times the amount of your actual damages.

For help with a bad faith LTD insurer, it’s important to work with an attorney who understands disability cases and how to turn them in your favor.

Has Your LTD Insurance Company Shown You “Bad Faith?” Call Herren Law

The last thing you need when you’re applying for long-term disability is an insurance company playing games. “Bad faith” can take many forms, leading to one thing—not paying you. Don’t give up. We can help you fight back.

We’ve helped over 4,000 Houstonians have received their LTD benefits. The Herren Law Firm can help you with your application, appeals and help you through the process, and give you one less thing to worry about. Contact us today at 713-682-8194 (or use our online contact form) to schedule your free consultation. There’s no obligation and no up-front fees.  We only collect if we win your case.

Can You Get Long Term Disability for Anxiety in Houston, TX?

Nearly everybody goes through difficult times. Some may find themselves with depression and/or anxiety until things get better. But is your anxiety bad enough to warrant long-term disability? It can be, if it prevents you from working, and inhibits nearly every part of your life.

Can You Get Long Term Disability for Anxiety in Houston, TX?

Anxiety, like most mental illnesses, is difficult to positively diagnose, and therefore harder to claim. Unlike an injury, such as a broken leg, or a condition like cancer, anxiety doesn’t have symptoms that are readily obvious or detectable with a blood or other medical test. But living with a physical disability can also trigger concurrent mental disabilities, including anxiety.

What Is Anxiety?

Anxiety is usually defined as a chronic fear or worry about something that could happen, but hasn’t happened yet, and may never happen. There are many factors that can trigger this fear or worry, such as work-related issues, relationship problems, or other problematic situations (i.e., a car accident, chronic pain, etc.) A shortage of oxygen in some areas can contribute to anxiety, as well as brain chemistry. Certain medications can also cause anxiety, as well as withdrawal from some substances.

Mild cases may remedy themselves, but severe cases can be debilitating and prevent you from working and living your life. There are multiple variations of anxiety:

A mental health professional (i.e., psychiatrist) can identify the cause of the anxiety. A physical exam, including medical testing, can identify any physical symptoms that may be causing the anxiety.

A positive diagnosis includes consistent worry for more than six months, difficulty in controlling that worry, and that the symptoms severely impact everyday life, interfering with work and/or school, etc.

Check Your Policy First

The first thing you’ll need to review is your LTD policy. What does it consider a “disability?” Does it cover mental illnesses? More importantly, does it exclude mental illnesses?

Check to see how your policy defines “disability.” Many LTD policies put a two-year limit on mental illness benefits. Anxiety may develop for any number of reasons, but it’s important to note if it develops in someone who is living with a physical disability that prevents them from working. Your LTD policy will tell you if mental illnesses are limited, or outright excluded.

You’ll need to meet all the other requirements of your LTD policy to be able to file the claim. If your anxiety was caused by an underlying physical condition, you may be able to collect benefits beyond the two-year standard for mental illnesses. But in order to do that, you’ll need to curate enough medical evidence that demonstrates your physical illness qualifies you as disabled on its own. This is where an attorney can help you.

The Human Factor

Always remember that disability insurance claims processors aren’t medical professionals. They’re not trained to offer medical advice or opinions, only to examine claims to see if they’re properly supported and submitted. They’re looking for anything that positively proves your disability, be it mental or physical.

Don’t rely on the insurance company to get everything. The more documentation you can submit that supports your claim, the better your chances of approval. Providing copies of physician’s notes, additional medical records, prescription records, therapy notes, and anything else that might be relevant can be submitted to support your claim.

Also be careful of any questionnaires or other documentation the insurance companies send to you. Some of the questions may be carefully written to intentionally disqualify your claim when you believe you’re answering truthfully to better support your claim. Having a disability lawyer review documentation before it’s sent to the insurer will help prevent automatic disqualifications for these kinds of questions, and make sure your claim is thorough and complete.


It’s not uncommon for insurance companies of all kinds to conduct surveillance on someone filing a claim, whether it’s LTD, for a car accident or a personal injury claim. (This is also common in divorce cases.) You may be followed, or your social media may be examined for evidence that you’re not as disabled as you claim, so be cautious about your activities and postings. Be aware that any evidence that is gathered can be used to deny your claim, even if it’s misrepresenting.

Your Houston LTD Disability Attorney

Nobody wants to suffer from chronic anxiety, but applying for long-term disability can be difficult. It’s important not to give up. We’re ready to help you through the long process of getting long-term disability benefits.

Over 4,000 Houstonians have received the LTD benefits they need, and we can help you too. The Herren Law Firm can help you with your application, appeals and help you through the process so you can concentrate on getting better. Contact us today at 713-682-8194 to schedule your free consultation. There’s no obligation and no up-front fees.  We only collect if we win your case.


Houston Long Term Disability Attorney

Houston is one of the most vibrant, exciting cities in the US, and keeps getting better every passing year. We have great food of all kinds, culture, festivals, industry, shopping and a world-class Medical Center. The Houston area has everything you could ever want in a city.

Fortunately, if you have a long-term disability, Houston is also a good place to be.

Houston Long Term Disability Attorney

Getting Long Term Disability

If you’ve developed a long term disability that prevents you from working, your life has changed considerably. You may have to make a number of adjustments to continue living a normal life. Home modifications like a wheelchair ramp, “grab bars,” or lift to get back up and down stairs may be in your future. (If you don’t have the means, there are a number of grant programs available to help.)

While it’s a lot of trouble to have to “prove” that you’re disabled and can’t work, once you’re done, you’ll have time to take care of other things you may need.

If you need help with the application or appeals process, a long term disability attorney may be your next call. Forms, deadlines and evidence that are part of the process can be easy to overlook. An experienced LTD attorney can give you the help and oversight you need to ensure that your claim is properly submitted for approval.

Long Term Disability In Texas

Census figures from 2014 indicate that about 3.4 million Texans classified as “disabled.” A disabled person is has a wide range of services available, including:

  • Rehabilitation
  • Medical equipment
  • Job and career assistance
  • Medical care
  • Personal assistance attendants

The services available in Houston can help people with a long term disability live independently and stay in their own home, help find suitable jobs, get medical assistance devices and other needed equipment, help family members care for them, and assist with applying for disability if needed.

Texas Health And Human Services Commission

The state of Texas has services available for those with long term disabilities. You can get help applying for Medicaid or Medicare, Social Security or Supplemental Security Insurance, and apply for SNAP benefits if you need them.

Houston is in Region 6 of the HHS service area. You can find out more of what HHS offers at this website, and more about independent living services. You can also call 211 to request help.

The Houston Mayor’s Office For People With Disabilities

Established in 1993, three years after the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), this division of the Mayor’s Office is an advocate for Houstonians with disabilities. Register with this office and you can receive free legal assistance through the South Texas College of Law Legal Clinic (STCL). If you’re deaf or hard of hearing, you can also register for a free visual fire alarm through the City Of Houston Fire Department. Free tax help is also available, as well as parking permits. Call the MOPD office at 832-394-0814, or email at mopdmail@houstontx.gov.

Your Houston LTD Disability Attorney

The Herren Law Firm can help you with your application, appeals and help you get the long-term disability benefits you need so you can live your life. Contact us today at 713-682-8194 to schedule your free consultation. There’s no obligation and no up-front fees.  We only collect if we win your case.

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