A few insurance companies such as Prudential and The Hartford are taking advantage of the COVID situation to excerise their right under the policy or Plan to request IMEs. It is very important for insureds and claimants to understand that an IME is NOT the time for continuous talking.
Let’s face it….everyone has their own personality type. Some people are what we call “quiet types” and others love to talk in a continuous stream providing as much information as they possibly can. The very nature of what an IME is often encourages insureds to defend their claims using long sentences without even taking a breath in between. This isn’t the way insureds should conduct themselves during an IME. Insureds should be “quiet”, making sure that the relevent information, such as why they are unable to work is reinforced with every response.
While it is extremely important to answer all of the evaluator’s questions, it is generally not recommended for insureds to volunteer information that they weren’t asked to give. Yes, it is important for the IME physician to understand why the insured is not able to work, but small details and lengthy impairment histories should not be discussed.
IME physicians are often very clever. Today, insurers are using professional IME facilities recognized as arms of the insurance industry. Oftentimes, IME physicians are trained by the industry to conduct IMEs in very deceptive ways. If an IME physician identifies an insured as “talkative”, or willing to speak on and on about their disability, he/she will use the personality type against the insured.
Insureds who are able to recognize within themselves tendencies to OVER SPEAK, then it will be extremely important for insureds to prepare themselves to “be quiet” most of the time. Again, questions should be answered honestly but information should NOT be volunteered if it is not asked for. One of the most devastating things any insured can do during an IME is to talk the arm off of the evaluator.
Let me be clear, insureds who attend IMEs with the motive of “talking” their way into successful outcomes will be disappointed. This goes for disabled physicians and other professionals who may think that an oration of medical terms will do the trick. As I indicated earlier, IME physicians are very clever and can spot a “talker” every time.
If you find yourself in a position of attending an IME, answer all of the questions honestly, reinforcing the medical reasons why you are unable to work, and then “be quiet.” Do not OVER SPEAK your situation with continuous detail and chatter. it won’t do you any good, and could be used against you.