Those who are waiting for Guardian to make swift liability decisions, may still be waiting a year from now. Since the Berkshire/Guardian merger some time ago, the company evolved into a paranoid, confused, over-investigative resource that is causing havoc with IDI insureds.
Guardian, primarily an IDI non-ERISA reviewer, is also managing ERISA claims, and seems to not know the difference. However, the main objection I have to Guardian on behalf of insureds is the untimely review that DOES NOT pay benefits for a very long time. Clearly, untimely payment of benefits is a deliberately motivated avoidance of Balance Sheet liability violating “good faith and fair dealing”.
When questioned about untimely payments, Guardian defends its negligence by saying,”We’re continuing to investigate the claim”, in fact, it says it over and over again. When is enough submitted information, enough information? How many times do you need to verify someone’s occupation? Why would a company send an occupational inquiry to an employer for an IDI claim? It’s all designed to take the maximum amount of time, avoiding payments for as long as they can.
Guardian is also a company that takes the realm of investigation to a new level. Not too long ago I was deposed by a Guardian attorney about “Letters of Authority”. Such letters are when attorneys give over claims to Consultants for management, but remain on the case in the background. Guardian’s legal team presumed these letters were subversive, sinister, and intended to deceive. In reality, “Letters of Authority” are quite common with Consultants and give us authority as experts to manage claims for attorney clients. Guardian went way overboard in its presumptions on these matters and decided to demonized a perfectly legitimate way of having both a Consultant and an attorney on the claim.
Guardian is clearly not one of my favorite disability insurers, and I highly recommend to prospective buyers that they check out the company before purchasing coverage. Insureds may have to wait a very long time for payment if they ever submit claims.