Bonita Springs, Fla.

Insurers, producers and regulators should find ways to streamline the disability insurance claims process without creating more red tape, according to a veteran claims consultant.

Gerald Katz of Disability Income Concepts Inc., Weston, Fla., is a disability insurance expert witness and disability insurance claims consultant.

Over the past five years, since the disability claim controversy crested, scrutiny of the claim process “has probably lightened up the aggressiveness of claims investigators,” Katz said here in an interview at a disability insurance conference organized by JHA, Portland, Maine. “But they’re still very thorough.”

In part because insurers have concerns about consumers who might filing weak or false claims, insurers often ask claimants for more information without giving many, if any, clues about why, Katz said.

“The majority of legitimate claims are certainly paid,” but claimants may experience delays, and what seem to be unnecessarily extensive requests for documentation before getting any benefits, Katz said.

Katz has been trying to improve communications within the disability insurance industry by working through the International DI Society, Seal Beach, Calif.

Katz and W. Harold Petersen, another disability insurance veteran, were attending the JHA conference represent producers and promote the next IDIS annual conference, scheduled to start Oct. 27 in Las Vegas.