My disability insurance company is the Hartford Life group and it has paid its medical evaluator, the University Disability Consortium, $13 million since 2002. Will the review of my claim for disability insurance benefits be fair and unbiased?

A federal district court recounted how Hartford Life Group Insurance Company had paid its independent medical evaluation, University Disability Consortium, $13 million since 2002. The court stated that, since Hartford Life had paid UDC some $13 million since 2002, "Hartford knows that UDC has an incentive to provide it with reports that will increase the chances that Hartford will return to Hartford in the future -- in other words, reports upon which Hartford may rely in justifying its decision to deny benefits" and therefore would view UDC's opinions with "commensurate skepticism." Caplan v. CNA Financial Corp., No. 06-5865 (N.D. Cal. February 4, 2008).

Robert L. Abell, a Lexington, Kentucky lawyer, represents individuals on their claims for long-term disability insurance benefits.