Is it covered?  Read your policy…all of it.  The written insurance commitment benefits matter more than what insurance agents said, according to New Jersey federal judge.  Reading the fine print is tedious, but when it comes to insurance, skipping the dry prose can cost a lot of money.  Insurance is regulated federally, but is also regulated by state.  It is the differences between states that seem to have changed the outcome of an appeal  in the NBA referee case against his insurance company. 

In Pennsylvania, if an insurance agent states an insurance provides certain types of coverages, which are later discovered to be inconsistent with the written insurance policy; the insured is entitled to the stated coverage, regardless of whether the insurance coverage was actually in place based on written benefits of that policy.  In New Jersey, that is not the case.

In the matter of Nunn v Massachusetts Casualty Insurance Company, 12-3712-cv, Ronald Nunn and Donald Vaden, former NBA referees, purchased disability insurance at a meeting hosted by NBA Referees Association.  Nunn and Vaden were told by an experienced insurance representative that the policy included “Own Occupation” coverage.  That would mean, if the insured could no longer work as NBA referees, they would still have the disability insurance coverage.  However, in another reminder to read before you sign, a New Jersey Federal judge did not accept such an approach to insurance coverage, requiring adherence to the written benefits.

You can protect yourself when you buy insurance from any agent.  If the policy benefit’s section is difficult to read on paper, open your policy online and enlarge it until you can see it.  It is important that you know your coverage.  Want help finding, or understanding the coverage you need?  Check us at