Our Experienced Attorneys Can Help with Unum Disability Claims
Unum is a prominent disability insurance company with policyholders spanning the U.S. Unum Group has many subsidiaries, including Unum Life Insurance Company, Provident Life & Accident Insurance Company, John Hancock Insurance Company, and others. Individual or group policies purchased through Unum create a contract between this carrier and its insured. These contracts outline the rights and responsibilities each party owes the other. In essence, Unum provides disability benefits that continue to provide a stream of income for those who suffer an injury or illness in exchange for ongoing monthly premiums. Given this, policyholders with Unum disability coverage may rightly expect to receive their benefits if they become disabled. However, Unum has a spotty track record for approving claims. Fortunately, even if a member’s claim is initially denied, it is still possible to secure disability benefits.
Unum’s Track Record With Lawsuits and Settlements
If you are having trouble with your Unum disability insurance, you are not alone. This carrier has a troubling history when it comes to handling disability insurance claims. For example:
- In 2003, Unum faced lawsuits by every state insurance commissioner in the United States. In 2004, an investigation by the Department of Labor found Unum’s claims handling process as “unfair and unjust.” The Conduct Market examination found that Unum’s claims handling process involved:
- Excessive reliance on in-house medical professionals
- Unfair construction of attending physician or IME reports
- Failure to evaluate the totality of the claimant’s medical condition
- Inappropriate burden placed on claimants to justify eligibility for benefits
After this investigation, Unum entered into multiple settlement agreements in 2005. Among other things, these settlements required Unum to:
- Reassess denied or closed claims spanning back to 1997
- Modify their claims handling process
- Improve accountability and oversight of this process
- Pay a fine of $15 million to participating states and jurisdictions
- Unum later settled with the state of California in 2007. This settlement included an $8 million fine and policy handling changes.
- The Social Security Administration has also filed a lawsuit against Unum, under the False Claims Act. In 2008, Unum was found guilty of defrauding the government by requiring its policyholders first apply for SSDI benefits.
Dealing With a Delayed, Denied or Undervalued Unum Disability Claim?
Given Unum’s questionable track record, policyholders may face unique challenges when filing a long term disability insurance claim. This means that it is not uncommon for Unum to delay, deny or undervalue a policyholder’s claim. Common challenges claimants may experience include:
- Issues with medical records and information. It is not uncommon for Unum to disregard your doctor’s statements about your inability to work. In some cases, Unum will use a doctor that it chose to interpret your records to their benefit. This tactic often leads to an unfair denial or an undervalued claim.
- Difficulty getting in touch with the right representative. Unum may also try to give you the run around by making it difficult to speak with the representative you need. When this happens, the claims process is effectively delayed. Many policyholders end up abandoning their disability insurance claims out of frustration.
- Having to supply unnecessary amounts of information. Another way Unum makes the disability claims process difficult is by requesting additional information. Often, these requests are unnecessary and time-consuming. This tactic is effective for delaying the claims process.
If you have experienced any of these tactics, contact Tucker Law Group. We represent Unum policy members with denied, delayed or undervalued claims. For denied claims, we prepare and manage an appeal or file a lawsuit to help secure benefits. For policyholders experiencing delays, our disability lawyers provide defense from unnecessary and aggressive tactics. We can also help people secure the full value of their disability claim after Unum undervalues it.
How Our Firm Appeals Unum Denied Disability Claims
After navigating the claims process, receiving a denied Unum disability claim can be frustrating. However, you will have the option to appeal this decision. While you may feel tempted to undergo the appeals process on your own, you should consider getting help from an attorney. Your appeal is essentially a second chance for securing the benefits you need. An experienced attorney will know how best to navigate the appeals process, giving you an advantage. Our firm’s nationally recognized lawyers can structure your appeals process so that:
- You understand the terms of the denial decision.
- You obtain your claim file from Unum and understand its terms.
- Your appeal includes information and documentation which address the terms of the denial.
- Your appeal is strategic and thus likely to receive an approval.
- Your appeal follows the appropriate process for your policy type, including individual policies or group policies that are subject to ERISA.
- Your appeal is compliant with all necessary deadlines.
Filing an Unum Disability Insurance Lawsuit
After exhausting your appeal options, you may need to file a lawsuit to secure your benefits. For individual policyholders, an appeal is not usually required before filing a lawsuit. The statute of limitations for doing so will vary by state and according to your policy language.
Group or employer policies are subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), a federal law that regulates employee benefits. Our attorneys litigate ERISA cases in federal courts all over the country. Under ERISA, you must first appeal an Unum disability denial before suing. Our attorneys can help you not only file that appeal, but also file a lawsuit for your benefits within the applicable statute of limitations.
Need Help Securing Your Benefits? Contact Our Experienced Disability Insurance Lawyers
Tucker Law Group is a nationally recognized law firm committed to fighting for peoples’ benefits across the United States. If you are having complications with your Unum disability insurance claim, contact us today. We offer counseling services to individual policyholders who are filing a claim or appealing a denial. For group or employer policyholders, we can step in at any stage of the claims process. To learn more, send us a message online or call us at (866) 233-5044.