Unum Lawsuit Alleges Bad Faith

Unum, the nation’s oldest insurance company and formerly known as Unum Provident and First Unum, has been known to systematically deny Unum disability insurance to thousands of policyholders in the past two decades. Unum and its subsidiaries, including Provident Life, MetLife, The Paul Revere Life Insurance Company, among many others, have been subject to numerous lawsuits for illegally denying to pay valid disability claims.

Under investigation and pressure from the Department of Labor, Unum Provident’s family of companies offered to reassess approximately 200,000 claims denied or closed since January 1, 2000 for reasons other than settlement, death, or reaching benefit maximums. They were ordered to allow for reassessment, upon request, or claims similarly denied or closed between January 1, 1997 and December 31, 1999. According to the settlement, Unum accepted and reevaluated claims, whether or not the claimant was still disabled until December 31, 2006 [1].

Many Americans have faithfully had money taken from their paychecks to pay for disability insurance benefits. They rely on this insurance to cover them in the incidence that they become disabled and cannot work; however, many people might be in for a rude awakening when they finally try to cash in on their disability plan. Unfortunately, for Unum policyholders, the company has been suspect of denying legitimate disability claims from seriously ill customers. This is a bad faith insurance strategy designed for one purpose—to boost profits.

Stories From The “Insured”

Out of 205 reviews on the Consumer Affairs website, 52 of those ratings help to keep the insurance company’s overall satisfaction rating at only 1 star out of a possible 5. With its record of bad faith practices, the stories from the “insured” show how faulty the company truly is.

  • Plaintiff Jeannette M. of South Carolina alleges that Unum made the conscious decision to deny her disability benefits by ignoring evidence and instead relying on biased information and flawed expert opinions. She was employed by Tractor Supply for which she was also provided with long-term disability coverage through a Unum life insurance plan. Jeannette claims that she should have been fully covered through a Unum insurance plan and that their decision to deny long-term disability insurance was not based on substantial evidence or reasonable decision making. She is suing the insurance company for unpaid disability benefits that she feels they owe her.
  • Plaintiff Janet B. of Sonoma County, California alleges that Unum wrongfully denied long-term disability benefits under her employer’s plan. According to the Unum claim denial lawsuit, Janet filed a long-term disability claim with Unum in April 2012 after her Lyme disease left her unable to work. Initially, she was provided disability insurance payments by the insurer, who determined that the disability commencement date was actually September 2011. However, in December 2013, Unum wrote Janet and informed her that they had determined she was no longer disabled and could return to her former employer. Janet appealed and provided the company with medical documentation of her long-term disability. Even then, she was denied further benefits without explanation from her Unum Long-Term Disability policy. She also claims that the insurance company had violated ERISA by refusing to provide a prompt and reasonable explanation for denial of her benefits [2].
  • Susan of Waverly, Tennessee alleges that Unum has harassed her doctors, requesting numerous reports over and over again to eventually deny her claim and her appeal. She has had short-term and long-term disability insurance for 28 years as a school teacher and she thought she had protection in the case that she became disabled. In January 2015, she got the flu and could not recover physically. She continued to teach the remainder of the school year but suffered from extreme fatigue, increased pain from osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia. She couldn’t return to school the next year and her doctor concurred that she was disabled. The representative allegedly told her on the phone, “Just because you qualify for social security, does not mean that you qualify for our disability benefits.” [3]

Unum Bad Faith Insurance Practices

As stated, Unum is the oldest insurance company with many subsidiaries that fall under their umbrella of leadership. These companies include the ones specified before along with: New England Life Insurance Company, John Hancock financial, John Hancock Insurance Company, Colonial Life, Genex, Duncanson & Holt and Equitable Life Insurance.

Unum is the largest disability insurance company providing disability insurance for more than 25 million Americans. This means that about 40% of Americans are insured by Unum’s benefits package and continually being represented by a company with a past of bad practices. Unum policy holders have reported that Unum Insurance has illegally denied their claims by:

  • Changing policies once claims are filed (without the authorization of knowledge of policy holders)
  • Improperly investigating the claim
  • Misreading medical records
  • Refusing to acknowledge their disability
  • Demanding repeated requests for independent medical examinations or denying a claim without any medical examination
  • Arguing that the claim is a pre-existing condition
  • Denying a claim with the intent to wear the claimant down to lower a settlement
  • Partially paying for a claim for total disability
  • Use of detectives, friends, co-workers, and neighbors in an attempt to discredit the disability [1].

Lawsuits filed against the company allege that they committed fraud and breach of contract. Many lawsuits stem from denial of legitimate Unum long-term disability insurance claims—where the insurance company unfairly and improperly fails to compensate the insured for a loss covered by their policy, or unreasonably delays making payments due under the policy.

Dolman Law Group

Thousands of Unum lawsuits have been filed across the nation by policyholders who have accused the insurance company of unfairly denying benefits. In general, the plaintiffs state that they submitted all the required paperwork to prove a disability, but are still denied.

When it comes to the payment of lost wages, numerous issues arise concerning your entitlement to payment, and the amount at which you are paid. We are here to help you navigate through the complexities of Florida’s Worker’s Compensation Laws and your insurance company’s benefit plan. We can determine what benefits you are entitled to, in what amounts, and can file a Petition for Benefits on your behalf. Do not leave it up to the insurance carrier’s adjuster to inform you of whether you are receiving the full extent of your benefits as you have seen that this can lead to unfair denial of claims. The insurance adjuster’s interest is in handling your claim through paying the least amount of benefits possible.

We at Dolman Law Group offer free consultations concerning your work accident or other ailment that your disability insurance is supposed to cover. Although unlikely, if we determine you are receiving everything you are entitled to, then we will inform you have that fact. But if you are not, such as the stories described above, then we will inform you what we can do on your behalf. Either way, there is not cost for the consultations. Call (727) 853-6275 today.

Dolman Law Group
5435 Main Street
New Port Richey, FL 34652
(727) 853-6275

https://www.dolmanlaw.com/legal-services/insurance-bad-faith/

References:

[1] http://www.lawyersandsettlements.com/lawsuit/first_unum.html#.VkSvX79J29Y
[2] http://topclassactions.com/lawsuit-settlements/lawsuit-news/46446-unum-disability-insurance-lawsuit/
[3] http://www.consumeraffairs.com/insurance/unum.html

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