Were Your Long-Term Disability Benefits Denied Or Terminated By Unum? We Can Help.
Were your long-term disability (LTD) benefits denied or terminated by Unum? If so, you have options, and the attorneys at ERISA Law Center can help.
At ERISA Law Center, we specialize in Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and bad faith LTD benefits. We assist clients from California, Nevada, Arizona, Washington, Hawaii and Oregon in fighting benefit denials and terminations of claims arising from their employer-sponsored plans. Read below to learn more about Unum, its unfair claims practices and how we can help you fight the denial or termination of your claim for benefits.
About Unum And Its History Of Unfair Claims Practices
Unum Group is a Chattanooga, Tennessee-based insurance company formerly known as UnumProvident. UnumProvident was created by the 1999 merger of Unum Corporation and The Provident Companies. When the merger was complete, UnumProvident emerged as the largest disability insurance company in the United States. UnumProvident was eventually renamed Unum Group. Unum’s underwriting insurers include The Paul Revere Life Insurance Company and Provident Life and Accident Insurance Company. Therefore, your disability policy and denial/termination letter may have been issued by either Unum or one of its underwriting companies.
Unum is known for its systemic unfair claims processes and has been sued by the U.S. Department of Labor and every state insurance commissioner in the country – including the District of Columbia and American Samoa – as a result. In 2004, 48 states entered into a settlement agreement with Unum, requiring it to pay $15 million in fines, agree to restructure its claims procedures and reevaluate 200,000 disability claims. California entered into a separate agreement with Unum with similar terms but requiring that it pay an additional $8 million fine and to change its statewide claims handling procedures. Nonetheless, three years after agreeing to the settlements, Unum was still engaging in unfair claims practices, earning it the title of one of the worst 10 insurance companies in the United States in July 2008.
Our Experience With Unum
Not too much has changed since 2008. Although the majority of claims against Unum have settled, this has not happened without a fight. Our most recent case, which is still pending in litigation, involves a claimant whose LTD benefits were terminated after six years and after he refused two lowball offers from Unum to “buy out” the rest of his claim. Prior to terminating benefits, Unum paid a third-party service to hire a doctor to perform an independent medical examination (IME) of the claimant.
The third-party service that hired the IME doctor instructed the doctor to make changes to his report so that the report provided an opinion more favorable to Unum – and the doctor did so. Unum thereafter sought clarification of his opinions; the doctor responded by making additional changes; and the third-party service made further changes that were presumably adopted by the doctor. What resulted were three reports by the same doctor, all with different opinions.
Despite receiving evidence that the report had been directly altered by the third-party service and that the opinions of the doctor had been influenced by the instructions of the third-party service, Unum relied on the most favorable version of the report to terminate our client’s benefits. The case will go to trial this year.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time we have seen this pattern. In at least two other cases that we litigated and settled in the past several years, Unum targeted claimants who had been receiving benefits for more than 10 years, by offering them lowball buyouts of their claims. Then, when the buyouts were rejected, Unum terminated the claimants’ benefits. One benefit termination was based on a fraudulent or otherwise unreliable IME report, and one was based on Unum disregarding an IME report that was favorable to the claimant and terminating benefits, nonetheless.
Unum has continued its unfair claims practices for over 16 years, and we have no expectation that it will change its behavior unless every claimant who is wronged fights for their benefits. We are here to fight on your behalf.
Thirty-Five Years Of Experience Fighting For Our Clients
We have over three decades of experience fighting Unum as well as insurance companies and self-insured plans like it that improperly deny or terminate LTD claims. We provide our extensive legal knowledge and personal attention to helping each of our clients fight for the benefits they are owed.