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Unum Liable for Denying Legitimate Disability Claims

By Anne Bucher


Unum disability insurance denialDisability policies help to minimize the financial impact a person suffers when they are no longer physically able to perform work. More than 50 million Americans rely on disability insurance to help them in case they become injured or too sick to work. Nearly 40 percent of these disability insurance policies are handled by Unum, formerly known as UnumProvident.

Unum Accused of Denying Legitimate Disability Claims

Unum is the largest disability insurance company in the United States and provides disability insurance to nearly 17 million Americans. Several Unum employees have come forward over the last decade to report dishonest business practices. Many employees allege that the management rewarded employees who denied significant claims, even if the claims were legitimate. This practice was initially uncovered in a 2002 segment of 60 Minutes, a television program on the CBS television network.

Former Unum employees allege that the managers pressure the claims handlers to deny claims, leaving the policyholders to take on full financial responsibility for their medical costs. They accuse the company of cheating vulnerable Americans out of their benefits in an effort to improve the company’s bottom line. Some former Unum workers claim that large bonuses were awarded to managers who had closed some of the largest claims.

Some of the Unum disability claim denial tactics include:

  • Conducting an improper investigation of the claim
  • Obtaining opinions from unqualified sources
  • Misinterpreting medical records
  • Denying claims without requesting a medical examination
  • Changing a client’s policy after the client files a claim
  • Using investigators to discredit the client’s disability
  • Refusing to acknowledge a disability despite medical documentation
  • Claiming that a disability is a pre-existing condition

According to former employees, not only did the management reward workers who closed the largest number of Unum disability claims, they also scolded workers who question their claim denial policy. In-house physicians have also come forward to claim they had been told to review medical records and falsely state that a policyholder was not disabled so that Unum would be able to deny their payments.

These practices were allegedly commonplace. Some former employees who had been fired have sued Unum for wrongful terminations, alleging that the company retaliated against them for complaining about illegal business practices.

If You Have Been Denied a Unum Disability Claim

If you believe that you have been wrongfully denied a Unum disability claim, you can join the growing number of plaintiffs who have filed lawsuits against Unum. Thousands of lawsuits have been filed against the company. One of the plaintiffs featured in the 60 Minutes program was awarded $36 million by a jury, although he agreed to settle for an undisclosed sum to avoid a costly and expensive appeal by Unum. Other plaintiffs have also received significant awards to compensate them for the company’s unfair treatment of Unum disability claims.

By filing a Unum lawsuit or joining a Unum class action lawsuit, you could receive generous compensation. To contact a Unum lawyer, submit your information on the Unum/UnumProvident Disability Insurance Claim Denial Class Action Lawsuit Investigation page. A Unum lawyer will review your information to determine whether you have a cause of action against Unum.


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Updated April 3rd, 2012


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