UNUM Disability Claims: 4 Things You Need to Know

Jul 9, 2019 | Blog |

Almost every day, we speak with people who have questions about their UNUM long-term disability claims. Unfortunately, that insurance company has a reputation for mishandling disability claims and unfounded benefits denials.

At Bryant Legal Group, we’ve handled countless UNUM disability claims and understand how the company operates. While nothing compares to a personalized assessment from one of our disability lawyers, here are four things you need to know about UNUM.

1. UNUM Is One of the Largest Disability Insurance Companies in the Country

UNUM is a giant in the disability insurance industry. Globally, the company’s policies cover 36 million people and almost 194,000 businesses. A Fortune 500 business, UNUM reported more than $11.5 billion in revenue and paid out a little more than $8 billion in insurance benefits in 2018.

In addition to group and individual disability insurance, UNUM also sells life insurance and accidental death and dismemberment policies. Its subsidiaries include Provident Life and Accidental Insurance Company and The Paul Revere Life Insurance Company.

RELATED ARTICLE: Building a Comprehensive Application for Disability Benefits

2. Every State Insurance Commissioner in the U.S. Has Sued UNUM

UNUM has faced nationwide scrutiny for its unfair business practices and mishandling of claims. In 2003, every state insurance commissioner in the United States — along with the District of Columbia, American Samoa, and the U.S. Department of Labor — sued UNUM due to its systemic unfair claims processes.

UNUM settled with 48 states in 2004, paying $15 million in fines and agreeing to restructure its claims processing systems and reevaluate 200,000 disability claims. However, the State of California refused to accept the settlement, and its insurance commissioner alleged that UNUM was an “outlaw company.” Eventually, California entered a separate agreement with the insurer that included another $8 million fine and changes to the company’s statewide claims handling procedures.

3. UNUM Has Been Ranked One of the Worst Insurance Carriers in America.

In July 2008, the American Association for Justice (AAJ), an advocacy group for trial lawyers, ranked the United States’ ten worst insurance companies. It based these rankings on the company’s well-documented track record of improperly denied claims, fraudulent behaviors, and blatant disregard for claimants. The AAJ named UNUM the second worst insurer in the country.

While the insurance commissioners’ lawsuits played a significant role in UNUM’s ranking, the AAJ noted that even after UNUM settled its multiple lawsuits with the state insurance commissioners, it did not significantly improve its behaviors.

Three years after the settlements, UNUM had only reopened 10% of its eligible cases and was still denying valid claims. Today, experienced long-term disability lawyers are still winning cases against UNUM, convincing judges that its denials are arbitrary, capricious, and contrary to medical science.

RELATED ARTICLE: 5 Essential Questions You Should Ask a Disability Insurance Lawyer

4. You Need an Experienced Disability Lawyer When You’re Fighting UNUM

When you’re dealing with a company like UNUM, you don’t want to go it alone; it’s too easy to make mistakes and missteps. Instead, it’s in your best interest to consult with an experienced disability insurance lawyer early on — even before you complete your application for long-term disability benefits. An attorney can clearly explain your legal rights and options while also building a practical strategy that focuses on both your immediate needs and long-term goals.

At Bryant Legal Group, we’ve handled thousands of disability claims — many of them against UNUM. Our lawyers implement immense skill and their decades of experience to fight for the benefits their clients deserve, using sophisticated and aggressive techniques.

Bryant Legal Group: Disability Lawyers Who Stand Up to UNUM

If you’re struggling with a UNUM disability insurance claim, you need to speak with a lawyer who understands the company’s tactics. Bryant Legal Group is one of Chicago’s premier disability law firms, and we have successfully handled many UNUM claims.

To request a free consultation, contact our office by calling 312-561-3010 or completing this brief online form.

In the Matter of UNUM Life Insurance Company of America, Regulatory Settlement Agreement (2004, November). Retrieved from https://www.maine.gov/pfr/insurance/publications_reports/exam_rpts/2004/unum_multistate/unum_regulatory_settlement_agreement.pdf

The ten worst insurance companies in America: How they raise premiums, deny claims, and refuse insurance to those who need it most (2008,  July). American Association for Justice. Retrieved from https://www.justice.org/sites/default/files/file-uploads/AAJ_Report_TenWorstInsuranceCompanies_FINAL.pdf

UNUM 2018 annual report (2018, December 31). UNUM. Retrieved from https://investors.unum.com/Cache/1001251175.PDF?O=PDF&T=&Y=&D=&FID=1001251175&iid=103324

UnumProvident reaches settlement with California Department of Insurance; ‘Changing landscape’ may impact cost, availability of disability insurance in state (2005, October 3). UNUM. Retrieved from  https://investors.unum.com/File/Index?KeyFile=1939934

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

Bryant Legal Group - Chicago Healthcare and Disability Attorneys


"Mr Bryant, his partner Jennifer Danish and associate Steve Jackson were efficient, diligent and persistent towards finding a just resolution and favorable outcome for myself and my entire company."

"I used Jennifer Danish for a disability claim. Frustrated that I couldn’t get results myself I found her. She unearthed some issues my doctor did Not notify me of that affect the quality of my life. My end result was positive!"

"Mr. Jackson did an outstanding job in relation to my case. He insured I was. Both prepared as well as informed regarding the hearing. I would highly recommend his skills and personal dedication to the client."

"Though difficult for the obvious reasons, your involvement has made this process infinitely more tolerable. Please know of my sincere appreciation for your efforts. With Very Best Regards,"

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