Consumers depend on insurance companies to provide financial support when it is needed most. Life insurance policies can provide the resources necessary to allow grieving families to manage ongoing expenses and funeral costs. Disability insurance is vital for individuals who can no longer pursue their careers due to accidental injury or illness. In most cases, insurance companies pay benefits as agreed. Some unscrupulous companies, however, collect premiums and fail to deliver the promised benefits to their policyholders. One of the worst offenders in this regard is the Unum Life Insurance Company, which is now facing numerous lawsuits due to repeated breach of contract offenses against its clients. Legal Recourse for Victims After a qualifying event, consumers should enlist the help of an experienced attorney to ensure that their claim is processed fairly and in a timely way. A work injury lawyer can assist with obtaining workers compensation payments for clients and can ensure that all paperwork is completed accurately and completely. In many cases, retaining a personal injury lawyer can level the playing field for consumers in dealing with insurance adjusters and obtaining a fair settlement for their claims. This is especially true when dealing with problem companies like Unum. A qualified disability claim or auto accident lawyer can often streamline the settlement process and prevent insurers from attempting to avoid payment on valid insurance claims. Unum's Dismal Track Record Insurance experts have identified a number of tactics used by Unum Life Insurance to deny or delay claims by its policyholders. Some of the most common methods used by Unum and other companies to avoid payment include the following:
- Misclassification: Unum has repeatedly misclassified claimants for disability benefits in an effort to disqualify them from eligibility for payments under their insurance contracts. Unclear and misleading language used in Unum's disability insurance policies can often lead to extended delays or failure to pay on these contracts altogether.
- Altering the Contract: Unum has been accused of making changes to insurance policies without the prior authorization and consent of the policyholder while the coverage was still in force. These changes may have been made prior to the date of the claim or after the fact in an effort to avoid payment. In some cases, Unum never informed the policyholder of these changes at all.
- Misuse of Medical Experts: Some Unum policyholders allege that the company obtained opinions from medical examiners who were not properly qualified or knowledgeable in the particular injury or medical problem in question. In other cases, Unum may have contracted with third-party examiners to act on behalf of the company in denying claims without proper medical examination or in lieu of a true third-party examination by an unbiased medical professional.
- Delay Tactics: Unum is also accused of repeatedly requesting additional information and requiring claimants to fill out redundant and unnecessary forms in an effort to delay the processing of valid claims. By requiring policyholders to provide the same information over and over or requiring visits to a specific and typically overbooked clinic, the insurer can increase the likelihood of errors on the part of the claimant that can lead to a denial of the claim.
These strategies can allow Unum and other insurers to avoid payment on claims for an extended period of time or to deny them altogether, leaving policyholders with few options and reduced resources to pursue their claims. A qualified personal injury and disability claims attorney can provide the legal expertise necessary to take on these major insurance companies and to force them to live up to their financial obligations. By retaining the services of an experienced lawyer to pursue insurance claims, consumers can defend themselves against unscrupulous tactics and can achieve the most positive outcome for their insurance claims.