If your employer offers disability insurance as one of your optional benefits, it may be smart for you to select the option. Disability insurance is designed to replace a defined percentage of your income when you are unable to work because of an injury or illness. Unfortunately, Unum sometimes denies the claims that people make for disability benefits under their policies. The team of The Law Office of Andrew Reichardt is experienced in helping people with their disability denials.
BACKGROUND ON UNUM
Unum Group is a Chattanooga, Tennessee-based Fortune 500 insurance company formerly known as UnumProvident. Unum Group was created by the 1999 merger of Unum Corporation and The Provident Companies and comprises three distinct businesses – Unum US, Unum UK, and Colonial Life. Its underwriting insurers include The Paul Revere Life Insurance Company and Provident Life and Accident Insurance Company. Unum is the top disability insurer in the United States and offers other insurance products including accident, critical illness and life insurance. As of December 2016, Unum had 9,400 full-time employees and annual revenues of $11.047 billion
DISABILITY INSURANCE FROM UNUM
Unum offers group and individual short- and long-term disability plans. Group short- and long-term disability plans are offered by employers as a part of their benefits packages. Short-term disability offers weekly benefits when you are disabled and temporarily unable to return to work for up to the maximum duration listed in your policy, which is normally in terms of weeks or months. Long-term coverage offers ongoing benefits payments for much longer periods, which are normally at least several years in duration. Your duration will depend on your policy. Unum individual disability plans can supplement their other products to offer more protection for a greater percentage of your income.
APPEALING A DENIAL FROM THE UNUM
Unum will send you a letter if it denies your claim. This letter will contain some important information, so it is important for you to read it. It will list the reasons why your claim was denied and explain your right to appeal. The letter will list a deadline within which you must file your appeal. You cannot head straight to court and file a lawsuit. Instead, you are required to go through the company’s internal process and exhaust those appeals before you will be allowed to file a civil complaint against Unum in court. Don’t miss the deadline for appealing your denial. If you do, your ability to seek your benefits will be foreclosed.
Once you receive your letter, call the company and ask for your claim file to be sent to you. Unum must provide you with a complete copy upon your request, and your file will contain everything that was gathered during the investigation of your claim. The Law Office of Andrew Reichardt will review your file and your letter when you come in for your appointment and recommend the strategies to use with your appeal.
There are a few things that you should understand about the claim and appeal process so that you can avoid making common mistakes. Don’t stop seeing your doctor even if you think medical care can’t help you anymore. Keep your appointments and follow the treatment recommendations that you are given. Don’t exaggerate your symptoms to your doctor, Unum, or your attorney. While you might think that this would help your claim, it can instead do the opposite. Insurance investigators look for signs of malingering, and if Unum believes that you are a malingerer, you will be unlikely to win. To learn more about the claim and appeal process, contact The Law Office of Andrew Reichardt today.