Fighting a company like Unum alone can be tough. Most people who are fighting for their claims are doing so without any income, because they have been injured or become ill and are unable to work. Without their long-term insurance coming in, they often cannot afford to wait while they file appeals in the hope that Unum will accept their claim. What often happens is that people go back to work early and injured so they can make ends meet. They become frustrated with the system and give up fighting for money that Unum contractually owes them.
Unum can afford to stall for as long as it wants on many claims. Adjusters come up with all sorts of reasons to delay paying claims or to terminate claims early. Sometimes they claim that paperwork was not received on time or that claimants did not properly fill out forms. Other methods for denying claims are more sinister. Plaintiffs, and some former Unum employees, claim that non-medical adjusters denied legitimate medical claims and then used Unum-paid medical staff to create paperwork justifying the denial. Employees were allegedly given incentives for denying or terminating a certain number of claims each year.
Claimants who have been denied often have serious, life-threatening injuries that require significant medical attention and long recovery times. Unum has been accused of denying the claims of people with brain tumors, fibromyalgia, internal bleeding and cerebral hemorrhages by telling claimants that they should be able to return to work. Imagine dealing with a brain tumor, having medical appointments, not having any income and then having to fight Unum to receive an insurance check. It is not surprising that many people would just give up.
The sad fact is that Unum can afford to wait out claimants because the company believes that most claimants will simply give up the fight against the insurance giant. Faced with mounting medical bills and potential bankruptcy, which has happened to many people while they tried to appeal Unum's denials, most are forced to return to work against their doctor's advice. Then, lacking the time or the energy to continue fighting with Unum, they give up.
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Furthermore, the company has been investigated by a number of states for questionable practices, including purposely putting claimants in incorrect categories to reduce payments, targeting high-cost claims for denial or termination, and misuse of medical records.
If you feel your claim was unfairly denied, talk to a lawyer about joining a class action lawsuit against Unum. Parties in a class action lawsuit may receive compensation for money they should have received and may also be awarded punitive damages. By joining a class action lawsuit, you are no longer fighting Unum on your own - you are joining a group of people dedicated to ensuring Unum lives up to its contractual obligations.