Unum is particularly insidious; it should be in first place simply because it denies people who need it the most—those people who are disabled.
Unum is consistent. Even though it got severely reprimanded back in 2005 for its claims-handling practices (i.e., bad faith practices), this company ranked second place because, even to this day, it unfairly denies and delays thousands and thousands of claims. Despite settling with insurance commissioners to the tune of $15 million and agreeing to reopen more than 200,000 cases, it continually practices bad faith. In fact, this company, which is one of the nation's leading disability insurers and by all accounts one of the most profitable (Profits: $679 million in 2007; assets $52.4 billion), admitted to only reviewing 10 percent of those 200,000 cases eligible for reopening that it had agreed to three years earlier.
Policy holders in California are the worst-off. Because one in every four claims are denied, in 2005 the California Department of Insurance launched an investigation into Unum and found "widespread fraud" by the company, which prompted California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi to describe Unum as an "outlaw company."
Given the number of complaints that LawyersandSettlements has received over the years, Unum (formerly called UnumProvident and First Unum—in an attempt to change its negative image) employs a number of tips and tactics to deny claims.
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In Tracy's case, Unum denied her illness based on its own independent examiner's diagnosis, regardless of her own medical reports—Tracy suffers from fibromyalgia, a disease recognized by the medical community and social security.
Unum used its "stall tactic" on Sharon; she finally gave up and applied for social security benefits, which she received within a few weeks. "In retrospect I wish that I had taken the appeal to court," Sharon said. "I believe the judge would have made Unum step up to the plate and do the right thing..."