• Unum / Provident / Paul Revere Long & Short Term Disability Claims (Ep. 13)

Colonial Life

There is a good reason that dealing with Colonial Life Insurance Company is a lot like dealing with a Unum disability claim. The reason is that Colonial is a subsidiary of Unum.

Colonial sells both group disability insurance governed by ERISA and private disability insurance policies.

Colonial is not a small company as they have in excess of 3 million insurance policies in force and they service more than 65,000 businesses.

How Can Dell & Schaefer Help With A Colonial Disability Claim?

Our disability lawyers have handled numerous Colonial Disability claims from the initial application stage through the filing of a lawsuit.

Most disability claimants don’t realize it, but it is best to get a lawyer involved early with a disability claim rather than wait for a denial.

Since most Colonial policies are governed by ERISA, a claimant is required to submit an appeal before a lawsuit can be filed.

The claimant is usually given 180 days to submit a long-term disability appeal and sometimes a shorter period for a short term disability appeal. The appeal is very important as it is a claimant’s only opportunity to provide additional information in support of disability. Once the appeal period ends, a claimant cannot submit additional medical information.

Our lawyers work very closely with the claimant’s treating physicians and other medical experts in order to present a strong appeal. In additional, we will often work with a vocational expert in order to prove that the claimant cannot work in any occupation based upon his or her restrictions.

We encourage you to watch our video titled: Why is it important to have a disability attorney assist you with your ERISA Appeal?

We Want To Know What You Think About Colonial Life

We have created a forum on this page that allows Colonial Life claimants to publicly post their disability claim experience, complaints, or questions.

We fight every day to protect the rights of disability claimants, but there is a lot that can be learned from individuals sharing their experiences with others.

You can also learn more about Colonial by clicking here to go to our Unum Disability Claims page which contains additional videos, public comments, our resolved cases and discussions about recent disability insurance lawsuits and court decisions regarding Unum.

Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your claim. Visit our Facebook page for weekly updates related to disability insurance claims.

Comments (78)

  • Charles, your policy would need to be carefully reviewed to determine whether your cancer is considered a pre-existing condition. The policy will specifically define “pre-existing condition” which may determine whether your cancer is a covered condition or not.

    Cesar Gavidia Jun 14, 2021  #78

  • I have been denied cancer benefits since they said the cancer was ex one day prior to my policy taking effect without an official pathology report and now after sending in 20 chemo treatments bill they said no benefits were payable since it was prior to the policy effectiveness even though my treatments started after my policy was in effect for 2 years now still dealing and still paying for that each month?

    Charles B. Jun 13, 2021  #77

  • Jeremiah: Did you have short-term or long-term disability coverage? Have you filed a claim?

    Jay Symonds Feb 15, 2021  #76

  • I was notified that I had coronavirus. In that was elgible for disability.

    Jeremiah H. Feb 15, 2021  #75

  • Daniel, if you have a private disability claim you can appeal the denial. You have 180 days.

    Rachel Alters Mar 1, 2020  #74

  • I had an accident claim in October 2018, had 5 fusion in my neck, went back to work for 5 months, had to have lower back surgery 5 fusion in back. Now they are saying it’s the same surgery – instead of starting a new claim they went back to October 2018 and that my benefits have ran out and quit paying me as of 1-27-20. I don’t go back to surgeon until 4-27-20 and they are not going to pay me anymore money. Is there anything I can do?

    Daniel S. Mar 1, 2020  #73

  • Colonial Penn is a POX on humanity. They started calling me 04/12/19 and have called 6 – 10 per day. Fortunately they are not spoofing their number and I have blocked it so I am not being constantly harassed by these people. I have filed DO NOT CALL complaints with the FTC and my State Attorney Generals office. I am sending a certified letter ordering them to cease and desist. Any company that would do business this way is no company any reputable person or law firm would associate with.

    Steve C. Apr 15, 2019  #72

  • Elizabeth, if your disability policy excludes coverage of anxiety, depression, or mental nervous conditions in general, you unfortunately may not be able to recover benefits if your disability stems from those conditions. You should review the terms and conditions of your policy carefully in order to determine whether anxiety and depression are excluded.

    Cesar Gavidia Oct 14, 2018  #71

  • I recently filed a std claim for anxiety and depression and Colonial denied it stating that they only cover alzheimers and dementia. Do you think I have any recourse with an appeal and if so on what basis?

    Elizabeth J. Oct 13, 2018  #70

  • T. Allen, if your policy contains an exclusion for mental health conditions then you will not be eligible for benefits for your disability. If Colonial Life denied your claim saying you are not disabled then I would encourage you to contact one of our attorneys to discuss how to handle your appeal.

    Victor Pena Sep 1, 2018  #69

  • I was just denied due to severe depression and panic disorder. Colonial Life advised that was not covered. The condition has completely hindered my ability to work for the past few months. I don’t understand how they can not consider that a disability when my doctor provided all documentation. This process has left me with even more anxiety.

    T. Allen Aug 31, 2018  #68

  • Ann, I am sorry to hear of these issues. We would like to look into your claim closer. Please call our toll free number and one of our disability insurance attorneys will gladly give you a free consultation to see if we can be of assistance.

    Alex Palamara Mar 8, 2018  #67

  • I had filed a disability accident claim on March 4th of last year and I was going to my primary care physician and he sent me to pain management and I’ve been sending all my paperwork in the Colonial Life. I kept telling my pain management that my back pain keeps getting worse and worse and I couldn’t sleep or anything and they sent me to a specialist. Come to find out I had bone spurs and all kinds of bad things going on with my back I actually fractured my thoracic spine when I fell off my porch That’s the claim that I filed in March. I had to have surgery on my back major surgery they cut me for my thoracic five all the way down to my pelvis. I sent all the proper paperwork the operative report and the doctors chart they have on me from the surgery and my office visits and the diagnosis codes and colonial life has denied the surgery claim because it’s $22,000 and they don’t want to pay it out they did pay me for the hospital stay but not for the surgery.

    They’re also denying me for the disability which I cannot work at all I am very limited to what I can do and what I cannot do. I actually file for Social Security disability and I had my hearing on the 11th of this month and the way they were talking they said that there was no way I could hold down a job with my disabilities. I’ve been fighting Colonial Life on this particular claim since March 4th and I am getting absolutely nothing out of them. All I keep getting is letters in the mail saying that they are processing my claim or they’ll send me a letter saying they need more information and they have everything from my surgeon and from the hospital where I had my surgery from there’s nothing else I can send them. I really need help with this claim cuz I know they’re giving me the runaround.

    Ann R. Mar 7, 2018  #66

  • James,

    If you are treating with a neurologist for the headaches it would be best for you to appeal the denial with a supporting letter from your neurologist stating that you are disabled from migraines and that any stressful activity is detrimental to your health. Please contact our office if you need further assistance.

    Gregory Dell Feb 11, 2018  #65

  • Ok, been disabled since September 20 2017. My Dr said that I would not be able to go back to work due to complicated migraines and I needed to stay stress free, she also stated that I was seeing 2 new Drs, that I would be seeing a psychiatrist and a neurologist to treat my new condition. She also stated I needed to stay stress free. They denied my claim because they said since I was seeing a psychiatrist it must be stress related, they also claim they have sent letters to my Dr which have not been filled out.

    My Dr swears she has not seen want letters and the company is just trying to stop from paying. I also called Colonial Life and I remind you all of my calls are recorded let me remind you my states laws state that only one party has to know the call is being recorded that would be me the caller. Further more I asked them if they paid all heart attack victims, they said yes, I asked them well why did they not turn down the payments on them for stress related issues or ask them if they had been to a psychiatrist and let them stop they’re payments over this. This to me was discriminatory.

    James Feb 10, 2018  #64

  • After reading this comments, I am shocked. I have had Colonial Life since 2002. I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, November 2013, and had to stop working, December 2014. I received my first disability check January 2015. I never had any issues collecting my checks. They required updated medical information periodically, which is to be expected. I would highly recommend this company. I will be curious to see if the moderator will publish this comment, since it is a recommendation for Colonial Life.

    Diane V C Mar 6, 2017  #63

  • I have an issue with Colonial right now. I asked to sign up for the Cancer plan and was told I did’t qualify for it. I filed a complaint and after several interview with their lying representatives the manager agreed that I was eligible. They agreed to let me sign up and back date it to the date I spoke with the agent. Long story short their agent advised me to schedule a biopsy and after I got my results she would see if I qualified. Well I did as she said and I eventually was diagnosed with cancer. Now they don’t want to pay the claim because it wasn’t 30 days after I spoke to their representative Jill Sharp. I told them the reason for that was because their representative told me to hurry up and schedule it so I could sign up. They are a scam and liars. I am currently speaking with a lawyer regarding suing Colonial.

    Edna A. Feb 11, 2017  #62

  • I have been with Colonial since 2013. I unfortunately had several claim that needed made. I was hospitalized twice from surgery and from kidney issues. I had those 2 claims paid after much delay and denials for lack of information. I had 2 more claims denied because of “fine print” clauses put in where it was not reasonably put in standard writing. I had 2 hospitalizations for alcohol treatment and depression and was told they do not cover these issues.

    When I purchased these policies I was told if I was admitted to any facility for treatment I would be paid for time off work. Now twice I have been denied. Also I have supplemental insurance through them for cancer and major organ failure. When I was admitted
    for kidney failure, which they paid disability for, I was denied for the major organ failure supplement. I looked up my policy online which clearly stated kidney failure was to be paid. When I filed for it they sent me some “fine print” that said paid if it results in permanent damage resulting in the need for dialysis or transplant. I would have never bought any of these policies if I knew they would tell me one thing, then find a loophole which was unclear or hidden to not pay me. These guys are just playing games at our cost to maximize profits.

    Dave Jan 3, 2017  #61

  • Taylor, please feel free to contact our office with a copy of the denial letter and your policy so we can discuss how we may be able to assist you.

    Stephen Jessup Jun 28, 2016  #60

  • I have colonial life insurance and disability. I have filed a claim for the surgery I just had. I had a double mastectomy. They denied my claim because I am transgender and they stated that it was a psychiatric condition. Which then DSM 5 has recently changed the name to gender Dysphoria and classifies this as a medical condition. I bought into this insurance because I knew I was going to have surgeries. I have already waited the year to make a claim. There is no reason for them to deny. I live in Oregon and what they are doing is discrimination.

    Taylor Jun 24, 2016  #59

  • A, there are often provisions in limited policies that if a claim is filed within a certain period of time after the effective date of the policy then a review will be conducted to make sure there was no pre-existing condition. You will need to review your policy for any applicable policy language.

    Stephen Jessup Jun 13, 2016  #58

  • I purchased a Cancer Insurance lwith Colonical last July. I had emergency surgery 7 weeks ago and received a cancer diagnosis. Colonial has ALL the paperwork they are asked for. Now they are saying that they need more information to see if I EVER had a cancer diagnosis because I hadn’t been insured with them for 2 years. Really? Can they legally do that? My policy states 0 wait period! I am thinking of filing a complaint with Maine Bureau of Insurance. Horrible experience so far and nothing anyone with a cancer diagnosis should have to go through.

    A Redmond Jun 9, 2016  #57

  • Jane, I am sorry but I don’t quite follow with respect to what the agent is telling you. Is he indicating the policy does not cover disabilities resulting from a workplace accident? If so, that is a very common provision in many policies of this nature.

    Stephen Jessup May 5, 2016  #56

  • I had an accident on the job and tore the medial meniscus on my knee confirmed by an MRI ordered by a W/C doctor, and then surgery to repair it. I have been paying on a accidental, life, cancer, and disability on or off the job for over 8 years. I was also told when I purchased these policies that they had nothing to do with my job and when I leave I can take them with me. I am now being told by my agent that because its an injury on the job I can not claim the accident nor is there a disability because they have a special agreement with my job for on the job injuries.

    They are also telling me that a doctor has to say “The injury was due to the accident”. I think the MRI speaks for itself and then surgery.

    Needless to say cancelation will follow.

    Jane S. May 3, 2016  #55

  • Alan, have you notified your HR department of the difficulties you are having? Please feel free to contact our office to discuss how we may be able to assist you.

    Stephen Jessup Mar 31, 2016  #54

  • Dear Sirs, I have short term disability with Colonial Life through my work. I filed a claim 8 weeks ago and have received nothing but an e-mail from them. First they told me my claim was not received although I have a printed conformation that the fax was received, so I resent it this time I did receive e-mail to set up an e-mail account although I had already set one up with them six weeks earlier because of no conformation from them.

    So I set up a new one with them and gave them my SS# and resent my information so any information could be connected between the two e-mail accounts to alleviate any confusion. Then I was told again that know information was received even though they sent me an e-mail to set up an account (how did they know to do this unless they had received my information) It is going on nine weeks now and I am still out of work with Bi-Lateral pneumonia, COPD and Emphysema. After almost nine weeks without a pay check the wolfs are at the door and I’m sure they are going to say (if I even get a responds from them that it was a pre existing condition.) This company should be investigated and stopped from doing any more harm.

    P.S. It cost me 1.00 dollars per sheet to send faxes to them 1.00 X 20 sheets X 3 that’s 60.00 dollars. I live alone and that would be groceries for two weeks for me.

    Alan D. Mar 29, 2016  #53

  • I noticed former or current agents of colonial are suggesting its the consumers fault for not reading the policy and they got exactly what they paid for. This is very interesting to me. As a customer, I tried to read all of the information and it was very overwhelming. We depend on the agdnts to review with us EXACTLY what the policy entails. They rush you in and out. Not to mention, they lie and say that everything is covered. I. The sucker for putting my trust in them. It makes me sick to think of all of the money I have handed over to them over the past 3 years. Fyi: if your cancer is I remission and it comes back at a later date you will not get paid. Your basically screwed. If you see an agent from colonial, run the other way. Unless you want to join the sucker club like me. Good riddance in 6 months! Going to Aflac!

    hbrown08 Nov 16, 2015  #52

  • Lorilyn,

    If you injured yourself at work you should consult with a worker’s compensation attorney to see if a claim could be made under same. With respect to AFLAC, it wouldn’t be likely they would insure you for an injury that already occurred.

    Stephen Jessup Nov 6, 2015  #51

  • COLONIAL LIFE is horrible. I GOT short term disability from work. IT Doesn’t cover accidents at work. That is okay that is what is says on my policy. I GOT this short term disability THROUGH WORK. I SHOULD have changed when everybody else changed to AFLEC but I didn’t realize I should have, the girl in the office really didn’t explain it to me that well, and I self payed. NOW, I wanted to ADD short term disability for getting hurt at work, and I called an agent and she said since I self pay and its not through work, I cannot buy that added disability. HUH? Those colonial life agents came to my place of work and sold it to me, I called another agent recently to clarify my policy because I did get hurt at work and they were nice enough to explain that my policy doesn’t include getting hurt at work, but, she also says they try and steer people away from getting short term disability at work, she said that. (BECAUSE THEY WOULD HAVE TO PAY OUT?) She was honest and she said that. Now this agent, a different agent, to add short term disability for work related injuries, said she cannot do this because the place of employment doesn’t have a large amount of people for their company, and I don’t get the policy deducted from my pay, supposedly theoretically if I get it deducted from my pay stub they ? might sell me a policy?

    Also I overpaid them and they said they would get back to me in 2 days to see if they will GIVE ME BACK MY MONEY? they never did.
    This last agent said they might be getting a policy people can get for getting hurt at work in Connecticut possibly in January, that you can buy from an agent, not through work, if everything goes through in January. Connecticut being one of the first states to offer that. I don’t know what to do. Should I tray and switch to AFLEC? SHOULD I WAIT?

    EVen if I get a policy through COlonial they said they cover only what workman’s comp through work doesn’t cover. What about AFLEC?

    Lorilyn T. Nov 4, 2015  #50

  • Deborah,

    All I can recommend is you review the policy you purchased to determine what level of coverage you bought.

    Stephen Jessup Oct 14, 2015  #49

  • This compnay told me that I had disability insurnace and they lied. I only have this insurnace if my disability happens from an accident

    Deborah Oct 13, 2015  #48

  • People who are having trouble with them paying need to report then to their own state Dept. of Insurance. I reported them to the NCDOI, since I live in NC. That worked. In fact the Dept of Insur made them pay me back interest on money they owed me.

    Jeanne M. Aug 31, 2015  #47

  • Staci,

    Please feel free to contact our office to discuss how we may be able to assist you in getting your benefit payment going.

    Stephen Jessup Aug 29, 2015  #46

  • I am currently having a problem with Colonial Life. They never hesitate to take my money on a monthly basis for 6 years… and now I cant get a dime for my claim!! If only they could see me now with a PICC line going straight to my heart to feed me!! It’s been over a month and all I hear is excuses. I have all the emails and doctors notes. They still don’t care. I want to sue the crap out of them and tell everyone at my work to drop them! Do NOT get this short term disability insurance!

    Staci Aug 28, 2015  #45

  • P Nelosn,

    If the claim is denied please contact our office to review the policies and documents to see if there is something we can do to assist.

    Stephen Jessup May 29, 2015  #44

  • P Nelosn,

    If the claim is denied please contact our office to review the policies and documents to see if there is something we can do to assist.

    Stephen Jessup May 26, 2015  #43

  • I have short term, group specified, whole life, group term, and group accident with Colonial. Never once did the sales rep inform me that they deny coverage for preexisting for the year prior to effective start date. I ended up in hospital on Feb 28 2015 with pneumonia. I spent three days on a ventilator and the other 3 days of my hospital on the cardiac floor.. the reason for that was because of my respiratory failure I had a heart attack. I filed a claim for the group specified ins I pay for since heart attack is one of the conditions covered.

    I still to this day may 25 2015 have not been approved or denied officially.

    I was told by one person at Colonial that short term will probably not be paid because pneumonia was a preexisting condition since I had the exact same bacteria last May 2014. I didn’t realize a bacterial infection that clears up and goes away is a “preexisting condition”. News to me!

    I am a widow and do not receive benefits from my deceased husband so I have had to blow through my savings account to pay my bills and live day to day. I was out of work from Feb 28-May 6 2015. I have sent in everything they have requested so have my Doctors. I wish I would have been told the TRUTH about this company.

    P Nelson May 25, 2015  #42

  • Lynn,

    Based on the information provided, we would not be able to say. I would suggest you review your policy language to determine if there are any exclusions – though I have yet to see anything that would exclude based on your scenario.

    Stephen Jessup Mar 31, 2015  #41

  • Can Colonial Life deny coverage for pregnancy disability if you filled prescriptions for fertility drugs long before conception?

    Lynn Mar 30, 2015  #40

  • Jeanne,

    Without a better understanding of the policy, your occupation and medical information there would be no way to render any opinion as to your likelihood of receiving benefits.

    Stephen Jessup Jan 16, 2015  #39

  • I am a Mass state employee that has Colonial short term disability. I filed a claim for a 12 week leave to get control over uncontrolled type 1 diabetes that I’ve had for 33 years. There are also psychological issues involved. Is this likely to be approved as a legitimate leave?

    Jeanne Prado Jan 15, 2015  #38

  • Tony,

    Many policies have specific language as to what constitutes an “accidental injury” for purposes of determining eligibility for benefits. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss your claim and for a free review of your policy to determine how we may be able to assist you.

    Stephen Jessup Dec 25, 2014  #37

  • They keep denying my case due to non accidental injury when my doctor clealry stating injury due to a result of a accident… really, 2 months latter still no positive results.

    Tony Dec 24, 2014  #36

  • Thank God I didn’t go with them… but they will not stop calling me. I’m going to report them to the Federal Trade Commission, hope they will leave me alone. They call all hours of the day and night, even on weekends. No, this is the first time I saw this and the first time I am making a complaint.

    Maggy Oct 29, 2014  #35

  • Missi,

    It is unusual that the insurance company is stating they do not cover your type of sickness. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss your claim.

    Stephen Jessup Jul 24, 2014  #34

  • I have been insured with this company for years, I have used my disability policy once and it was for the same thing. This time they denied me saying that they don’t cover my type sickness. I have sent paperwork, after paperwork. I am sooo disappointed with this company and just like all other reviews I am canceling my policy and gonna tell all my coworkers to do the same. It’s just not worth it. And the customer service person was really rude. Cancel your policy now.

    Missi Allen Jul 23, 2014  #33

  • 1) This is a complaint board, so take it with a grain of salt. In my 20+ years representing dozens of companies, most claims issues were technically the fault of the buyer of the policy not understanding what they bought. For example, Thomas Mendez above complained about how much he got with his claim, so clearly he never reviewed his policy in the 17 years that he owned it. Otherwise, he would have understood that he got exactly what he bought. And, clearly he should have updated his policy to reflect his increase of income as he went along. Sorry, Thomas, but that fault is completely on your shoulders. And possibly your employer’s if they didn’t allow you to sit with someone annual to review your coverages.

    2) The premise that somehow Aflac is a better company than its competition is something only an Aflac agent would believe. They are a fine company, but have their issues just like any company. But, also to be clear, we’ve represented dozens and dozens of companies, and that won’t ever be one we represent as they’re way overpriced compared to the competition.

    3) The best advice you could receive is to be sure to a) review your policy regularly and b) be sure to use your agent/broker to advise you on claims. In 20 years, with any company, I’ve only seen one action by an insurance company that I felt was wrong. I stopped offering that company’s insurance and they no longer are in business. I’ve seen mistakes, but mistakes can get fixed.

    Insurance Broker Apr 7, 2014  #32

  • I think it should be noted that this is a website for a disability attorney… So naturally the majority of the comments are going to be negative. Years ago I worked in customer service for Colonial Life. The first day they told us “if we owe a claim, pay it”. I can honestly say that I found the majority of claims issues were simple errors usually caused by claim forms not being fully completed and not all information being sent in. I also think people need to take the time to understand the policy you are purchasing. If it is an individual disability policy it is going to have a pre-existing clause. This would be the case with any carrier including AFLAC. And I assure you AFLAC and the other carriers have claims issues too. Also, make sure your doctors/doctor’s offices are helping you out. I used to make several calls to doctors offices trying to help get the required information to get a persons claim paid. It’s amazing how many doctors offices wouldn’t return messages, or responsed to requests for medical information.

    Sadly, just as there are people that have legitimate claims that need to get paid, there are also a lot of people that do try to cheat the system. You would be surprised.

    Overall, even though I do not work here anymore… I still wanted to counter some of these unfortunate experiences and say in my opinion I found Colonial Life to be a great company and was a great company to work for. Yes, they are a subsidiary of UNUM, but they do operate seperately and I found most in the corporate office didn’t like the UNUM ties. Claims do get paid by this company and I found they really did try to do a good job. These are bad experiences, and I had many calls in customer service with bad experiences (it’s customer service for a insurance company that’s to be expected) BUT I had numerous calls as well from people that thanked me for how well Colonial handled their claim. I guess I’m just saying there is always good and bad in the insurance industry. I wish everyone that is having issues luck in getting them resolved!!

    Worked There Mar 16, 2014  #31

  • This is a really sad page of issues! As an Aflac agent for the past 13 years – I’ve had very few denied claims – and that was only for issues regarding the insured not disclosing a “pre-x” condition.

    I recently thought about offering Colonial to those companies that want a choice is supplemental carrier, but I am glad I decided not too!

    Seeing how Aflac pays their claims over 13+ years has made me happy that I place my clients with the #1 company.

    My previous manager went to work for Colonial and was telling me how great they were, etc… etc…

    All I can say to ALL above is “buy Aflac” they don’t look for ways to NOT pay you, they pay when you need the money the most!

    Insurance Agent Dec 15, 2013  #30

  • Brandi,

    I am sorry to hear of your troubles. With respect to your claim most policies equate an accident to just that – a traumatic event such as a fall or an automobile accident that directly lead to the disability. In many cases if you had an underlying medical condition, for example arthritis or a chronic overuse syndrome – then the resultant disability for the inability to work would be based on a sickness. Additionally, Colonial may not have raised the issue, but there could be problems with respect to the late notice provided to Colonial as the disability occurred two years ago.

    Stephen Jessup Sep 13, 2013  #29

  • I’m a government employee with Colonial Life and Accident policies since 2009. In 2011, I went to the doctor for debilitating pain in my fingers up to my shoulder. The pain overwhelmed me to the point of crying at work. My doctor pre-diagnosed me with carpal tunnel and tendinitis. She gave me wrist and elbow braces, ordered some tests, and suggested I request an ergonomic work station from my employer. My employer required me to file a industrial accident claim in order to get the ergonomic desk. They also made me see their doctor instead. Their doctor confirmed the injury but reported it as non work related. Meanwhile the pain was so bad I could barely wipe after toileting let alone type. I called an attorney who started a workers comp. case for me. I finally was treated for the injury and therapy off work for 4 most. Aflac approved my claim for benefits during that 4 mos. That was in 2011. This year in August, I realised I had a Colonial policy as well. I totally forgot that a representative signed me up one day during a workplace presentation. So I submitted the claim and Colonial denied me claiming my injury was not an accident but rather a sickness. I do not have a sickness policy. I told them I wasn’t sick, I was injured… and it certainly wasn’t intentional so therefore it’s an accident. So now I appealed but have not yet received a response. I am so upset.

    Every coworker I asked said Colonial never approved a claim of theirs either. I’m thinking I need to cancel my life insurance policies before I die and they create some reason to not pay my benefits to my kids!

    Brandi Sep 12, 2013  #28

  • Kim,

    That seems like a strange reason to hold up payment of benefits. I would demand clarification in writing as to why they require “heart attack” as opposed to what the M.E. put on the death certificate. You can also file a complaint with your State Insurance Commissioner.

    Stephen Jessup Jul 22, 2013  #27

  • My aunt has Colonial Life Insurance for her family. Her husband died in February from a heart attack. They have not paid as of yet. His death certificate says cardiopulmonary arrest. Colonial says it should say heart attack. Really. Sounds like hogwash to me.

    Kim Jul 21, 2013  #26

  • Pam,

    Partial disability is most likely a term defined and contained within the disability policy written by Colonial Life, and is not language generated by your employer. Although your frustration is understandable, if your employer does not accommodate part time work restrictions then it may be a case that you have to move for total disability for your inability to meet the demands of your occupation as required by your employer.

    Stephen Jessup Jul 12, 2013  #25

  • Tony,

    First and foremost, wishing you a speedy recovery and return to work. Unfortunately, the majority of disability carriers make payments once a month, and this does result in a financial burden during the in between time.

    Stephen Jessup Jul 11, 2013  #24

  • Colonial is denying my partial disability claim because the employer doesn’t allow any employees in that department to work partially and Colonial is saying that I don’t meet their definition of partial disability when the doctor is stating that I am partially disabled and can work 17.5 hours or less according to my Colonial contract… I filed a complaint with the insurance commissioner. How could an employer define partial disability because they don’t offer that kind of work?

    Pam EL. Jul 11, 2013  #23

  • I bought Colonial short term disability at the last open enrolment at work. I have life and accident with Colonial also. Had to have cervical spine surgery in late May, filed all the paperwork given to me by insurance agent, only to get a letter from Colonial saying “Authorisation” page was different now, but the enclosed “new” one was EXACTLY the same as the “old” one. Delaying tactic.

    After six weeks, they approved the claim. I hope to go back to work in late August, but Colonial will only pay claims monthly, and I have to get doc and HR dept to file new paperwork every month.

    Who can survive only getting one check a month. Why not weekly, or bi-weekly? Oh, I know… So they can deny a claim and make it retroactive to the first of the month and not tell you until six weeks later. And the Doc makes me pay a fee every time they have to fill out a new insurance form…

    Colonial is a rip-off.

    Tony Jul 10, 2013  #22

  • Colonial is denying my newborn’s hospitalisation for open heart surgery. They’re saying my coverage “lapsed” but have given me three different dates (months apart). My coverage didn’t lapse and my premiums were waived and refunded to me as I was on disability for high risk pregnancy. My infant daughter was hospitalised for a heart defect, had surgery and was discharged. 2-3 weeks later (all while STILL on disability) she was hospitalised for gastric surgery. Colonial arbitrarily combined my two claims into one and denied her claims stating it was not two… but one condition… when cardiac and gastric are unrelated… her physician’s statements back this. After the Dr.’s statements arrived verifying it was two separate hospitalisations and conditions, they’re saying my coverage lapsed even though I was in the middle of my disability claim with them. I’m fighting them, want to sue them for the compensation they owe me, per my policy. I hate them… can’t wait to be done with them. They gave me the run around every single month of my pregnancy too.

    Laura Hutchinson Feb 11, 2013  #21

  • Andrew,

    Pain and suffering in a breach of contract claim is not a remedy. There are claims for bad faith as a result of any economic damages you have sustained, such as loss of home, in-creased debt, etc. The bad faith laws are different in every state. You should file a claim with your state department of insurance. In some cases you can recover damages for your emotional pain and suffering if it can be proven that Colonial Life is intentionally try-ing to make you suffer.

    Gregory Dell Nov 22, 2012  #20

  • I worked for a large T-shirt company, and one day in August, I woke up with no sight in my eye, and started suffering from daily migraines so crippling I am seen almost every day in the Emergency Room, my doctor has written countless statements saying he is optimistic that my sight will return, even calling it “left sided visual loss” in reports, saying I am unable to work. I have been unable to work since September 5th. I immediately filled out a claim with Colonial, which took them more than 4 weeks to make a decision simply stating they need more information from my doctor, so I get another statement, faxed it in the same day, wait another 2 weeks, before they tell me that they needed a statement from my employer, okay… I’ll play this game, I used to be an agent with AFLAC, and I know the games some insurance providers play. So, I get the statement from my employer, fax it in, along with a letter detailing my financial problems. I am a single father (my 2 year old daughter lives with me full time), facing eviction at the end of the month if I don’t get a decision soon, I was promised a decision by October 31st, they then informed me they needed to check for a pre-existing conditions, so… I get evicted, I move in with a person I barely know from church that is having financial problems themselves, and have been living here since, with no way to pay her for living here under her roof, so, I have the hospital send all the hospital records from a year ago to now to Colonial, wait a week, then they say they have not received the fax, I call the hospital again, and have them re-fax it, call them back two days later, and they finally got both faxes. Then, a week and a half later, I call them (they never call me, I have to always call them to get an answer), they then tell me that they can’t trust me that those were all the faxes and wants the hospitals to fax them themselves?! After spending 45 minutes on the phone trying to explain to them that it was the hospital themselves that faxed the records, from the records room itself, they now tell me that I need to sign a form, fax it to them, wait two business days so they can receive it, fax it to the hospital, the hospital re-faxes what they have already faxed TWICE, and now, finally! after all that, I am 90% sure they will have another excuse to give me, in my opinion, as a former agent, get AFLAC they won’t screw you around like Colonial does.

    So then my quick question is, is there any legal recourse I can take to make Colonial pay for any loss and damage due to them just being ignorant? Or is pain and suffering not a thing when it comes to insurance companies?

    Andrew Nov 21, 2012  #19

  • Thank you. I will try to get that done soon.

    Jeanne Mott Nov 21, 2012  #18

  • Jeanne,

    Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for a disability insurance carrier to render a decision that is contradictory to that of the Social Security Administration, or in your case, disability benefits from your State. If more people contacted their State Insurance Commissioner the potential for change in the system would be much greater.

    Stephen Jessup Nov 18, 2012  #17

  • I have a Colonial Disability policy I pay for, but I guess it is a group policy because they come to our schools to sell us the insurance. (I’m a teacher in NC). All of our supplemental insurance is through them.

    After some surgeries last spring I have had complications and have been unable to return to teaching. The state of NC (through the State Medical Board) has granted me preliminary long-term disability for 12 months, which can be renewed. However, I have been fighting with Colonial to try to get them to pay on my claim. They paid only for 3 months. Now they want more and more information from my doctor. It’s the same information they already were given. My doctor has filled out all the complete disability forms and provided all the required information – detailing why I am unable to do my job and detailing my disabilities. I don’t understand why, when the State Medical Board has granted me disability, Colonial chooses not to pay.

    This week my doctor told me that insurance companies get paid to deny claims! The people in my Human Resources Dept. at my school district said everyone has the same problem with Colonial. My brother, an attorney, said we should write the State Insurance Commissioner about the problem. My doctor actually wrote that I was disabled for life. For the rest of you who see this, perhaps you can write your State Insurance Commissioner too. I don’t know if it will help or not. Interesting to see how many people have trouble with Colonial.

    Jeanne Mott Nov 17, 2012  #16

  • Hi Greg, thanks for your suggestions. To date, I have been trying to locate this doc that made this erroneous statement and I am being told that she no longer works for my medical center and that she just stopped coming to work and no one knows where she is as of today. I was able to obtain a verification letter from my primary care doc stating that no TX was ever rendered for my shoulder condition. I provided that letter and my surgeon’s letter regarding my need for 4 more months of PT to Colonial last week and my claim status is now “In Process”. I wonder what they will say now. I can’t help the rookie doc can’t be found. What else can I do?

    Danny Thomas Oct 31, 2012  #15

  • Danny,

    You need to try to get in touch with the old doctor, or the old doctor’s medical practice and get a correction. It also good to have your current doctor submit a statement stating that a medical review does not provide any evidence of a pre-ex condition.

    Gregory Dell Oct 27, 2012  #14

  • I have Colonial for short term disability. I recently changed from AFLAC. If I knew then what I know now I would not have switched. But they gave this fantastic presentation at work and almost everyone switched. We were even encouraged by my employer. Well I had surgery two months ago and now am trying to get my short term disability for shoulder surgery. They are trying to say it is pre-existing. I provided all my medical records to them and they found a record from last year with some doc that I saw once when my doc was away. That doc put in the record the wrong info. about why I came in to the office. I said “shoulder blade” pain, but she dictated “bil shoulder” pain. Now this doc has moved on to another practice and I am stuck with this error and Colonial has denied me. I am appealing but what can I do about erroneous medical information by some rookie doc? My primary care doc has verified that I was never treated for bil shoulder. I am praying for a reversal because I am facing eviction and need money like yesterday.

    Danny Thomas Oct 26, 2012  #13

  • Sharron,

    Thank you for sharing your experience with Colonial Life. We moderate comments posted on our site in order to prevent spam postings; however it is rare that we don’t approve something that is relevant.

    Gregory Dell Jul 2, 2012  #12

  • I believe I already posted my grievance on this site. I was professional and stated facts only. Since I see it still hasn’t been posted, I can only assume it may have not gone over too well with your agency. Although, after reading many complaints on various different sites, I can’t see why my comments would not be permitted posting on this site… For the sake of my research, I have printed some of the comments made by consumers that “fit my situation to a tee.” In some warped way, it helps me deal with my situation.

    Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to express my concerns/thoughts.

    Sharron L. Schrenk RN Jun 30, 2012  #11

  • I have been with Colonial Insurance Company for 17 years for their Supplemental Disability Insurance product. When I signed up, the agent told my that if I ever got hurt and I was off-work for 14 days straight they would make up the remainder of my paycheck with this disability insurance program so I would receive a full paycheck. Well I need to use this insurance now and after $17,300.00 in payments to this company my coverage is only $42.00 a day / max $1,300.00 a month based on my policy start date in 1995, which was based on my wages at that time. What a complete waste of money. DO NOT USE THIS PRODUCT.

    Thomas Mendez Jun 21, 2012  #10

  • Colonial Life is a scam, they find anyway they can to deny your claim. They tell you one thing one day, and another then next, they file notes that you stated time and time again and even reread to you line by line that makes the statements they say false. I can’t stand when a rep. opens a file and reads the notes to only tell you what you already know… They love to take your money and offer no services for it. AFLAC is a much better company.

    John McEwen Dec 1, 2011  #9

  • Lies, lies, lies thats all I get from the Colonial people over the phone. It is so obvious that this must be what they are taught to tell the policy holders. They will stretch the rope to the limit (if you mail your claim, expect seven working days before we receive it) if you fax (five days before they admit to receiving it) and then twelve working days before they mail the check (please wait five working days before you receive the check in the mail). If you want it sooner, eighteen dollars to overnight it. And that’s after those twelve days I mentioned earlier. Crazy, just darn crazy. You know this is what all the protests are about. Every week my premium is paid on time, every time. But if I get sick, it seems I will have a big problem getting a simple check from these people to pay for my meds. It makes you sicker than you are.

    Walter Grant Oct 27, 2011  #8

  • I have had colonial life for many, many years now. I too have had the most horrible service lately with them. They didint used to be like this though, when I first signed up in 2000. Now, OMG!!!!! they go wayyy over the initial date they give u to be done with the claims. They have to nerve to not let the reps. allow you to speak with a supv. when u ask for one. Im tired of hearing that I have to give them 24 more hours to complete my claim, when they have already had it for more than 15 days. They dont care. They dont care how much we complain, or if we start dropping policies, i guess because they are making so much money. But I have recently got AFLAC for all the same polices, and let me just tell all of u thay may not know, but AFLAC is the way to go, they never take more than 7 days to do any claim.

    Beverly Lewis Oct 13, 2011  #7

  • Colonial Insurance must be part of 1st Unum Insurance! I have a short term policy with 1st Unum (2 year) and talk to Colonial employees! I have never been lied to so much in my life about my claim! They tell you one thing one day and something different the next! Always blame the doctor’s office one time and the next something different! Tell me they mailed my check on one date then a week later I’ll call to see where the check is and they tell me they are working on it and will mail it in a couple days! Others where I work say the same thing! 1st Unum should be banned from insurance business! Maybe it’s Government Run!

    Les Coufal May 31, 2011  #6

  • I have a Colonial Life short term disability policy since 1994. I recently had a neck surgery and then a staph infection surgery. They insisted on getting my medical records from my old shoulder doctor. I sent a letter, telling them that this request was not necessary because it was not relevant. After them trying to get those records for months. After insisting they needed those records for three months, they denied the claim because the home confinement box was not checked by my doctor. If they had denied the claim based on the unchecked box by my doctor right away, I could have provided the information easily. Now that time has passed, I won’t remember every thing. Their customer service department should be called robo calls because they all say exactly the same thing no matter what you ask or say. I have been waiting form this money and now I have to go around their mulberry bush again.

    Teri Barton Mar 12, 2011  #5

  • I am not pleased with the services of Colonial Life at all. Colonial took over 1,000 dollars out of my account without my knowledge or authorization. My insurance had been cancelled since October, 2010 and they took money out of my account on March 11, 2011. I specifically spoke with a representative and he told me my account was closed. They are RIP OFFS!!!

    Shana Williams- Aubrey Mar 11, 2011  #4

  • I have had Colonial Life ins. for many years for short and long term dissability as well as life ins. I have just had my first experience with this ins. comp. when I filed a claim for short term dissability due to illness and have nothing good to say about this company. They denied my inital claim and then denied my appeal. They find every excuse in the book not to cover your claim, do not meet their dead lines and refuse to give you any information over the phone regarding the status of your claim. They advertise that they are there for you, but that is not the truth. They are there for themselves and their pocket. It makes me sick to think of how much money I have given this company over the years and how they were not there when I needed them the most. I DO NOT recommend this ins. company to anyone because you can not depend on them to be there when you need them the most. If you were smart you would avoid this insurance company like the plague.

    Pamela Carroll Jan 7, 2011  #3

  • Leah, I am assuming you are aware that Colonial Life is a subsidiary company of Unum. Unum is the largest seller of disability insurance in the United States. I associate Colonial in the same category of Unum. If you want to learn more about Unum I suggest you look at our website at diattorney.com/unum. Unum sells some decent long term disability policies and the old policies sold by Provident and Paul Rever are some of the best. I do not think you should have any ethical concerns selling Colonial or Unum products. There are some companies that have better long term disability products available. Here is a summary of Unum’s subisidiares:

    Products and Services Provided by Unum Subsidiaries

    Unum Group, through its various subsidiaries, provides insurance products and services in numerous countries. As used on this website, “Unum” refers to Unum Group and its insuring subsidiaries. Not all Unum companies do business in all jurisdictions and insurance products and services are not available in all jurisdictions. Insurance products and services are offered through the following Unum companies:

    Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company
    Columbia, South Carolina
    (all states, except New York)
    NAIC Number 0565-62049

    The Paul Revere Life Insurance Company
    Worcester, Massachusetts
    (New York)
    NAIC Number 0565-67598

    Provident Life and Accident Insurance Company
    Chattanooga, Tennessee
    (all States, except New York)
    NAIC Number 0565-68195

    Provident Life and Casualty Insurance Company
    Chattanooga, Tennessee
    (New York and other states)
    NAIC Number 0565-68209

    First Unum Life Insurance Company
    New York, New York
    (New York only)
    NAIC Number 0565-64297

    Unum Life Insurance Company of America
    Portland, Maine
    (all states, except New York)
    NAIC Number 0565-62235

    Unum Limited
    Insurance products and services offered in the United Kingdom and Europe.

    Gregory Dell Aug 25, 2010  #2

  • Hello,

    Surprised to find you specializing in a particular carrier. I signed with Colonial Life as an agent, but am stalling selling until I can complete due diligence on the co. How bad is it? Can you give any quantification or qualification? I’m one of those ethical insurance brokers who cares about products, carriers and clients. Thanks for your reply.

    Leah Cooper Aug 25, 2010  #1

Leave a comment or ask us a question

Questions About Hiring Us

Do you handle ERISA Colonial Life appeals?

If your disability income claim has been denied by Colonial Life and your disability income policy has been offered through your employer, then federal ERISA law requires you to file an appeal with Colonial Life. Our law firm has handled thousands of ERISA appeals against Colonial Life and we will prepare a very strong appeal on your behalf.

Do you help with Colonial Life applications?

The application for disability benefits with Colonial Life is the foundation of your claim. One mistake can result in your claim for disability insurance benefits being denied by Colonial Life. Our lawyers will guide you through the entire application process and make sure you are in the best possible position to have your claim approved by Colonial Life. We welcome you to contact our attorneys to discuss important information about applying for disability benefits with Colonial Life.

Do you file Colonial Life lawsuits?

If Colonial Life has denied all of your ERISA disability appeals, then you have the right to file a lawsuit in federal court against Colonial Life. An ERISA disability lawsuit is different than any other type of lawsuit and you should hire a attorney that has handled thousands of disability denial lawsuits against Colonial Life. Our disability insurance lawyers know what to expect with the challenges filing a federal lawsuit against Colonial Life.

Can you help with a Colonial Life disability Insurance denial?

We have helped thousands of individuals collect long term disability benefits from Colonial Life and we know the unreasonable denial tactics used by Colonial Life to deny disability insurance benefits. Our experienced attorneys know the many options available to get your disability benefits paid by Colonial Life.

Do you manage Colonial Life monthly claims?

Monthly disability insurance claim management is a unique service we offer. Our goal is to make sure your Colonial Life disability benefits continue for as long as you need them. Many claimants either don't trust or experience aggravation dealing with Colonial Life. Disability Insurance Attorneys Dell & Schaefer manages every aspect of your claim for disability income benefits from (Colonial Life. Colonial Life only interacts with our law firm. Contact Disability Insurance Attorneys Dell & Schaefer to learn how we can manage your disability claim.

Can you negotiate a Colonial Life lump sum buyout?

Lump sum buyouts and disability buyouts are occasionally offered by Colonial Life. Our disability lawyers have established relationships with the people at Colonial Life that make the decisions on disability buyouts. We have negotiated hundreds of lump settlements with Colonial Life. Our goal is to get you the highest buyout possible.

Do you work in my state?

Yes. We are a national disability insurance law firm that is available to represent you regardless of where you live in the United States. We have partner lawyers in every state and we have filed lawsuits in most federal courts nationwide. Our disability lawyers represent disability claimants at all stages of a claim for disability insurance benefits. There is nothing that our lawyers have not seen in the disability insurance world.

What are your fees?

Since we represent disability insurance claimants at different stages of a disability insurance claim we offer a variety of different fee options. We understand that claimants living on disability insurance benefits have a limited source of income; therefore we always try to work with the claimant to make our attorney fees as affordable as possible.

The three available fee options are a contingency fee agreement (no attorney fee or cost unless we make a recovery), hourly fee or fixed flat rate.

In every case we provide each client with a written fee agreement detailing the terms and conditions. We always offer a free initial phone consultation and we appreciate the opportunity to work with you in obtaining payment of your disability insurance benefits.

Do I have to come to your office to work with your law firm?

No. For purposes of efficiency and to reduce expenses for our clients we have found that 99% of our clients prefer to communicate via telephone, e-mail, fax, GoToMeeting.com sessions, or Skype. If you prefer an initial in-person meeting please let us know. A disability company will never require you to come to their office and similarly we are set up so that we handle your entire claim without the need for you to come to our office.

How can I contact you?

When you call us during normal business hours you will immediately speak with a disability attorney. We can be reached at 800-682-8331 or by email. Lawyer and staff must return all client calls same day. Client emails are usually replied to within the same business day and seem to be the preferred and most efficient method of communication for most clients.

Dell & Schaefer Client Reviews   *****

Linda A. (Florida)

It was an excellent experience working with Stephen Jessup, Esq. and Vanessa Arriaga, paralegal, on my appeal claim! They are a great team and did an amazing job to obtain a positive result for my case. They were focused, knowledgeable and efficient – and, they took the burden of dealing with the insurance carrier off of my shoulders. I am grateful to have the opportunity to thank them for their expertise and guidance during a difficult time.

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