Unum CEO Testifies At US Senate Hearing About Disability Insurance

On March 22, 2012, UNUM insurance company’s CEO Tom Watjen spoke at a United States Senate Committee hearing about the value of disability insurance coverage for individuals and the need for the private disability insurers and the government to work together in order to offer the coverage to more employees. Unum’s CEO stated, “The ability to earn a living is the most important asset people have, and protecting that asset benefits individuals, families, businesses and taxpayers.”

As disability insurance attorneys we agree that every employee should be offered private disability insurance by their employer. Currently, only 30 percent of employees in the United States have private long term disability insurance.

In a recent press release, Unum claims to have “commissioned a study by Charles River Associates to assess the value of employee benefits with a specific focus on disability protection provided in the workplace. The study found that private, employer-sponsored disability insurance saves taxpayers up to $4.5 billion dollars per year and helps as many as 575,000 families avoid impoverishment and the need to rely on public assistance programs.”

Unum’s CEO further testified, “The world of disability is uncharted territory for most employees, and Unum guides them through this difficult landscape by building a trusting and supportive relationship with the common goal of helping the employee recover and return to work.”

The language used by the Unum CEO is interesting. While Unum has a checkered history, it is our experience as disability insurance lawyers that UNUM approves more than 50% of the initial claims for disability benefits. We disagree with Unum’s assertion that they build a “trusting and supportive relationship” with the employee/ claimant. In most claims Unum will hire their own medical consultants and without examining the claimant conduct an evaluation to determine if an employee is fit to return to work. How is Unum being supportive and trusting if they are not relying on the opinion of the claimant’s treating physician(s)? Unum is obviously in business to make money, and they have a right to investigate every claim in order to prevent fraudulent claims. Claimants need to be prepared and well advised when seeking disability benefits from either UNUM or any disability insurance company.

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FAQ

Do you help Unum claimants nationwide?

We represent Unum clients nationwide and we encourage you to contact us for a FREE immediate phone consultation with one of our experienced disability insurance attorneys.

Can you help with a Unum disability insurance policy?

Our disability insurance lawyers help policy holders seeking short or long term disability insurance benefits from Unum. We have helped thousands of disability insurance claimants nationwide with monthly disability benefits. With more than 40 years of disability insurance experience we have helped individuals in almost every occupation and we are familiar with the disability income policies offered by Unum.

How do you help Unum claimants?

Our lawyers help individuals that have either purchased a Unum long term disability insurance policy from an insurance company or obtained short or long term disability insurance coverage as a benefit from their employer.

Our experienced lawyers can assist with Unum:

  • ERISA and Non-ERISA Appeals of Disability Benefit Denials
  • ERISA and Non-ERISA Disability Benefit Lawsuits
  • Applying For Short or Long Term Disability Benefits
  • Daily Handling & Management of Your Disability Claim
  • Disability Insurance Lump-Sum Buyout or Settlement Negotiations

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.

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My experience with attorney Stephen Dell and his ace paralegal, Merlin Bryan, was first rate. I am an attorney who found herself disabled at a relatively young age (52). Stephen and Merlin had vast experience in dealing with my disability insurance carrier and prepared a detailed and thorough application on my behalf that I, in no way, could have prepared on my own. They repeatedly just told me to concentrate on getting better. They were compassionate and knowledgeable. They filed my claim in March and it was approved in April. I had never in my life had such a seamless… and dare I say pleasant… interaction with an insurance carrier.

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