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UnumProvident continues DI settlement talks with California

By Trevor Thomas

UnumProvident Corp. has postponed its annual investor meeting until Oct. 17 in the hopes it can settle charges by California regulators that the company has improperly denied disability insurance claims.

The company originally had scheduled the meeting for Sept. 21. In announcing the postponement, UnumProvident said it hoped that the delay might enable it to complete a settlement with the California Department of Insurance, which has been investigating the company’s claims-handling procedures.

Last year, insurance regulators in 37 states reached a settlement with a number of disability carriers, including UnumProvident, over certain disability claims denied from 1997 through 1999. The charges originally were filed in 2003.

As part of that settlement, UnumProvident, the leading DI carrier, also volunteered to review more than 200,000 cases filed after Jan. 1, 2000.

But John Garamendi, insurance commissioner for California, declined to accept that agreement, saying the deal “had significant shortcomings,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

Garamendi’s office declined to comment on the latest negotiations or even to acknowledge they were taking place.

In a comment on the postponed meeting, analysts from Bear Stearns Cos., New York, noted UnumProvident set a date for the stockholder meeting about 6 months ago, believing “there was a high likelihood that a settlement would be reached by Sept. 21.”

The company thought the meeting would be a chance to explain to investors the meaning of the settlement and its consequences, Bear Stearns says.

“We do not believe that the postponement indicates a greater likelihood of a possible sale of the company,” the analysts added.

UnumProvident says it will make its October meeting available live on the Web.

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We represent Provident 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 Provident disability insurance policy?

Our disability insurance lawyers help policy holders seeking short or long term disability insurance benefits from Provident. 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 Provident.

How do you help Provident claimants?

Our lawyers help individuals that have either purchased a Provident 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 Provident:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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