New Jersey Disability Lawyer
An Experienced, Aggressive, Disability Claims Lawyer who WINS against UNUM is a MUST!
If you want to pick out the biggest and baddest of the disability income insurance companies, Unum, the largest disability income insurance carrier in the U.S., would have to be a top choice.
If you have a long term disability policy with Unum, be sure to get a lawyer on your side immediately!
This was demonstrated recently when Mike Quiat was able to convince Unum that the denial of disability income benefits to a client with severe loss of vision caused by optic nerve damage was not caused by “loss resulting from either or both eyes”, an exclusion in the client’s policy. More details, see Mike’s blog.
Unum has a well-deserved reputation for stonewalling disability claims to the bitter end. A good many times the disability income claim denial tactics used by Unum and its affiliated companies are highly questionable even though the company knows the torment caused to the insured by a refusal to pay disability claims. For in addition to being sick or injured at the time the claim is made, the claimant is earning nothing with which to support him or herself and the family.
A major basis for this conduct on the part of Unum and many other disability carriers is the “wimp” factor. Unum knows a substantial percentage of Unum’s potential claimants will be too timid to press their claims when faced with a denial. Once they are turned down, this type of claimant (and there are many of them) will give up even though their claim is valid and should be paid.
Such failure on the part of claimants to press claims means loads of extra money in Unum’s pocket.
This type of conduct by Unum is illustrated by an opinion of a Nevada Federal District Court judge who unleashed his full fury onto Unum and its wholly owned subsidiary, the Paul Revere Life Insurance Company. In this disability claims insurance case the court awarded a plaintiff more than $26 million in punitive damages against Unum and allowed another $36 million in punitive jury damages to stand against Paul Revere.
The Nevada Court found after a thorough review of the evidence in the case, Merrick v. Paul Revere Life Insurance Company, that Unum had engaged in highly reprehensible conduct to boost up its profits, had set its sights squarely on the financially vulnerable, and thereby was endangering the health and welfare of the policyholder and his family. The judge further concluded that Unum had repeatedly engaged in the same type of conduct toward its policyholder and others when the policyholder was at a low point in his life.
In the 39-page blow-by-blow court discussion of the methods Unum used to avoid paying benefits due under its disability income policy, the Court sets forth, in chapter and verse, a corporate scheme to boost profits at the expense of its policyholders.
For a policyholder to protect him or herself against a disability insurer once the insurer puts on a war bonnet is a daunting task. About the only way to handle such a campaign of deny, deny, deny is to retain a veteran disability claims attorney with many years of experience, in going to the mat with Unum. There is no substitute for having “been there” and “done that” against insurance companies who say “no” to disability income claims. Mike Quiat is the “go-to” attorney in such a case.
UQU&R has plenty of company in speaking of Unum tactics. The company’s history of claims denials triggered the wrath of 49 States in 2004. These 49 conducted a national insurance probe which settled with Unum paying a $15 million fine and agreeing to reconsider 215,000 denied Unum disability claims.
Questionable long-standing Unum practices cited by the States were low-balling settlement offers to Unum claimants; claiming the disabling condition as a preexisting condition; supposedly losing papers and reports submitted by claimants and having policyholders examined by less than impartial Unum-hired physicians.
Also, anyone who has already established a long-term disability claim and is receiving benefits, should realize that insurance companies are cash-strapped now. These companies, seeking to conserve cash, are always trying to generate additional bottom line monies by buying out disability claims and negotiating settlements on terms beneficial to them, but not so good for claimants. A beneficiary of such a settlement needs in their corner a disability lawyer who knows the insurer’s tricks, to help the claimant through the complicated details of a buyout. After all, these beneficiaries want to be certain they are going to get a fair payout in return for giving up their claim. All disability income buyouts have a slew of different elements to be understood and negotiated before a claimant should say anything.
Mike Quiat is an attorney with much buyout experience. He has had a variety of cases with Unum companies. He has successfully fought cases involving physical injuries, illnesses, depression and other psychiatric disabilities, fibromyalgia and a host of maladies, which were disabling because of the nature of the claimant’s occupation.
Unum, formerly known as UnumProvident Insurance, has several affiliated companies which also sell disability income polices. Among them are:
- Unum Life Insurance Company of America
- Paul Revere Life Insurance Company
- First Unum Life Insurance Company
- Provident Life and Accident Insurance e Company
- Provident Life and Casualty Insurance Company
- Colonial Companies