What the $8 Million UnumProvident Settlement Means for 26,000 Denied Policyholders in California
America’s Leading Disability and Long-Term Care attorney, Frank N. Darras, offers critical information for Californians denied benefits with the three UnumProvident (NYSE: UNM) subsidiaries, Unum Life Insurance Company of America (“Unum”), Provident Life and Accident Insurance Company (“Provident”) and The Paul Revere Life Insurance Company (“Paul Revere”).
In a highly reported settlement agreement between the State of California and UnumProvident, UnumProvident was fined $8 Million by the Department of Insurance.
Policyholders have since been asking, “What does this mean to us and what do we do now?” Frank N. Darras, the nation’s leading expert in disability insurance law and America’s choice for representation in such matters addresses this agreement and defines what policyholders need to do next.
“For all affected policyholders, it is important to remember that since March 2003, after an onslaught of negative publicity, UnumProvident has undergone significant financial and operational restructuring, has built a new management team and improved its claim operation. Eleven months ago, UnumProvident reached an unprecedented settlement agreement with 48 states and agreed to open and reconsider 215,000 previously denied cases,” says Darras. “The actions of the Company’s CEO, Thomas Watjen demonstrate a marked improvement and effective strategy to correct mistakes made under prior management.
The settlement agreement made with Insurance Commissioner Garamendi and the State of California, not only benefits previously denied policyholders but raises the claim bar so all insurance carriers are held to an even higher good faith standard than ever before. This California settlement agreement changes the landscape for disability business and claims handling for carriers across the country and is a victory for insurance consumers everywhere.”
STEPS TO TAKE TODAY YOU HAVE ONLY 60 DAYS FROM DATE OF NOTICE TO BE RECONSIDERED
1). If your claim for disability insurance benefits was denied or your disability insurance benefits were terminated on or after January 1, 1997 and before September 30, 2005 by Unum, Provident or Paul Revere, all UnumProvident insurance companies, you are entitled to have your claim reevaluated under new claim standards developed specifically for California claims.
2). If you previously received notice from UnumProvident notifying you of your right to ask for reassessment of your California claim and if you timely responded to that letter, you do not need to make a new request.
3). If you did NOT receive the earlier notice, or if you did not respond to the earlier notice, or did not respond within the time frame allotted, NOW is the time to request reassessment of your claim by doing one of the following:
— Fill out and return the Request to Participate form in the envelope provided within 60 days of the notice date.
— Visit www.unumprovident.com/elect with your claim number ready, your claim number is provided at the top of your notice from UnumProvident.
— Call UnumProvident toll-free at 877-477-0964, provide your name, current address and claim number.
This is a special temporary line provided specifically for your convenience when applying for the reassessment.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
FAILURE TO TAKE ACTION WITHIN THE ALLOTTED TIME FRAMES WILL RESULT IN A LOSS OF THIS UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE YOUR CLAIM REASSESSED
1.)By asking that your claim be reassessed, you must agree to waive certain legal rights in the event your benefits are paid to you. The legal rights you will be asked to give up will be described in greater detail in the notice document you are asked to sign and return along with the Reassessment Information Form.
2). These rights are important and may include the ability to pursue legal action, including the ability to obtain special or extra contractual damages.
3).You may wish to speak to a disability attorney who specializes in California disability law before you decide to give up any of your rights.
Individuals with questions that remain unanswered about this recent California settlement agreement are encouraged to call Frank N. Darras at 1- 800-458-4577 or visit the website at www.DarrasLaw.com.