I had an opportunity to call a Unum claims handler today and was surprised to listen to a recorded message advising those who want to file claims to discuss it with their employers first. This is consistent with the view that Unum, in particular, will be denying thousands of STD claims from those who are locked-down and are filing claims alleging impairment.
Unum will always tell you its intentions if you listen carefully enough. It would appear the company is prepared for an onslaught of new claims. If I know Unum very well, and I do, the company has already instituted an internal procedure and directives concerning the review of STD/LTD claims and how to deny most of them.
In my opinion, I really don’t think this is a good time to file disability claims except in the most extreme circumstances. “Proof of claim”, completed forms, patient notes are all difficult to obtain when most physician’s offices nationwide are locked-down not to mention the fact that insurers are themselves isolated and working from home without resources. Claims submitted now are not likely to be reviewed in a timely way.
In any event, insurers are bracing themselves for volumes of new claims that will not be timely reviewed or paid.