As a practicing Consultant I have many opportunities to speak, and work with insurance company representatives. In my recent experience, I can tell you that all insurance companies but one are exhibiting helpful and common sense claims management. That is, all but one.
Unum Life, UnumProvident and Unum Group have gone from experts on Customer Service to non-existent Customer Service, to rude and arrogant “bow before me” if you want your benefits. In my opinion, I think we may be seeing the worse of all the insurance companies in our midst. Although Unum was always the worst in its public persona, if possible, the company isn’t treating its insureds very well.
But, it’s more than just rude and arrogant Customer Service, and what bothers me are sustained attitudes of “retribution”, and “I’m going to get you, Martha” claims management that makes me wonder if management isn’t putting pressure on claims handlers to produce more denials.
Unum claims handlers don’t like it when insureds speak up for their rights under their Plans or Policies, and openly say so.
Recently, Unum adopted a flagrant attitude, of “I can call you anytime I want to”, scaring the heck out of insureds who for medical reasons can’t deal with frequent phone calls. Of course, none of Unum’s Plans or Policies require insureds to speak with them on the phone, and yet they call and call in an harassment way. Yes, insureds are required to provide information, but it doesn’t have to be on the phone. It’s out of contract to demand phone calls, particularly from insureds and claimants who medically can’t handle it.
Still, Unum’s reps often act as though insured’s are stupid, or guilty when asked questions about their claims. Now that Unum has gone over to “first name only basis”, it’s hard to get in touch with claims handlers at all. There is no reason why Unum’s claims handlers need to act, speak, and write in inappropriate ways. No reason at all.
Unum insureds and claimants have a right to seek out and use any source of information they choose, from the Internet, attorneys, consultants, medical journals and medical facilities etc. You have the right to place any information in your claim files as you choose representing yourself and your claim. You have the right to say that you prefer to have all communications with Unum in writing. There is no Plan or Policy provision requiring phone conversations. You have the right to ask questions to clarify your understanding of a Plan or Policy, And, you have a basic human right to be spoken to and treated with respect as a disabled person.
Do not ever allow an insurance company to be critical of you, demand that you go back to work, refuse your basic rights under your Plan or Policy, or tell you you can’t do something that’s not in your policy. Saying things like, “I’m sorry, but I do not have the medical capability to speak with, or deal with anyone who is rude.”
Insureds and claimants will have a really bad time with their Unum claim if they do not either refuse to speak with rude individuals, or shut down verbal conversations by requesting all communications in writing.
In any event, never let anyone dealing with your disability claim treat you disrespectfully. Unum will try, even in its letters to threaten you, but stand your ground, always act professionally, Let it be known that you will not deal with arrogance or disrespect. This situation with Unum is getting worse and worse.