To The Editor:

UnumProvident takes great issue with comments made by Milton Jones, whose letter you published in your Dec. 23/30 issue. Jones referenced the recent “60 Minutes” coverage of our company, going so far as to imply we are engaged in criminal conduct. His statements border on defamation, and I am compelled to respond on behalf of our company and its highly dedicated employees.

Your readers deserve to know the facts about UnumProvidents industry-leading claim process:

We are committed to doing the right thing for customers. Our 3,000+ Customer Care employees help people through what is often a very difficult time in their lives. These employees adhere to a two-fold purpose: To provide benefits to customers while they are disabled, and to provide any return-to-work support appropriate to their individual situation.

We pay claims. In 2001 alone, we paid $3.6 billion in disability-related benefits, an amount that has increased each year for the past decade. To our knowledge, no other company in North America, or in fact the world, pays as much in disability benefits.

The vast majority of our claims are found to be valid under contract terms. Out of more than 400,000 new disability claims received in 2001, only 2% of policyholders who filed a claim with our company last year were found not to be disabled, an amount consistent with past experience.

Our claims process is sound. Our claims decisions are supported by a sound, fair process we have worked hard to build. This is demonstrated by the fact that of the disability claims closed in 2001, only approximately 3% elected to appeal the decision. And less than four-tenths of 1% of all of our new disability claims chose litigation to resolve differences with our company.

Nearly one out of every four companies in America that provide disability income protection insurance for their employees has entrusted UnumProvident to provide this coverage. I invite your readers to visit www.unumprovident.com/commitment to learn more about our companys sense of responsibility to our customers at claim time–rather than give any credence to accusatory and inflammatory statements that have no basis in fact.

Thomas A. H. White
Vice President, Corporate Relations
UnumProvident Corporation
Chattanooga, Tenn.


Reproduced from National Underwriter Life & Health/Financial Services Edition, January 20, 2003. Copyright 2003 by The National Underwriter Company in the serial publication. All rights reserved.Copyright in this article as an independent work may be held by the author.