December 21, 2004
Contact: Eric Cioppa: 207-624-8426
Commissioner Paula Flowers: 615.741.6007
Contact: Chris Goetcheus 617 973-8767
Landmark Multi-State Settlement In Effect National
Remedy Grants Claims Review For Thousands
(NASHVILLE) At least 40 states have ratified the landmark multi-state settlement agreements involving three major disability insurance carriers owned by UnumProvident Corp. of Chattanooga, insurance regulators announced Tuesday.
Under the multi-state agreement reached in November by insurance regulators in Tennessee, Maine and Massachusetts, acceptance by two-thirds of the participating states makes the national settlement effective and triggers implementation of the settlement's Plan of Corrective Action.
Unum Life Insurance Company of America, Paul Revere Life Insurance Company, Unum National Insurance Company, and Provident Life and Accident Insurance Company now have 15 days to notify more than 200,000 qualified claimants of their right to seek re-assessment of claims denied or closed since January 1, 2000 for reasons other than settlement, death, or reaching benefit maximums.
"Throughout this process, we've worked with our fellow state regulators nationwide towards a national settlement that is fair to policyholders and claimants - past, present and future," said Maine Insurance Superintendent Alessandro Iuppa.
Re-assessment of claims is also available to those who request it for claims similarly denied or closed between January 1, 1997 and December 31, 1999. The companies also must modify claims handling and benefit determination practices as specified in the agreements, improve accountability and oversight, and enhance corporate governance.
"We will enforce the terms and strict timetables in the agreements, and keep our colleagues aware of all developments through the National Association of Insurance Commissioners," said Massachusetts Insurance Commissioner Julianne Bowler.
The companies also will pay a fine of $15 million, which will be divided on a pro-rata basis among the signatory states based on the long term disability income insurance premium in each state as of December 31, 2003. If the companies fail to meet the terms and deadlines of the Plan of Corrective Action set forth in the agreements, a substantial fine ($145 million) will be imposed.
"We have 40 signed agreements in hand and three states who have asked for extensions," said Flowers. "We're looking forward to the successful re-assessment of claims as called for in the corrective action plan."
The complete Examination Report, the settlement agreements and exhibits are online at www.maineinsurancereg.org; www.state.ma.us/doi ; or www.state.tn.us/commerce. Unum claimants can contact the company at www.unumprovident.com or call 1-866-278-4641.