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Has anyone used Unum and made a critical illness claim?

Looking for a bit of advice really, I have just been diagnosed with MS and we have got a critical illness policy with Unum. I’m just trying to find out what they’re like to claim through? Will it be stressful? Has anyone out there made a succesful claim and how long did it take? Thanks! x

Hi,

Yes, I claimed with them - they were as good as gold. No stress at all, and quite quick (about 2 months, I think?)

I just sent off the forms, was never questioned further about them, or called to any kind of assessment. Next thing I knew was the money going in my bank - which was a big surprise, as they hadn’t let me know they were going to settle. So watch out for that, because I was actually on holiday in Turkey at the time, and had no idea such a large sum had materialised in the bank - it doesn’t bear thinking about if my card had been stolen.

Apart from that, no issues. As far as I know, they didn’t even contact my neuro. It was all in the GP notes, so I assume they got enough from that.

I don’t know if yours is through work? In fact, I don’t know if they insure anyone except through work? So the only slight thing with that was that my claim also had to go through work. All very well, but not too good if you hadn’t planned on telling work. I wasn’t too bothered, as I’d planned to anyway, but in practice, I didn’t get a choice. (Well, I could’ve chosen not to claim, and kissed goodbye to the money, I suppose - but not much of a choice, is it?)

Tina

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Thanks Tina, I really appreciate that! Yes it is through work but it is through my husband’s policy so hopefully it will all be ok! Would still be interested to hear of anyone else’s experiences of them as well though!! xx

The company that I work for use Unum. We have to use their services twice in the last couple of years for employees who have been off work with long term illnesses (not MS) and in my opinion, they’ve been very good to deal with.

I get paid a percentage of my salary thanks to my emplyers have a policy with unum. I can’t remember what the policy is called. It’s the one I’ve seen telly adverts about in the past - backup plan.

They were nice for me to deal with - I am waiting to hear back after I sent back my approval for them to contact my GP. I’ve been off sick for over 3 years now with no problems.

Hi

Sorry to bump an old post, but those of you who have managed to get a payout from Unum.What was the actual reward which you got?

Sorry to be nosey, but was it a payment of your salary? multiple of your salary? or was it a monthly payment?

Only asking ask I have discovered that I am covered through work, but not sure if they will pay out as I am still able to work and not had any time off since being diagnosed. Also is there a cut of point in which you need to make a claim?

Thankyou

Sorry for anon, but I don’t want to come across as a free loader or anything. I have never had to claim on anything ever before, not even job seekers.

Hi Anon, I’m not going to state the exact amount, but I received a pre-agreed lump sum according to the level of premiums I opted for when I joined the (employment-related) scheme. I could have paid more, and received more. Obviously, with hindsight, I wish I had, but as I did not expect to be diagnosed with critical illness relatively soon, my plan had been to gradually ramp up the level of cover as I grew older. In the event, I was diagnosed a matter of months after joining the scheme, so never got the chance to do that. I still remember my pen hesitating over how much to sign up for, and whether I should go straight away for the maximum, but I thought the premiums were too steep. One of my biggest regrets of the whole thing, that I hadn’t signed for the maximum permitted, as I’d have got more than three times as much as I did. But hindsight’s a wonderful thing. I suppose I’m lucky I’d signed up to get something! Tina

Thanks Tina

Thats interesting reference being able to put more funds in and gradually ramp it up. I automatically was covered as part of the job package, have never seen any documentation, not sure of qualifying criteria or never have been told of type of policy we have. I hope that I am covered.

All I know is that a colleague got a years salary for being diagnosed with cancer and having a kidney removed.

Was there a time limit in which you had to make a claim?

Hi again, Yes, the time limit was quite strict - just three months from diagnosis. Note that mine was NOT an income replacement policy, so I didn’t have to prove I couldn’t work, or anything like that. Indeed, I hadn’t had any sick leave. But it seemed beyond their comprehension that was even possible, so I still got a big wad of irrelevant bumf about: “Welcome back to work!” I thought: “Bloody cheek, I’ve not been OFF work!” My boss had generously given me the rest of the day on the morning I was actually diagnosed; that was it! Your policy might be different. If it’s income replacement, rather than lump sum critical illness, you’ll presumably be required to prove inability to work, and the amounts payable will be linked to your present salary - either complete replacement, or a proportion - say 75%. Obviously, I wouldn’t expect that will keep coming for life. It probably covers you for a fixed period - a year sounds typical. If you have a mortgage, check that too. Many are sold with a payment protection policy attached (usually to protect the lender, not you, but might just pay it off if you can’t work). Tina

Hi Tina

Thanks for your information it is greatly appreciated. I have been sent a claim form by my HR department, but they have stated that I need to meet the following criteria:

Multiple Sclerosis – with persisting symptoms

A definite diagnosis of MS by a Consultant Neurologist. There must be current clinical impairment of motor or sensory function, which must have persisted for a continuous period of 3 months.

My diagnosis all stemmed from a episode which happened back in July this year. It was this episode along with other symptoms over a three year period which led to the DX (along with the MRI scan).

Luckily (or not), all I have at the moment since this episode is tingling and occassional numbness in my arm. With the normal foggy head, fatigue, which comes with this wonderful disease.

Would this qualify as “current clinical impairment of motor sensory function”?

It has lasted more than three months that is one thing I guess.

Thanks again.

What are your HR playing at? I had a similar clause, which I was worried about too. In fact, I think mine said impairment had to have persisted for six months.

I told HR that, due to the relapsing remitting nature of the disease, I wasn’t sure when - if ever - I would satisfy this. They simply told me not to worry, as they’d had similar successful claims in the past, and thought it wouldn’t be a problem. They were right!

At the time of my claim, I considered any “impairment” to be minimal, and doubted it would qualify, but in the event, it was never even challenged. It may have helped my case that I’d recently seen a neuro physio, who’d noted a couple of things I hadn’t even been aware of, such as a weak ankle. I’m not suggesting you trot off to a neuro physio quickly, in the hope he’ll find something of note. But they did seem to accept rather minimal impairment as enough. Unless policy has changed (it was a couple of years ago), I think you’ll find they do understand MS, and that it’s usual to recover from early attacks. I don’t think they will use this against you, and will accept quite a broad definition of “impairment”, so you do not have to prove serious disability.

Good luck!

Tina

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