Wash. Policyholders to Share UnumProvident Settlement

December 30, 2004

Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has signed a multi-state settlement with one of the nation’s largest disability insurers, opening the door for 4,000 Washington policyholders to share in the estimated $120 million agreement.

The agreement stemmed from a coordinated, nationwide, market conduct exam of UnumProvident Corp., and its subsidiary disability insurers. Washington, through the Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC), participated in the exam that was spearheaded by insurance regulators in Massachusetts, Maine and Tennessee.

“I am pleased that Washington policyholders who were harmed by UnumProvident’s actions will be able to share in what has been termed one of the most significant multi-state insurance regulatory actions in history,” Kreidler said. “This will begin the process of redressing wrongs perpetrated against our consumers.”

The affected Washington companies are:

* UNUM Life Insurance Company of America
* The Paul Revere Life Insurance Company
* Provident Life and Accident Insurance Company

Kreidler signed the agreement last week, joining 43 other states, with additional signatures expected. The settlement became effective with the signing by 33 (two-thirds) of the states.

Policyholders who feel their claims were inappropriately denied can have the claims reassessed under criteria set out in the agreement.

Specifically, the agreement calls for UnumProvident:

* To offer to reassess claims that were denied or closed since Jan. 1, 2000
* If requested, to reassess claims that were denied or closed between Jan. 1, 1997 and Dec. 31, 1999
* To modify claims handling and benefit determination practices
* To improve accountability and oversight of claims processes

Kreidler said the OIC was exploring options to ensure that all affected Washington policyholders receive notification of the settlement.

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