As one of the largest long term disability insurance companies in the world, Unum is in a unique position to offer policy features that its rivals don’t. Specifically, it’s one of the only providers that engage in what is known as a lump sum disability buyout. What that means for policyholders can be complicated, as revealed by disability insurance lawyer Gregory Dell from the Dell & Schaefer law firm.
Gregory Dell’s firm handles hundreds of lump sum disability buyouts every year, which basically means that a disabled policyholder makes a deal with an insurance company such as Unum to receive an agreed amount of money upfront, rather than waiting for monthly payouts. When a seasoned and knowledgeable attorney represents a client in an Unum disability claim, this option is one that can be negotiated as long as it’s a disability insurance benefit contained in the original policy.
Typically, a disability lawyer will be the one to approach his or her contacts at Unum to discuss whether Unum is interested in offering a buyout. In some rare cases, according to Gregory Dell, Unum will make the first move and initiate contact on the subject – or they may approach the claimant directly. That’s when most disabled individuals contact a professional legal firm to help them negotiate the best terms and highest amount of settlement money.
Why Settle for a Lump Sum Payout?
Lump sum buyouts can be a very good option for many people, but they can be less than ideal for others. Gregory Dell explains that it all depends on your interests, needs and what you want to do with the money. Every case and every situation is personal and unique to the circumstances, both present and future.
“When we get contacted to handle a lump sum buyout,” Dell states, “we discuss with you … what are your thoughts about the strengths and weaknesses of your disability claim? How long do you think that you’re going to stay on a claim?”
If your case could potentially turn into a denied disability claim, it could be more beneficial to negotiate a buyout before it reaches that point. A lot of people like to have the buyout because they want the certainty of knowing that UNUM will continue the monthly payments without delays or reconsideration. A future Unum denied claim could cause a great deal of upheaval in your personal life and finances, and the ordeal of ending up in an Unum disability claim denial or eventual lawsuit can be intimidating. This is especially for those who are already dealing with the disruptive effects of a long-term disability.
There are all kinds of reasons to consider to policy payout, notes Gregory Dell. It depends on what each client would or could do with the money from a lump-sum payment versus a stream of payments over time (if indeed the disabled claimant even continues to get paid). Some just like the security of a financial cushion, while others have an immediate need for cash and cannot afford to keep waiting every month for a check to arrive. Still others are ambitious enough to invest the money on their own for even greater potential financial gain.
Some discussions are difficult ones, says Dell, such as what the client feels about his life expectancy or mortality. That’s because most disability policies that contain the lump-sum payout option don’t have survivorship benefits in which a spouse or other designated beneficiary continues to receive payments after the policyholder dies. The policies also do not typically pay a death benefit beyond two or three months of payments.
When retaining a disability insurance law firm such as Dell & Schaefer, they do whatever it takes to get the most amount of money possible in a lump sum payout, if that’s the path you choose to take. Sometimes, it’s the best way forward, rather than risking an eventual disability insurance claim denial.
“We’re going to be able to advise you if you are getting top-dollar value offers for your disability policy,” explains Gregory Dell. “And that’s what we’ve done for hundreds of people with UNUM policies and with other disability policies all over the country.”
The disability insurance lawyers at Dell & Schaefer always offer a free consultation to see if they can help with your claim. They’ll need to see a copy of your disability policy in order to talk about the pros and cons and to determine whether it’s in your best interest to pursue a lump sum buyout. They work with clients all across America and can handle claims with Unum or many other disability insurance providers. Just contact them by phone or via the contact form on the company website.