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Unum offers term and whole life insurance policies as employee benefits. Since they don’t sell individual life insurance policies, you’ll need to work for an employer that offers them to purchase a policy. The company has a strong financial strength rating, which means it’s likely to be able to honor future insurance claims, and it received fewer complaints than expected for a company of its size.
- Pros & Cons
- Company Overview
Solid financial ratings
Educational materials available on website
Online claim filing
Fewer complaints than expected
Limited number of policy types
No live chat available
Union Mutual Life Insurance (Unum) was founded in 1848 in Boston. The company relocated to Portland, Maine, in 1881, and now has offices in Chattanooga, Tennessee, as well. It is a subsidiary of Unum Group, which was formed upon the merger of Unum Corporation with The Provident Companies in 1999.
- Solid financial ratings: Unum earns an A rating from AM Best, signifying “Excellent” financial strength.
- Educational materials available on the website: Consumers can access educational materials on the website to help them decide which type of coverage they need and how much.
- Online claim filing: Policyholders can file claims online and upload documents instead of having to download forms and mail them in.
- Fewer complaints than expected: Unum received far fewer complaints than expected, which could indicate strong overall customer satisfaction.
- A limited number of policy types: Unum offers only term and whole life insurance policies.
- No live chat available: Unum’s website has no option for customers seeking real-time answers to their questions.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) calculates a complaint index annually for each insurance company which measures how many complaints that company received relative to its market share
If an insurance company has a complaint index of 1.00, that means it received an expected number of complaints based on its size. If its index is less than 1.00, it received fewer complaints than expected. If its index is greater than 1.00, it received more complaints than expected.
Unum’s three-year average complaint index is 0.22, meaning that far fewer complaints were registered against it during that period than would be expected for a company of its size.
AM Best is a credit rating agency that assesses the financial strength of insurance companies on a letter scale from A++ to D, with A++ being the best and D being the lowest rating. Unum received an A (Excellent) grade which means AM Best believes the company is in an excellent position to honor its ongoing insurance obligations, such as paying claims.
Unum offers two life insurance policies: term life and whole life.
Term life insurance provides a death benefit to your beneficiaries as long as the policy is active, but it’s not designed to provide permanent coverage. If a policy is not renewed, it will expire once its term ends. With group coverage, it may be renewed every year.
Whole life insurance is a type of permanent coverage that builds a cash value and is designed to cover you for life. It’s more expensive than term, but you may be able to access the cash value during your life, and you can take the policy with you if you leave your job.
Riders are add-ons to a life insurance policy that can extend or increase coverage. They may be automatically included, but some require an extra payment.
Accelerated Death Benefit: Terminal Illness
Unum offers an accelerated death benefit rider for terminal illnesses. This allows you to receive a portion of the death benefit early if a physician diagnoses you with a terminal illness. While offered at no additional cost, this benefit is subject to administrative fees and will reduce the death benefit your beneficiaries receive.
Children’s Term Rider
Adding a child term rider is one way to provide life insurance coverage for your existing and future children without having to purchase a separate policy for them.
Waiver of Premium Rider
If you become disabled, a waiver of premium rider allows you to skip premium payments while you remain disabled, usually after an elimination period.
You can get information about Unum’s customer service channels on its website. Life insurance customer assistance can be reached by phone at (866) 679-3054.
Union Mutual Life Insurance (Unum) is worth a look for supplemental coverage because of the company's financial stability and easy online claims process as well as the low number of complaints about the company, which is generally indicative of strong consumer satisfaction. Additionally, the company provides educational materials on its website to help consumers determine their coverage needs.
Those who are looking for more than just term or whole life insurance coverage may want to look at our Best Life Insurance Companies of 2023 for companies that offer additional types of coverage, though. And those who like an online chat option should look elsewhere as well. The company doesn't offer one.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Unum a Reputable Company?
Yes, Unum is a reputable insurer with an Excellent financial rating from AM Best. The company
has been in business since 1848 and has a low number of complaints against it relative to its size, according to NAIC.
How Long Does It Take Unum to Pay a Life Insurance Claim?
The company website doesn't list any time frame for the payment of life insurance claims. For the fastest results, the company says you should file claims online. Claim status can be checked through the company's mobile app, on the web, or by calling 800-445-0402.
Has Unum Been Sued?
Yes, Unum has been sued; a web search of the company brings up the mention of several lawsuits. In addition, a few complaints on the Consumer Affairs and Better Business Bureau websites mention consumers' intention to sue the company, though usually for disability-related claims. Keep in mind that the mention or filing of a lawsuit doesn't mean the company did anything wrong, though. That would have to be proven with the resolution of a lawsuit.
Does Unum Life Insurance Have a Cash Value?
Unum's whole life insurance policies offer the ability to build cash value at a guaranteed rate. The cash value is set when you purchase the policy. The company's term policies, like those offered by other companies, do not build cash value.
Is Unum Life Insurance Taxable?
According to the IRS, life insurance proceeds you receive as a beneficiary generally aren't taxable because they aren't included in gross income, and you don't need to report them. Any interest you receive on a life insurance policy you own would get reported as interest income, though, and would need to be reported.
We designed a comprehensive ranking methodology based on consumer priorities and life insurance company fundamentals to rank more than 90 insurers across five general categories: financial stability, customer satisfaction, product and feature variety, the overall buying experience, and cost.
To do this, we collected over 5,000 data points and scored each company based on 55 metrics. We grouped metrics by category to see how insurers performed in each; we then weighted category scores to determine how companies performed overall.
To learn more, read our full Life Insurance Methodology.
NAIC. “Results by Complaint Code.”
AM Best. “Guide to Best’s Financial Strength Ratings - (FSR).”