||This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. (April 2007)|
|Type||Public NYSE: UNM
S&P 500 Component
|Industry||Employee benefits (disability, life, long term care and critical illness insurance)|
|Key people||Thomas R Watjen, President and CEO
Bill Ryan, Chairman of the Board;
Rick McKenney, CFO
|Revenue||$10.19 Billion (USD) in 2010|
|Net income||$886.1 Million (USD) in 2010|
Unum (NYSE: UNM) is a Chattanooga, Tennessee-based insurance company previously named UnumProvident, which was formed from the merger of two competing insurance companies, Unum of Portland, Maine, and Provident Life and Accident Insurance Company of Chattanooga. It is currently the largest disability insurance company worldwide. Unum provides employee benefits including disability insurance, critical illness insurance, long-term care insurance and life insurance.
Corporate parent company Unum Group consists of three divisions: Unum US (headquartered in Chattanooga, TN), Unum UK (headquartered in Dorking, England), and Colonial Life (headquartered in Columbia, SC). Unum Group employs approximately 10,000 people and has significant operations in Chattanooga; Columbia; Dorking; Portland, Maine; Worcester, Massachusetts; and Glendale, California; and field offices in 38 major U.S. cities.
Current Unum Group executive officers are Thomas R. Watjen, President and Chief Executive Officer; Robert Best, Chief Operating Officer; Rick McKenney, Chief Financial Officer; Al Riggieri, Chief Actuary; Liston Bishop III, Executive Vice President and General Counsel; Eileen Farrar, Senior Vice President Human Resources; Joseph R. Foley, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer; and Frank Williamson, Senior Vice President of Capital Management and Chief Investment Officer. Kevin P. McCarthy is President and Chief Executive Officer of Unum US. Randy Horn is President and Chief Executive Officer of Colonial Life. Jack McGarry is President and Chief Executive Officer of Unum UK.
Unum’s predecessor, Union Mutual Life Insurance Company, was founded in 1848, making it one of the oldest continuously operating insurance companies in the United States. It was one of the first major U.S. mutual insurance companies to convert to public ownership, forming Unum Corporation in 1986. Unum’s strategy eventually evolved to have a clear focus on disability and special risk products. Through its subsidiaries, Unum became the leader in group disability insurance. Through its business unit, Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company, it became a leader in voluntary insurance.
Founded in 1887, Provident Life and Accident Insurance Company provided accident insurance for "uninsurable" workers in the sawmills and coal mines around Chattanooga. Provident went on to become a leader in individual disability insurance and "return-to-work" programs that helped disabled workers return to the workforce.
In 1997 Provident completed the acquisitions of rival insurer The Paul Revere Corporation and its subsidiaries. It also acquired GENEX Services, Inc., which provides disability case management, vocational rehabilitation and related services to corporations, third-party administrators, and insurance companies.
Unum and Provident merged in 1998, creating UnumProvident Corporation. Following a rebranding effort in 2006-2007, the company shortened its name to Unum in January 2007 and unveiled a new logo in April 2007.
Unum became the focus of negative media attention in 2002, after several plaintiff's attorneys who had sued the company went to national television outlets claiming that the company had quotas for closing claims. CBS's 60 Minutes aired a very devastating article about Unum's alleged abuses. Among their accusations was a "Vulture Award" offering personal rewards to close claims. Due to its alleged unfair business practices, investigations, and fines, Unum was called an "outlaw company" by the former California Insurance Commissioner, John Garamendi (who later became Lieutenant Governor). Unum attempted to counter the accusations by noting that "only 2% of the policyholders who filed a claim with the company last year  were found not to be disabled, an amount consistent with prior experience," and that court judgments in the prior year were in the company's favor 75% of the time.
In December 2004, the company and several states entered into a regulatory settlement agreement. The multistate review was completed in April 2008. In a press release, Maine Insurance Superintendent Mila Kofman said, "Not only is this an example of state insurance regulators working effectively to protect the nation's insurance consumers, it is also an example of an insurer reforming its practices and becoming a model for other insurers. The strong new processes and the resulting change in corporate culture - measured by a very low rate and in some cases a 0% error in claim determinations is remarkable."
Advising the United Kingdom government on claims since 1994, Unum has been involved with the UK's controversial Welfare Reform Bill. Unum was investigated by the BBC in England and were described by critics as a 'rogue firm'.[verification needed] In July 2010, Susan Ring, the CEO of Unum UK left her post and was replaced by Jack McGarry from Unum US.
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