It is The Black Triangle Campaign’s understanding that it is illegal to use any influence that any individual or company has on Government policy and benefit financially from that policy, so how come the totally discredited US insurance giant Unum, Government advisors on welfare reform for over a decade now are blatantly being allowed to push their Income Protection insurance policies, (that all past evidence shows they will do their best to wriggle out of paying out on when a claim is made), onto the British public?
Unum even quote the fact that due to the current welfare reforms, (that they have advised the government on), even the highest rate of benefits do not meet the basic day to day needs of the disabled in the UK in what they describe as their “Master Class to Financial Advisors” (their insurance policy salesmen).
For those who are not familiar with Unum, less than a decade ago the company, (all while they were advisors to the UK government on welfare reforms), were dragged through the US courts in a massive class action where the California Department of Insurance Commissioner, John Garamendi, stated that, “Unum Provident is an outlaw company. It is a company that has operated in an illegal fashion for years”.
By 2007, the American Association for Justice identified Unum Provident as, “The second worst insurance company in the US”, (with that including all types of insurance company, not just Income protection). The company was fined over $36m for this and ordered to pay out $100’s of millions of dollars in compensation.
They were even, until 2008, banned from carrying out business in over 13 US states, until agreeing to reopen and review over 300,000 claims, (something they have only done with a small % of them so far). Unum are now using their complex business structure to deny this was anything to do with them as a company, with them saying it was somebody else called Unum (i).
It’s a bit like the ridiculous “not guilty” claims you hear of, where despite being clearly identified by several eye witnesses the accused says, “It wasn’t me Guv, it was my twin brother” in his defence in court.
The author of this article has recently been informed by a senior member of the New York District Attorney’s office who negotiated the settlement on behalf of 38 US states with Unum insurance that his opinion, “based on court decisions and news items I have read, is that Unum in fact did not reform itself in any meaningful way since then. If that is indeed the case, I would stay as far away from them as possible.”
Enquiries have been made by me to people at the highest level of the US Unum scandal as to why Unum have been allowed to continue in business at all and the reply has been sadly, like with our banks, that they were too big to fail; that if they were forced out of business – the cost of taking over all the liabilities held by Unum would be prohibitive to the US Government.
While we are looking at conflicts of interests in all this, the connections between Unum and Atos healthcare can’t be ignored, with Mike O’Donnell, the current Chief Medical Officer of Atos Healthcare having been Unum’s Chief Medical Officer from May 2000 to September 2010 when he joined Atos ‘Healthcare’, while the Unum scandal was ongoing in the US.
This begs the question of how much is it in his personal interest for Unum to do well and profit from selling their Income Protection policies in the UK as while he was Chief Medical Officer of Unum – it is more than likely his remuneration package included share options in Unum with the whole issue of the DWP, Unum & Atos Healthcare having the stink of wholesale corporate corruption hanging over it all with the support and cooperation of the UK Government.
What can be done about all this, surely there are laws about it? Why are they being allowed to get away with it?
Answers on a postcard please, not in unmarked paper envelopes stuffed with cash and lucrative future directorships and appointments……………
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