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Privacy PolicyHas anyone read Unum’s “Our Commitment to Privacy” form included with Authorizations lately? Although Unum begins by saying, “We understand your privacy is important”, the remainder of the form discloses exactly where your “nonpublic personal information” (NPI) goes and who has access to it.

NPI includes information such as your telephone number, address date of birth, occupation, income and health history. Unum obtains this information from your applications for benefits, forms, medical providers, other insurers employers, insurance support organizations [private investigation, GENEX, auditors etc.]

Unum tells you on this form that it is permitted by law to share your NPI with other insurance support organizations, group policyholders, parties to a proposed or final sale of insurance business [reinsurance], or for study purposes.

What is somewhat worrisome is that Unum also informs, “Our practices apply to our former, current and future customers.” Former customers?

Further on Unum’s form also states, “We may also share with companies that help us market our insurance products and services, such as vendors that provide mailing services to us. We may share with other financial institutions to jointly market financial products and services.” 

Those who have expressed concern over Unum’s overly broad Authorization should consider the fact that Unum is already releasing and sharing NPI information in an exponential way. Once the information is released, it can then be released, and released, and released. Before you know it, you’ve actually lost control over your personal information, and like feathers in a pillow it will be impossible to re-gain control over who has the information and who does not.

Release of information also includes the MIB Group, Inc., a member-owned corporation that operates on a non-profit basis in the United States and Canada. Members of MIB (insurance companies) provide MIB with underwriting information to determine “errors, omissions, or misrepresentations made on insurance applications.” MIB alerts insurers when those applying for insurance aren’t truthful, or omit information during the underwriting phase of the policy.

As a nationwide specialty consumer reporting agency under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, MIB must disclose to you any information it has on record. You may request this report free of charge online. Information relative to group insurance is limited, but I strongly suggest that DI insureds obtain copies of the MIB reports.

I think it is extremely important for insureds to read information Unum provides and have a clear understanding that once a disability claim is filed there is no expectation of privacy.

 

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