Deposition of Unum and Paul Revere Representative Provides Valuable Insight on Unum’s Approach to Determining “Material and Substantial” and “Important” Duties

Under many disability policies, claimants must show that they cannot perform the material and substantial, or the important duties of their occupations in order to qualify for long-term disability benefits.  Although these terms are essential to the determination of a disability claim, most insurers do not define the terms “material and substantial” or “important” in their policies.  Nor do they provide guidance in their policies about what guidelines or factors they will use to determine the material and substantial or important duties of an insured’s occupation. Our firm confronted this first-hand in a case in which we represent a gynecologist in a lawsuit against Unum Life Insurance Company of America and Paul Revere Life Insurance Company (collectively, “Unum”) for long-term disability benefits.  Our client lacerated her tendon during a procedure and is now unable to perform major surgeries, including…

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