Unum disability insurance review 2021

Choose an individual policy as a supplement to help cover missed commissions and bonuses.

  • Consider Unum if you’re an employer and want to offer employees disability benefits.
  • Look elsewhere if you want individual disability insurance and make less than $200,000 a year.
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Short term disability


Long term disability


Benefit period Short term: 9-52 weeks
Long term: To retirement age (age 67-70, as determined by the employer)
Indivdual credit: To retirement age (age 67-70, as determined by the employer)
Waiting period Determined by employer
Coverage amount Short-term disability: Up to 60% of gross monthly income
Long-term disability: Up to 60% of gross monthly income
Individual credit: Up to 75% of gross monthly income
Individual credit
Available states All 50 states
Policy riders Accelerated death benefit rider
Accidental death benefit rider
Child rider
Waiver-of-premium rider
Simplified issue Not offered


  • Portability
  • Insure your spouse or child
  • Guarantee issue
  • Paid-up at 70
  • Additional 50% coverage option


  • Group policies only
  • Financial rating downgrades

Review by

Heather Petty is a personal finance writer at Finder specializing in home loans, banking and insurance. After falling victim to a disreputable mortgage broker when buying her first home, she’s on a mission to help readers avoid similar experiences when managing their own finances. A self-proclaimed word nerd, her writing has been featured on MSN, Credit.com and MediaFeed.org, among others. Heather previously worked as a technical writer and editor for the casino systems industry and is an internationally published young adult mystery author. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in journalism from the University of Nevada, Reno.

Expert review

Unum disability insurance offers employers the opportunity to provide a wide array of disability benefits from one of the top insurers in the industry. But if you’re looking for personal disability coverage outside of an employer plan, be sure to shop around to find a policy that best meets your needs.

Benefits and add-ons

Unum offers short- and long-term disability. And, if you’re a high-income earner or you rely on commissions and bonuses, it also offers individual disability insurance. Plans usually include these benefits:

  • Waiver of premiums. After 90 days of total disability, your premium may be waived for as long as the disability continues up to the maximum benefit period.
  • Recurring disability. Your disability payments can continue without a new elimination period, if you become disabled again due to the same condition within the specified number of days stated in your policy. If your recurrent disability comes after the specified number of days, you can file a new claim and the elimination period would start again.
  • Rehabilitation assistance. With this benefit you’re eligible for an additional 10%, up to $1,000, to help with rehabilitation costs.
  • Survivor benefit. Your eligible survivor will receive a lump sum benefit equal to three months of your gross disability payment if you die while on disability for 180 consecutive days or more.
  • Two-year survivor income benefit. This benefit pays two years of your monthly benefit to your eligible survivor if you’ve been disabled for at least 12 consecutive months before your death.
  • Work-life employee assistance program (EAP). Employers can choose to add an EAP to the long-term disability coverage, providing employees with phone consultations on everything from caring for an elderly family member to financial advice and referrals to a local attorney.
  • Catastrophic disability benefit. Provides up to 100% of your earnings if you are disabled with an injury that prevents you from performing daily living activities and need money to pay for care support.
  • Residual disability benefit. Pays benefits up to the end of your benefit period if, even after you return to work, you’re still unable to perform some job requirements and you lose at least 20% of your income as a result.
  • Work incentive benefit. Works with the residual disability benefit on a short-term basis to provide up to two years of monthly payments that fill the gap between what you are able to make now and your income prior to your illness or injury.
  • Recovery benefit. Pays a benefit for up to two years after you return to work as you reestablish your base earnings from prior to your illness or injury.
  • Guaranteed coverage increase. Gives you the option to increase your monthly coverage annually to keep up with your income increases.

Pros and cons of Unum disability insurance


  • Not offset by other income. Individual disability payments aren’t offset by workers’ compensation or Social Security disability payments. However, short- or long-term policies may be.
  • Online member portal. Unum provides both an online and mobile app to help you manage your leave, payments and claim documents. You can also send messages through the app to customer service and make changes to your contact information and personal details.
  • Top disability insurer. Unum is a top insurer, specifically for their disability policies. They are number 267 in the Forbes 500 and insure 32% of Forbes 500 companies.
  • Mental illness benefits. You can get mental health disability coverage for up to 24 months under Unum’s long-term disability policy or longer, if your illness requires you to be hospitalized or reside in a mental health institution. Many disability insurers do not cover mental health disabilities.


  • No coverage for workplace injuries. While some short-term disability insurers provide partial coverage to supplement workers’ compensation, Unum does not. You can only make a claim on workplace injuries that are not covered by workers’ compensation. However, some long-term policies may offer coverage for injuries caused on and off the job.
  • Difficult to get plans outside an employer. Unum offers individual plans, but mainly to supplement their existing long-term employer-based plans, unless you’re eligible. Eligibility requires you to make at least $200,000, and obtain a policy through a broker.

Compare alternatives to Unum

Name Product Coverage Amount Benefit period Waiting period Own Occupation Medical exam required
Policygenius Disability Insurance
$100 to $20,000
2, 5, or 10 years or until age 65 or 67
60 - 365 days
Depends on provider
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JRC Life Insurance
$500 to $20,000
2 year to lifetime
30 - 365 days
Compare policies up to $10 million from 45+ top insurance companies with the click of a button.
$500 to $20,000
1, 2, 5, or 10 years or until age 65 or 67
30 - 365 days
Secure long-term disability insurance online by filling out an easy 10-minute application, even if you're a high income earner.

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Unum reviews and complaints

Unum has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and an A rating from AM Best. Unum Group is ranked 267 on the Fortune 500 list. The US side of the company has no reviews on TrustPilot, but negative reviews on other sites mostly talk about having trouble getting their claims approved.

How do I apply?

Individuals can apply for Unum disability insurance through their employers, and employers can contact a Unum sales representative to add disability to their employee benefits. If you’re a high earner interested in Unum’s individual disability insurance, search for brokers in your area who can help you apply for a Unum individual plan.

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