Are British workers being lured into health insurance that will never pay out?


Working people in the UK could be facing a huge drain on their income, if they join an insurance scheme being offered by a discredited American firm.

It seems that the company behind the hated Work Capability Assessment that has denied disability benefits to thousands of genuinely sick and disabled people, has begun a mass-marketing campaign to encourage able-bodied members of the British public to invest in ‘Income Protection Insurance’, and another scheme known as the ‘Back-up Plan’.

This insurance scheme is only available via the workplace, and it is understood that it has been designed to ensure that the company can resist paying out whenever a claim is made.

In other words, if you join the scheme, you will be giving away your money to a criminal firm. If you become ill or suffer disability in the future, you will not receive a single penny of the insurance money that is due to you.

That is the allegation against Unum Insurance, the American giant that has spent more than two decades advising successive British governments on how to avoid paying sickness and disability benefits to the most deserving claimants in our society.

If you have been contacted in the workplace and offered a chance to take out this insurance, please get in touch. Your experience of this system and insights into its operating procedures could be invaluable.

For those who don’t know the Unum story, you can read some of it here. Unum’s bosses devised their current system to combat the rise of ‘subjective’ illnesses such as ‘chronic pain’, ‘chronic fatigue syndrome’, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, Lyme disease.

The solution devised by the bosses was to reduce the number of successful claims it paid out, by aggressively disputing whether the claimant was ill. So the company skewed its medical examinations to its own favour by questioning illnesses that were “self-reported”, labelling some disabling conditions as “psychological”, and playing up the “subjective” nature of “mental” and “nervous” claims.

The acknowledged basis for this attitude is the Biopsychosocial Model of illness, developed by the psychiatrist George Engel – but it’s a bastardised version, removing the bio- and -social aspects and concentrating on the ‘psycho’. This version of the theory, as used by Unum, has been utterly discredited. It is nonsense, totally disregarding such inconvenient medical procedures as diagnosis and prognosis, or limited life expectancy.

But it proved a great success for Unum – so much so that the UK government sought advice from the company in the early 1990s, when Peter Lilley was running the Department of Social Security. He wanted to reduce the number of disability claimants on his books, and Unum was only too happy to help out. It has been at the heart of disability benefit policy ever since.

We have Unum to thank for the Work Capability Assessment (administered by another private firm, Atos – an IT firm that has no expertise in healthcare, even though that word occasionally appears on its company logo). The recommendations made by Atos representatives, following these assessments, have led to the deaths of at least 73 genuinely ill people every week (according to government figures that are now almost a year old), who have claimed Employment and Support Allowance (formerly Incapacity Benefit). The real figure may be much higher.

The Coalition government considers this to be a great achievement and has now begun expanding the Work Capability Assessment regime to cover claims for Disability Living Allowance, now branded the Personal Independence Payment, with criteria that are much more difficult to achieve.

We can all expect many more deaths to arise from this.

Now, it seems, Unum believes the UK is ripe for bleeding – and that is why it is trying to sell its bogus insurance to working people here.

If you have been contacted, please get in touch.

For further information (with annotations pointing to the really damning evidence) see ‘The Hidden Agenda’ by disability researcher Mo Stewart.

8 thoughts on “Are British workers being lured into health insurance that will never pay out?

  1. Big Bill

    Further reading; (you’ll have to log in but that’s easy),,,, and

  2. Mo Stewart

    Correction: Income Protection Insurance [IPI] and the Back-up Plan are two different insurance policies as used by Unum Insurance.

    The IPI was sold to the general public, now stopped due to ‘negative publicity’, and the Back-up Plan is sold direct to workers and funded from their wage packets.

    The research is published by the Centre for Disability Studies at Leeds University:

    and the feature : ‘Government use might of American insurance giant to destroy the welfare state’ offers more info:

  3. sparaszczukster

    I have great sympathy with fibromyalgia sufferers who have a hard time with credibility. I have an American friend who has suffered with this condition for years after a nasty infection she contracted in Africa. I can personally verify, from seeing how fatigued and ill she became after minimal exertion when staying over with me for several months, that this is a genuine condition which has been much misunderstood. However, there has been a lot of research recently into the disease, the most recent showing that there is a genetic element to it ( Lesley M. Arnold et al 2013 The Fibromyalgia Family Study:A Genome-Wide Linkage Scan Study, ARTHRITIS & RHEUMATISM Vol. 65, No. 4, April 2013, pp 1122–1128). I have a copy of this research paper if anyone wants me to send them a copy to back up their case with ATOS or UNUM or any other body who doubts the legitimacy of their disability, Email me at [email protected] and I’ll gladly send it.

    1. mozzas01

      Hi The attached is my final report following three years of research into the welfare reforms. As predicted, the ‘reforms’ are unrelated to the DWP and are manipulated by Unum Insurance – one of the most discredited corporate insurance giants in the world. Hope this is helpful. Kind regards Mo Mo Stewart Disability researcher Disabled veteran (WRAF) Retired healthcare professional *** The contents of this email are intended for the recipient only and may be confidential. Permission is not given for this information to be published, forwarded or distributed further. ***


  4. Pat Onions

    Excwkkwnt reporting and Mo should get this published as widely as possible. Unfortuately no one believes it is really happening. By the time people realise it will be too late.

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