Through injury or illness, Unum Group works to keep employees employed. A top disability insurer in the US and the UK, the company offers short-term and long-term disability insurance, as well as life and accidental death and dismemberment insurance, to individuals and groups in a workplace benefits setting. Specialty coverage offerings include cancer, dental, and travel insurance. US subsidiaries include Unum Life Insurance Company of America, Provident Life and Accident, First Unum Life, Colonial Life & Accident Insurance, and The Paul Revere Life Insurance Company. The company operates as Unum Limited in the UK. Unum's products are sold through field sales agents and independent brokers.
Unum runs four primary operating centers and about 35 sales offices scattered across the US market. Its Unum Limited office is the headquarters for the smaller Unum UK operations.
More than half of Unum's annual premiums come from group disability, life, and accident policies, with the majority of other premiums coming from individual, supplemental, and voluntary policies sold in the workplace setting. It also generates revenue from its closed block business, which services policies in the segments (long-term care and non-workplace individual disability) where the company no longer issues new policies.
Sales & Marketing
The company strives to maintain close relationships with its sales force, as well as with its independent agents and brokers, as it relies on these representatives to market its products to employers.
Unum's revenues climbed less than 1% in both 2010 and 2011 (to $10.2 and $10.3 billion, respectively). While its overall revenue growth has been slow as of late -- which Unum primarily attributes to economic impacts on US employment levels -- the company believes its strategic restructuring measures will provide for an increase in future sales levels. However, Unum took an impairment charge on the discontinuation of its group long-term care policies that ultimately led its annual net income figure to drop by more than 70% in 2011 (from $886 million to $235 million).
Unum seeks to achieve a competitive edge by providing group, individual, and voluntary workplace products that can be combined with other coverage to better integrate benefits for customers. The insurer has stayed ahead of the game in the disability market by sticking to conservative investment and growth strategies, primarily seeking to expand its group product offerings and its geographic presence through organic measures.
The company has especially seen growth in its voluntary benefits products, which allow employees to purchase individual coverage products on a supplemental basis. Such options are increasingly important as economic difficulties put pressure on low and middle-income workers.
Unum has also expanded its offering of services to help employers and government agencies manage costs, such as its leave management program, flexible corporate contribution programs, and wellness initiatives, as well as new reform information and enrollment websites launched in 2011. Also in 2011 Unum added a new offering for group dental coverage through a partnership with United Concordia.
While expanding in areas where the greatest market needs are seen, the firm also exits certain businesses where demand has slowed. For instance in 2011 the company decided to exit the group long-term care insurance business (it had already stopped selling individual long-term care policies in 2009).