Frequently asked questions

Got a question? Here’s what other customers have asked. If you still need help, contact us here.

Man and woman having a conversation

Account and policy information

  • Yes, please, but how soon we need to know depends on your policy.

    For schemes with fewer than 10 people:

    Please email us when there are any membership changes in the policy year. We can then update our systems and will take the changes into account at the next policy review.

    For schemes with 10 or more people:

    We only need an immediate email:

    • If there are significant changes to your business (such as a merger or acquisition, you sell part of your business, or the nature of your business changes)
    • If a member is discretionary
    • If there is a need for underwriting

    Otherwise, you can simply tell us when your policy is next due for renewal.

  • You will need to send us:

    • Category name & Eligibility
    • Benefit Basis (Benefit levels, min/max ages, escalation rate, NI contributions, and Pension Fund Contributions
    • Membership data – name, date of birth, gender, salary, occupation, workplace location and any stated benefits

    If you’re unsure of how to collate this information, you’re welcome to use our handy and straightforward Policy Renewal template.

    Our Broker Services or Financial Underwriting team will then produce a quote. Once you accept it, we will add the new details to our system, and provide an invoice and the policy documents.  

  • If your company name is changing, please send us a Companies House reference as confirmation (including any change to the company number).

  • We’ve tried to include a breakdown of everything that you’re paying for. This handy guide will help tell you what’s what.

  • Our handy and straightforward Policy Renewal template is quick and easy to use. It lists all the categories of information we need to be able to process the renewal.

  • Medical underwriting is the term used when we consider a person’s medical history before deciding on insurance cover.

    Our tele-underwriting service aims to make this process as easy as possible by taking this information over the phone in a relaxed, conversational manner.

    Alternatively, a Medical Health and Lifestyle Questionnaire can be filled in and returned to us.

  • Renewal invitations are issued to your broker 3 months ahead of your renewal date. If you have not heard anything about your renewal, please contact your broker in the first instance.

  • If a member of a scheme requires Medical Underwriting, they can find all of the information they need on our Medical Underwriting page.

  • If you are an employer, please contact your broker. We aim to send invoices to your broker within 30 working days of receipt of Renewal Data. However, in the unlikely event your broker is unable to help you, please see our 'Existing policy queries' section on our contact us page for the appropriate team.

  • If your policy is paid by Cheque/Bank Transfer please contact your broker.

    If your policy is paid by Direct Debit, please allow 5 working days following the receipt of your invoice for money to be paid in to your account. If this is not received after this time, please contact your broker.

    In the unlikely event your broker is unable to help you, please see our 'Existing policy queries' section on our contact us page for the appropriate team.

  • If you are an employer, please contact your broker. However, in the unlikely event your broker is unable to help you, please see our 'Existing policy queries' section on contact us page for the appropriate team.


  • Yes, you can return to work with your employer while we pay benefit, as long as the medical evidence supports that you are only able to do this on a part-time basis (in comparison to the pre-incapacity hours worked).

    We will reduce the benefit in proportion to the new salary being received. For example if a claimant receives 40% of their previous salary we will reduce the benefit by 40%. We call this proportionate benefit.

    So that a member is not penalised when we calculate proportionate benefit we will:

    • Increase their pre-incapacity salary in line with inflation and
    • We will not deduct state benefit

    Proportionate benefit can be paid at any time after the end of the deferred period.

  • For employees

    Yes. We require a physical signature on normal writable PDFs.

    We can also now accept e-signatures for consent and claim forms. If you would like to use this easy option, please get in touch with us directly or via your employer with your phone number and email address.

    For employers

    No. As long as you send the document to us via a work email so we have an audit trail, we can accept e-signatures instead of the claimant’s actual signature instead of your actual signature.

  • No. To complete a deferred period we can consider:

    • Continuous absence
    • Periods where a member is working, but in either a different occupation or in a reduced capacity due to illness or injury
    • Shorter periods of absence (of at least 2 weeks) interspersed with periods at work (where the deferred period is fully met within a time span of twice the deferred period)
  • There are two scenarios:

    If a member’s employment ends during the deferred period, their membership also ends and we cannot consider the claim unless they are an equity partner, LLP member or barrister.

    If a member’s employment ends after the deferred period:

    We can start paying direct where a member is an equity partner, LLP member or barrister, where an employer has ceased to trade and on pay direct group income protection policies. In all other cases we will normally agree to pay direct unless we think that the individual will recover or return to work within 6 months. We ask that we are given at least 14 days’ notice of the termination of employment.

    If we do accept pay direct, there will be changes to the terms of payment, which may include changing the definition of incapacity. We will pay basic benefit only and we will deduct tax from it at the basic rate of 20%. Moving to pay direct may also affect the individual’s entitlement to some state benefits. In all cases you should contact your Claims Management Specialist to discuss the individual claim circumstances.

  • There are three types of policy that can be taken out with Unum - gross pay, fully integrated and net pay. The fully integrated and net pay policies take into account what the individual actually receives in regards to ESA benefits. This is taken into account within the pricing of the scheme, making for more expensive premiums.

    The gross pay schemes can be either a set % of salary with no deductible or, allow for a set deductible from the benefit which is calculated based either on the current year’s ESA figures or is a set amount. This set deductible is taken into account within the pricing of a scheme, reducing the level of cover and the premiums. The deductible is taken off benefit regardless of whether ESA is actually received.

Customer feedback

  • We want you to be completely happy with our service, but we appreciate things can sometimes go wrong. Here’s what you can expect from us if you have a complaint - from the first time you make contact, all the way through to referring your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman.

  • First please get in touch with your main contact as we aim to resolve most cases immediately. However if you feel you would like to raise the matter with someone else or make a complaint, please contact our Complaints Team. They will review and investigate your concerns before issuing a Final Response.

    Please click here for more details.

Data security

  • We’re committed to protecting and keeping information private and confidential. Here's our full Legal and Privacy statement.

Employee Assistance Programme

  • To find out how Unum LifeWorks can support your business and your employees please click here.


  • No, our Vocational Rehabilitation support is included as part of your Unum policy as a built-in, added value service.

  • Our Rehabilitation team access these services as part of their case management toolkit. Where treatment will support a return to work, Unum will consider funding it.

    These include:

    • Functional Capacity Assessment – assessment of an individual’s physical abilities and endurance for work-related tasks and postures using standardised measurement
    • Ergonomic Assessment – assessment of how an individual’s workstation and equipment is set-up
    • Psychological Assessment - assessment of an individual’s cognitive capacity to function in the workplace

    We also offer:

    • Dyslexia vocational evaluations
  • It’s really easy.

    • Discuss it with your employee (there's more info on our service here)
    • Complete this absence management form - to tell us more about your employee and their absence from work
    • Ask the employee to fill in this consent form. Or we can call your employee if you prefer. We need consent before we can proceed.
    • Email both forms to us at
  • For quick, basic advice, you can also call our helpline 01306 646 001.

  • Our Rehabilitation and Wellbeing team can help you with a range of services. They can:

    • Meet you to discuss your absence management processes
    • Help you identify trends or strategies to better manage absence
    • Provide Line Manager or HR education through interactive workshops
    • Offer employees ‘U-First’ courses covering wellbeing and ‘movement matters’
    • Carry out a mental health and wellbeing audit to identify potential gaps in the business
    • Provide further information on specific conditions or signpost you to services to help you manage difficult situations
  • We work with everyone – regardless of industry or size. We make sure we understand your business and the employee’s role to determine how best to support and achieve the desired outcome - whether it’s a return to their full role or an alternative role with reduced hours.

  • Our Vocational Rehabilitation Consultants can assist with all types of injury/illness – whether the condition is physical or emotional. We’ll also liaise with both employer and employee to determine what support is needed to help your staff member return to work or stay at work.

  • Occupational Health can include a wide range of medical and rehabilitation intervention and the exact types of services will vary across providers. However, our Vocational Rehabilitation Services do not provide pre-employment screening, medical assessments, health screening or emergency first aid.  If your Occupational Health provider has absence management in place, we will work together with the provider to provide the best possible care for you and your employees.

  • This will depend on the type of support you have requested and what the employee needs.

    Once we receive your employee’s consent, our VRC will call you to confirm details of the referral. The VRC will then arrange an assessment with the employee so we fully understand what barriers are preventing them from returning to work, or causing them to struggle at work.

    Following this, our VRC will work with you, and provide a report and recommendations on how best to help your staff member achieve the return to work goals.

    Typically, our report and recommendations will include:

    • A summary of the person’s condition
    • Their symptoms and current treatment
    • Suggested hours and tasks
    • Any workplace adjustments and accommodations they need
  • You can make a referral at any time - whether it’s for support to keep someone in the workplace or if they‘re currently off work and need help to return. There are no restrictions on timelines. In fact, the earlier you contact us, the quicker we can support you and your employee.  

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