Customer story its going to rain so grab an umbrella

Roger V. started working when he was 8, mowing lawns and performing other odd jobs to earn a buck. His strong work ethic carried into his teens and college, where he paid his way through school. After graduation, he became a highly successful senior manager on Wall Street.

For more than three decades, he built up a business that provided a comfortable living for his family. He has ten people who depend on him, eleven if you include his elderly mother whom he supports, too.

But when his multiple sclerosis progressed, he had to step away from his career and his ability to earn an income at age 55.

“Negative stress really causes your MS symptoms to get worse,” he explained. “And the stress of traveling for work, and the stress of not being able to do the things that I’d always been able to do, just got to be too much.”

Fortunately for Roger and his family, the individual disability insurance he has will help protect his nest egg.

“I don’t have a mortgage, but I still have a lot of other expenses I’m responsible for, and my children are still dependent on me,” Roger said. “Thankfully, I won’t have to touch my savings. I’m really fortunate to have Unum by my side.”

From police officers to pediatric nurses, disability insurance has helped working Americans avoid financial hardship during very difficult times. When an unexpected injury or illness takes you away from work, disability insurance can pay a portion of your lost income and the money can be use as needed. And with a supplemental Individual Disability Insurance policy like Roger’s, you can protect even more of your income by receiving an additional monthly benefit.

Roger’s claim is managed by Melissa Kirby, a lead disability specialist at Unum.

“When I met Melissa, it was like these dark clouds opened up and there was this beautiful blue sky,” he said. “Living with MS is very painful, scary and depressing. Melissa was gentle, kind and passionate. She is a professional who understood that I was not just another number. Her communication, knowledge and service are fantastic, and I will always remember her for helping make a painful and scary process easy.”

Although Roger is retired from the big firms of Wall Street, he’s still doling out professional financial planning advice to his friends and family, including about the very real need of protecting yourself with disability and life insurance policies.

“I bought disability and life insurance for the first time in 1992, long before I had kids,” he said. “I bought it to protect my wife should anything ever happen to me. I paid those premiums expecting to never need it, but it is so important to have as part of your financial plan.

“When my kids get out of school and start their profession, they will be buying these benefits because they’re so affordable when you’re young. And I tell them, ‘If it’s going to rain, make sure you have an umbrella’.”

This customer story is true, although the claimant name has been changed to preserve confidentiality.


This article was originally published on WorkWell.

About the Author

Brian Baker
Manager, Corporate Communications, Unum

Brian has been in the communications business for more than 15 years, getting his feet wet in the Big Apple before returning to his Southern roots. From buying media for AT&T to running traditional public relations campaigns for Mayfield Milk, he’s worked with brands with vastly different audiences and stories to tell. As a corporate communications manager for Unum and contributor of WorkWell, he gets to inform consumers on the importance of voluntary benefits and share ideas for improving their work productivity and tips for living a healthier lifestyle.

Away from work, Brian spends as much time as he can with his family. When he’s not watching his kids play sports, helping with homework or supporting his wife's racing on the USA Paratriathlon Team, he enjoys running and cycling in beautiful Chattanooga.

About Unum Group

Unum (NYSE: UNM), an international provider of workplace benefits and services, has been helping workers and their families for more than 170 years. Through its Unum and Colonial Life brands, the company offers disability, life, accident, critical illness, dental, vision and stop-loss insurance; leave and absence management support and behavioral health services. In 2021, Unum reported revenues of $12.0 billion and paid $8.2 billion in benefits. The Fortune 500 company is one of the 2022 World’s Most Ethical Companies, recognized by Ethisphere®.


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