Unum COVID-19 claim and leave data
Monitoring trends, anticipating needs
May 14, 2020
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States in early 2020, life fundamentally changed for all Americans. Schools were closed, stay-at-home orders were issued, and businesses and workforces were dramatically impacted.
As part of our commitment to putting clients first, we are sharing data from our Absence Management Center showing the claim and leave trends we have seen since the pandemic began. We continue to closely monitor these trends, and remain focused on anticipating and responding to our customers’ needs as the situation evolves.
January – February: Pandemic planning begins
News about a potential pandemic began to surface in late January and February of this year, and we began to prepare for possible impacts. As it became clear the COVID-19 outbreak would affect our clients, we swiftly recalibrated our service-center business operations to respond to incoming disability claims and leave requests arising from school closures and stay-at-home orders. We streamlined claims processes, created dedicated response teams and worked proactively with clients on strategies to support employees and navigate the challenges presented.
March – April: Claim surge materializes
On March 11, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. Two days later, President Trump announced a national emergency. Correspondingly, we saw our first significant COVID-related claim and leave request volume emerge in the week of March 15, as shown in the graph below. Claims continued to climb through March and into April.
Unum Claim and Leave Trends
COVID-19 Short Term Disability Claim and Leave Volumes
April – May: Claims level off, preparation pays off
As the graph above shows, we began to see a leveling off claims and leaves by mid-April — a trend that has continued for most clients over the past three weeks.
We are working closely with all our clients — especially those who have suffered the greatest impact — to help them navigate the challenges that COVID-19 has thrown at them. In these unprecedented times, we’ve innovated to be flexible and to find the right ways to support each client and policyholder. While we are always working to improve, we’re grateful to report that our customer satisfaction levels are at record highs.
Now: We stand ready for what’s next
While we are optimistic that the worst may be behind us, we are ready for whatever comes next. We continue to watch COVID-19 claim and leave volumes, and are prepared to adapt as distancing restrictions relax and more employees return to work.
As employers begin to look forward and plan to bring employees back to the workplace, we continue to be poised to help. We’ve recently provided a wealth of resources with practical considerations for planning return to work, adapting to changed state and municipal regulations and supporting your employees working from home in these difficult times. Importantly, we will continue to watch the trends closely, and will keep you updated as we see the next phase of our shared business journey develop.
“Our goal is to help our customers thrive, as we do the same,” said Michelle Boucher, senior vice president of our Absence Management Center. “We are engaging with our employees to ensure they have what they need to take care of our customers. And we’re continuing to monitor customer satisfaction and service levels to ensure best-in-class service delivery.”
About Unum's Absence Management Center
Unum is a leading U.S. disability and leave provider. Its Absence Management Center (AMC) administers close to 200 state leave laws, as well as federal laws such as the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the paid sick leave laws enacted under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). We offer an integrated model to leave management, with one intake point for Short Term Disability and leave claims.