Unum has unbundled the features of its individual disability insurance so that employers have more flexibility to select options for employees who are not fully protected by their group disability plans.

The Income Series 750, which can be offered on an employer-paid or voluntary basis, or combination thereof, provides an unemployment provision that suspends premium payments for up to a year in the event of a layoff.

It also features an optional serious-illness benefit with a lump-sum disability payment for employees who have a heart attack, stroke or cancer, as well as access to income-replacement solutions.

"Most group disability plans put a cap on the amount of income they cover, leaving many key employees with the need for additional protection," according to Steven Joseph, senior vice president of individual disability operations for Unum.

In other Unum news, the carrier reports that its return-to-work rates for short-term disability claimants who have breast cancer more than doubled between 2001 and 2007, rising to 59.4% from 28.8%. The long term disability rate rose more than 6% during that same time frame to 53.6% from 47%.

Diane Garofalo, senior vice president f disability benefits for Unum, is encouraged by the findings, noting that "it means people are experiencing more effective, less debilitating treatments, but it also means they are returning to the sense of normalcy and routine that can be so beneficial during a difficult time."

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