What: The UK’s largest provider of “income protection insurance” denies that it stands to gain financially from incapacity benefit reforms that campaigners believe it helped to influence. Although Unum denies it had “significant influence” on government policy over the last decade, two of its executives were involved in “technical working groups” set up under the Labour government, which reported in 2006. Unum’s chief executive admits that the “tightening” of eligibility for out-of-work disability benefits is encouraging people to take up income protection, but he also says he does not “necessarily accept that the fear [of welfare reforms] is acting to increase our profit”. (Evidence of its influence will be found in November 2011).
Why significant: Highlights the potential profit to be made by insurance companies, such as Unum, from incapacity benefit reform.