Joan Hangarter bought a disability policy in 1990 to protect her should she ever become seriously ill. She dutifully paid her annual premiums for nearly a decade. But when she became disabled, she and her children found themselves homeless and bankrupt when her insurer--UnumProvident--stopped paying her benefits. With the help of attorneys Ray Bourhis and Alice Wolfson, Hangarter won a landmark $7.7 million jury verdict against Unum. Through the compelling stories of ordinary people who have been driven to bankruptcy--or worse--when tragedy struck, Bourhis shows how the insurance industry runs roughshod over the very people it is paid to protect. He shows how the industry has become so insulated from accountability that neither lawsuits, punitive damage awards, federal court injunctions, newspaper headlines, nor television exposure can derail their determined efforts to turn a profit at any cost. Bourhis, a national champion of policyholder rights, walks readers through both Joan Hangarter's heart-wrenching case and the stories of Susan McGregor, Stuart Gluck, John Tedesco, Laurie Hindiyeh, Eugene Molfino, Julie Guyton, Michael Baldwin, Margaret Santana, and numerous other claimants--real people with heart disease, AIDS, spinal injuries, brain damage, Parkinson's disease, and other disabilities whose benefits were cut off just when they needed them most. Bourhis shows how the world's largest disability carrier, UnumProvident, has relied on a host of shady practices--from surveillance to one-sided medical evaluations to policy re-interpretations-to target and terminate benefit payments. Through these cautionary tales, he shines a spotlight on widespread bad faith double-dealing by insurance providers and details the key regulatory failures that enable these practices to continue unchecked.

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