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Sun Life Financial Acquires Assurant Employee Benefits for $975 Million

In March 2016, Sun Life Financial completed its acquisition of U.S. Employee Benefits business of Assurant for $975 million. This purchase nearly doubled Sun Life's Group Life and Disability business, and the combination of the companies created the sixth-largest group benefits business in the United States. On its own, Sun Life had business in force of about $2.6 billion, but with the acquisition of Assurant, the business in force is increased to about $4 billion. Sun Life further reported that following the acquisition, and as of June 30, 2016, it had total assets under management of $865 billion.

Of course, an acquisition of an employee benefits operation and combination of two businesses at this level involves substantial change. This is particularly significant for those insured under Assurant Employee Benefits insurance policies and those with active ongoing insurance benefit claims such as disability claims.

Still in 2017 major changes are occurring related to Sun Life taking over Assurant. Just in March 2017, the Sun Life logo replaced the Assurant Employee Benefits logo across communications and websites, and the Assurant Employee Benefits brand and logo was phased out.

Sun Life and Assurant have promised that if you have an existing plan through Assurant Employee Benefits, it has not changed. They indicate that although Sun Life now administers the policy, there is no impact on your plan.

However, the question remains how Sun Life will ensure that this was a good business decision for its shareholders to purchase Assurant and all of its current liabilities for $975 million. At the end of the day, Sun Life is a for profit corporation, and it profits when it takes in more money than it pays out. Obviously, the more insurance and employee benefits Sun Life is able to deny, the more it retains in profits.

Too many times, when an acquisition of this size occurs, we have seen companies like Sun Life re-review all clams acquired from Assurant that involve ongoing future liability such as ongoing disability insurance claims and challenge these claims where possible. The more liability that Sun Life has acquired in its purchase of Assurant, the better it is for Sun Life's bottom line.

If you have an Assurant disability insurance claim that was acquired by Sun Life and is now being terminated or denied, contact one of our experienced attorneys today for a complimentary consultation to discuss your legal options.

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