Disability Insurance


DI_90percentWhat is disability insurance?

Disability insurance helps replace a major portion of your income when you are sick or injured and unable to work. Some people think of it as “paycheck protection.” Others view it as a way to protect their home since a mortgage payment is often a family’s most significant monthly expense.

Having disability insurance can provide a sense of security, knowing that if the unexpected should happen, you’ll still receive a monthly income.

If you think about it, everything you have today – your home, car, groceries, savings – basically your lifestyle, depends on your ability to earn an income. Most people are quick to insure their possessions, such as their home and car. And they generally have life insurance that would provide for their family. But the one thing that makes all this possible is – your income. It’s your most important asset. So, protecting it with disability insurance isn’t just a good decision – it’s essential.

What are the types of disability insurance?

There are two types of disability policies: Short-Term Disability (STD) and Long-Term Disability (LTD):

  1. Short-Term Disability policies (STD) have a waiting period of 0 to 14 days with a maximum benefit period of no longer than two years.
  2. Long-Term Disability policies (LTD) have a waiting period of several weeks to several months with a maximum benefit period ranging from a few years to the rest of your life.

Disability policies have two different protection features that are important to understand.

  1. Noncancelable means the policy cannot be canceled by the insurance company, except for nonpayment of premiums. This gives you the right to renew the policy every year without an increase in the premium or a reduction in benefits.
  2. Guaranteed renewable gives you the right to renew the policy with the same benefits and not have the policy canceled by the company. However, your insurer has the right to increase your premiums as long as it does so for all other policyholders in the same rating class as you.

In addition to the traditional disability policies, there are several options you should consider when purchasing a policy:

  • Additional purchase options
    Your insurance company gives you the right to buy additional insurance at a later time.
  • Coordination of benefits
    The amount of benefits you receive from your insurance company is dependent on other benefits you receive because of your disability. Your policy specifies a target amount you will receive from all the policies combined, so this policy will make up the difference not paid by other policies.
  • Cost of living adjustment (COLA) 
    The COLA increases your disability benefits over time based on the increased cost of living measured by the Consumer Price Index. You will pay a higher premium if you select the COLA.
  • Residual or partial disability rider 
    This provision allows you to return to work part-time, collect part of your salary and receive a partial disability payment if you are still partially disabled.
  • Return of premium
    This provision requires the insurance company to refund part of your premium if no claims are made for a specific period of time declared in the policy.
  • Waiver of premium provision
    This clause means that you do not have to pay premiums on the policy after you’re disabled for 90 days.

Oak Tree Insurance has a large of companies to choose from based on your occupation and a number of other factors. Contact Corey for more information.