With so many options to choose from, shopping for disability insurance can seem like a daunting task. But because it’s the best way to keep earning income if you become too sick or injured to work, it’s something that everyone should do.
So which insurance company should you choose?
There are six insurers that lead the industry in disability insurance, and they are known as the Big Six.
Here’s a snapshot into each of the Big Six insurance companies, plus some of the policy features that make them valuable options.
What Does Big Six Mean?
One of the most important aspects of a disability insurance policy is the definition of disability. Policy holders must meet the standard of the definition before they can qualify to receive benefits.
Most insurance companies offer the “any occupation” definition, which means that you can collect benefits when you are too injured or ill to work in any type of job whatsoever. It is difficult to meet this strict eligibility standard.
It’s much easier to qualify for benefits with the “own occupation” definition. Under this definition, you can collect benefits if you suffer any injury or illness that prevents you from doing your current job.
The Big Six are the only insurance companies that offer the “own occupation” definition, so it’s best to shop for policies from these well-known providers.
Ameritas offers fully customizable disability insurance policies with various riders and your choice of benefit period, elimination period, and coverage amount.
Ameritas policies also include a variety of built-in features for no extra cost, such as the Good Health Benefit that reduces elimination periods automatically and the COBRA Premium Benefit that pays $1,000 per month towards COBRA health insurance premiums.
Prefer to collect benefits in one lump sum rather than monthly?
Ameritas also offers a type of policy that pays benefits in one lump sum rather than spread out over time.
Read this in-depth review of Ameritas disability insurance to learn more about their policies now.
Mass Mutual is different from other insurance companies because it is a mutual company. That means that in some cases, policyholders are able to earn a portion of the company’s profits through yearly dividends.
Mass Mutual policies are fully customizable, and if you sign up before age 36 you can take advantage of their graded premium structure. The graded premium structure allows people aged 18 to 35 to pay less in premiums now and then pay slightly more as they age and earn more money throughout their career.
Ohio National is an excellent choice for disability insurance, and their policies include a variety of built-in benefits and features for no additional cost.
One of those built in benefits is the Waiver of Premium. For every month that you receive benefits, you do not have to pay monthly premiums.
Another great built-in benefit from Ohio National is the Survivor Benefit. In the event that the insured dies while still eligible to receive monthly benefits, their spouse, child, or beneficiary can continue to collect benefits for two additional months.
Most insurance companies require that you work a minimum of 30 hours per week to qualify to receive benefits. Principal, however, allows part-time workers that work between 20-29 hours per week to qualify to receive benefits as well.
Principal offers elimination periods between 30 and 365 days, and they offer a built-in Recurring Disability Benefit so that if you recover from an illness or injury, return to work, and become ill or injured again for the same reason, you don’t have to wait out another elimination period.
The Standard’s Platinum Advantage disability insurance plan is one of the best. The Standard offers all of the optional riders that the other Big Six insurance companies do, and their built-in benefits add significant value.
One of those benefits is the Rehabilitation Benefit. Enroll in a rehabilitation program to help you recover from your injury and The Standard will cover some of the costs.
The Standard also offers a Family Care Benefit. If you have a spouse, child, or parent with a health condition that requires you to cut your working hours and lose 20% of your pay, you can collect this benefit to supplement that lost income.
Guardian disability insurance is fully customizable with your choice of optional riders, benefit periods, elimination periods, and coverage options. Like the other Big Six, Guardian policies provide built-in benefits, including a Waiver of Premium Benefit.
With the Guardian Waiver of Premium Benefit you won’t have to pay your monthly premiums if you’re laid off or experience temporary periods of unemployment. This is a huge benefit that allows you to keep your disability income insurance protection in place even in times when you can’t afford to pay for it.
All insurance companies provide different benefits and offer different rates, so there is no one policy that is right for everyone.
Before you choose a policy, obtain quotes and compare pricing and benefits from at least two or three insurers. That’s the best way to ensure that you’ll get the greatest value for the most reasonable price.