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Disability Insurance Policy Features.

There are many features of a disability insurance policy and they are all important. Not every disability policy is the same and not every policy has the same features. Depending on your specific occupation, age, state of residence, etc., not all of the features listed below may be included on your disability income insurance policy. Be sure to check with us regarding your specific situation.

Below are some of the most common features of a disability insurance policy and some questions to ask when you are shopping for coverage.

**Disability Insurance Shopping Tip** - Work with an independent insurance broker!!!! is the online division of Financial Solutions Group, Inc., a family owned and operated licensed independent brokerage insurance agency. When you request an insurance quote from this website, you will work directly with us. We have direct access to over 12 disability insurance companies, 7 long term care insurance companies and countless life insurance companies allowing us to help you purchase the right policy, with the right company, and at the right price to fit your needs and budget. Most insurance websites sell your information to insurance agent's that try to sell you their product and their product only. We are committed to providing you with an independent analysis and you can rest assured that we will never sell or distribute your personal information.

Since 1974 we have made it simple and affordable to have the disability insurance, long term care insurance and life insurance protection that's so vital to your family's future. Plus, we'll give you the independent advantage with our broad company and product portfolio. Our continually updated computer database searches out the highest-quality disability insurance, long term care insurance and term life insurance policies, affordable prices and safest companies.

This FREE, detailed online information lets you select the insurance that's right for your short or long term needs at substantial savings - no hassles, no sales pressure. And since all transactions can be handled safely and efficiently over the phone and through the mail, there's no need to meet with a pushy sales person or spend countless hours shopping for disability and life insurance. Our service allows you to shop in the comfort of your home or office. This service is completely secure, confidential and personalized. Finding the right disability and life insurance at the right price has never been easier!

Is the insurance company financially stable?

Check the financial ratings of an insurer. We can provide this information or you can obtain it from independent rating agencies such as A.M. Best Company, Standard and Poor's, Fitch Ratings, Weiss Research and Moody's Investors Service. After all, if you do need to make a disability claim, you want to make sure the insurance company will be able to keep their end of the bargain.

We only work with and you will only receive quotes from insurance companies that have an A- (Excellent) or higher rating by A.M. Best Company. You can be confident that any disability or life insurance policy that you purchase through our agency will be of only the highest quality available in the insurance industry today.

When are you considered disabled? Definition of Disability...One of the most important, if not, the most important feature of a disability insurance policy.

When you buy disability income insurance coverage, you are essentially buying the insurance company's definition of disability. There are three basic definitions that typically include "own-occupation" and "any occupation," as well as "partial" or "residual" disability.

Own Occupation. This refers to the occupation you were working in just prior to your disability. If your "own occupation" is protected, the policy will not require you to work in another occupation. This is also sometimes referred to as "regular occupation" or "your occupation".

Any Occupation. Some policies will not pay benefits if you can perform "any" occupation you are suited to, based on your education, training and experience.

Look for a disability income insurance policy that considers you disabled if you cannot perform the substantial and material duties of your own regular occupation. This option is not always available. Based on your occupation you may be eligible for a less comprehensive definition of disability, which is o.k. Remember that having some sort of coverage is often better than having nothing at all. You can further enhance your policy with coverage that provides benefits in the event of a partial disability.

How long is the waiting period?

The waiting period (also known as the elimination period) is the length of time you must wait before disability income benefits begin to be paid if you are too sick or too hurt to work. It can be as short as 14 days (short-term disability policy only) or as long as a year. As a rule, the shorter the waiting period, the more expensive a policy will be. It's important to know that benefits are typically not paid until the end of the month following the waiting period. (So if you have a 180-day waiting period, you'd receive your first benefit check after 210 days - or more.) Most people choose either a 90-day or 180-day waiting period. Consider your available savings and assets when making this choice.

How long will benefits last (Benefit Period)?

The benefit period is the length of time benefits are paid. The shortest benefit period is usually two years. A five-year benefit period is fairly common feature of a disability insurance policy. Most people purchase coverage that lasts until age 65, or longer if available. You should buy the longest benefit period you can afford. If you remain in good health, most companies will allow you to upgrade your coverage at a later time.

Is the policy non-cancelable and guaranteed renewable?

A non-cancelable and guaranteed renewable disability insurance policy provides considerable security and is an important feature of a disability insurance policy, since the insurance company can't raise your premiums or cancel the policy for as long as you pay the premiums. A policy that is only "guaranteed renewable" can increase premiums under certain circumstances.

Disability income insurance is like choosing between two jobs.

Which job would you rather have?

JOB A - without coverage
Annual Salary
If you're working

If you're sick or hurt and
can't work

JOB B - with coverage
Annual Salary
If you're working

If you're sick or hurt and
can't work

For just a small percentage of your salary, you could insure a portion of your income - and protect what it provides.

  1. $100,000 annual salary less $1500 annual premium
  2. Benefit amount depends on various factors. Your disability specialist can illustrate the exact amount you're eligible for based on current underwriting guidelines.

Changing Jobs?

That means your benefits are changing too! Make sure you understand your new benefits package and how it fits with your personal strategy for achieving financial security. And, if possible, take advantage of every opportunity for employer-provided benefits. If you loose your group disability insurance or if you're getting a raise, consider purchasing disability income insurance protection for you and your family.

Getting Married?

Get ready for changes in your financial life, too! In addition to combining their incomes, the Smiths sold one house, remodeled and moved into the other, drafted their first wills, and began laying the foundation for their new family's financial future. Selling one home resulted in savings of $1,100 per month (mortgage, taxes, utilities and insurance). The Smiths budgeted a portion of this money for their insurance program, an additional portion goes to their 401(k) plans and the remainder goes into a savings account they call their "Annual Honeymoon Fund."

Having A Baby?

This changes everything! Or at least it did for the Martins. David took on a second job, so Stacey could be a stay-at-home mom for the first few years. That made everything a little tighter. But David could still afford to buy additional life insurance for his growing family's protections - as well as personal disability income insurance, since his paychecks were even more than before. A program was customized for David with both life and disability insurance that was within their budget.

What about Partial, Residual and Loss of Income Disability?

Some policies will pay a proportional benefit if you become partially/residually disabled and experience a loss of earnings. Most companies use a "percent of income" formula to determine benefits for a residual disability. Some policies will cover you if you can work part-time due to your disability and still do all of your regular duties - or if you can work full-time but do only part of your regular duties due to your disability. Benefits usually begin where there has been a 20 percent loss of income due to disability. In most cases, if you lose 75 percent or more of your income, you are considered totally disabled.

What about guaranteed future insurability?

This means that while you are working, you can increase your policy's monthly disability income benefit as your salary grows - without providing evidence of medical insurability. This feature can usually be added to the policy by rider.

Is there inflation protection?

Most disability insurance companies offer "cost of living" riders that help benefits keep pace with inflation, while an insured is disabled and collecting benefits.

Are premiums waived during disability?

Many policies will automatically waive your premiums during a qualified disability. They are typically waived after the lesser of 90 days or the elimination period.

Is there a rehabilitation clause?

Since most insurance companies want to help you resume an active lifestyle and get back to work as soon as possible, they will often offer assistance in your rehabilitation. Some policies are based on a mutual agreement between the policy owner and the company. Other policies limit the amount paid for rehabilitation. Make sure to review the policy, so you have a clear understanding of the insurance company's responsibilities - and yours.

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Financial Solutions Group, Inc.

1311 S. Main St., Suite 208
Mt. Airy, MD 21771

Phone: 410-960-7634
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**Page information taken from various sources including, but not limited to "From Here To SecuritySM", The National Underwriter Company, National Safety Council, The Society of Actuaries, Social Security Forum, New York Post, Association of Health Insurance Advisors, Health Insurance Association of America, With Permission © Insurance Information Institute, Inc. - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED - or otherwise noted** 

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