Best Disability Insurance for 2021
Disability insurance is an often misunderstood and overlooked insurance product that can save you a lot of trouble should you ever suffer a disability and be unable to work.
While most people tend to think they’re covered through a worker’s compensation scheme, the truth of the matter is that, should something happen outside of work, such coverage wouldn’t cover your back.
This means that, if you can’t work because of an injury you’ve suffered on the weekend while moving furniture around or attending a spin class, for example, you’d have no financial help, no income protection, and would have to live out of your savings until you got better and can work again. And if you don’t have an emergency fund then, well, you’re in quite a lot of trouble.
This is why getting disability insurance could help cover any missed paychecks – and is seriously something worth considering.
Who Has The Best Disability Insurance?
There’s no single insurance provider that offers the best disability insurance. The truth is, there are now many insurance companies that provide excellent disability insurance policies, making it quite hard to say which one is hands-down the best.
There are two primary types of disability insurance: short term and long term. We picked two companies for each coverage that we feel can offer you the best bang for your buck.
Insurance companies tend to offer different disability policies, so it is always best to shop around before deciding which one suits your situation the best.
Best Short Term Disability Insurance Company
When it comes to finding the best short term disability insurance, Mutual of Omaha offers benefits for up to 24 months, which are paid immediately. It also includes a Partial Disability Monthly Benefit, which is payable for six months should you only be able to work part-time.
Best Long Term Disability Insurance Company
Illinois Mutual has a great long term disability insurance plan, which will cover part of your income in case of injury or illness.
If you don’t make use of the policy, or use little of the total premium paid, you have an option to get the total amount of your premiums paid minus the amount you received, back.
To benefit from this, you need to add the Return of Premium rider to your disability insurance plan.
Best Disability Insurance Companies
Here are some of the best disability insurance providers for 2021:
- Mutual of Omaha
- Illinois Mutual
- Guardian Life
- The Standard
- Fidelity Risk
MassMutual offers customizable individual disability insurance policies that can help you cover most expenses should you suffer a disability.
With only 5% of disabilities being work-related, insuring your income through Mass Mutual can help stay on track while protecting your income and retirement savings.
- Covers 45-65% of your income
- Optional retirement protection
- Customizable insurance coverage tailored to your needs
Mutual of Omaha
Mutual of Omaha, one of our best life insurance companies, also excels at both long and short time disability insurance. Their long term policy offers flexible insurance coverages with 60 to 365 days elimination period and a benefit period that ranges from 2 years till you’re 67 years of age.
Short term disability coverage will pay you for up to 24 months with an elimination period, or waiting period, starting at 0 days.
There are many add-ons you can choose here, such as critical illness rider, which will pay a lump sum benefit if you’re diagnosed with a serious disease.
- Long term policy is customizable
- Short term policy with an elimination period starting at 0 days
- Partial disability benefit; if you are only able to work part-time due to a disability, you’ll get covered for the rest
Illinois Mutual covers personal disability insurance for both short and long terms.
They also offer many riders, which are optional extras that you can add to your policy. One such rider is the return of premium rider, which will refund you should you not claim.
Another optional rider is Retroactive Injury Benefit. This rider will make sure you get paid benefits should a disability become apparent within 30 days after the injury.
- Many optional riders to personalize your coverage
- Both short term and long-term disability coverages available
- Discounts for small business owners
Guardian offers both short and long term disability insurance policies, as well as individual disability insurance and supplemental disability insurance.
While short and long term insurance may be provided through your employer, you can add an extra layer of protection to make sure you’re covered no matter what in your own occupation.
- Offers short and long term disability insurance policies
- Supplemental disability insurance adds an extra layer of protection
- Individual disability insurance ensures policyholders are covered when changing jobs
Principal offers an individual disability insurance policy that is 100% yours regardless of whether you’re covered by an employer or not.
Principal Disability Insurance can help protect your income should an unexpected injury or illness keep you from working – and even help you continue saving while you’re unable to work (look up their Retirement Savings Plan).
They also offer an insurance calculator to help you determine how much coverage you need to make sure you’re always safe.
- Insurance calculator helps you determine the coverage level
- Offers disability income insurance as well as retirement savings protection
- Individual disability insurance that is customizable to your budget
- 8 days elimination for short term and 90 days for the long term
The Standard offers both short and long term coverages. Long term insurance pays monthly while the short term pays weekly with the Whole-Person Approach helping you get back to work faster with the help of experts.
The policy can include rehabilitation services or workplace adaptation to make sure you can return to work as soon as possible.
The individual disability insurance offers family care benefit, in case you need to work fewer hours, to be able to take care of your family member.
- Long and short term disability insurance covers up to 70% of your income
- Family care benefit with individual disability insurance
- Optional student loan rider – if you have a student loan, The Standard will take care of it while you cannot work
Ameritas’ individual disability insurance is very flexible. You can add many different riders to your policy, depending on your budget and needs. You also have the option of choosing your benefit and elimination periods.
There are two main policies: DInamic Foundation and DInamic Fundamental. The Fundamental policy is the more affordable option that will pay you a lump sum if you’re unable to work for more than a year.
The Foundation policy, on the other hand, has many built-in benefits and optional riders, so you can choose how much you pay and how much you will receive.
- Flexible individual disability insurance policies
- Optional benefit adjustment, to reflect inflation
- Low premium (equivalent to your internet bill!)
Assurity’s disability income insurance offers a flexible coverage plan, where you get to choose your elimination and benefit period.
This allows you to pick the plan that is best suited for you and one you can actually afford.
The insurance policy usually covers up to 60% of your average salary if you cannot perform your job.
- Affordable – costs around 1-3% of your salary
- Flexible coverage plans
- Pays you if you return to work part-time
Petersen International Underwriters offer great long term disability insurance for high earners.
With their high limits, you can be sure to live a comfortable life even if you suffer an illness or an injury.
Their plans are highly customizable according to your occupation, and you can even choose the percentage of your average income you wish to receive going as high as 80%.
Your monthly premium will, of course, depend on the percentage you choose.
- Benefits of up to 80% of your average wage
- Customizable plans for different occupations
- High monthly limits
Fidelity Securities life insurance offers Life and Disability coverage, which has a graded benefit option.
This is a great option for those with high-risk profiles – especially because they could be turned down by other insurance carriers.
There are customizable plans with specialized features, benefits, pricing, and underwriting guidelines.
- Offers a wide range of disability product types – from term life insurance to substandard disability
- Customized insurance plans available
- Specialized features, pricing, benefits, and underwriting guidelines
What companies offer long term disability insurance?
One important aspect of disability insurance to understand is the difference between short-term and long-term coverage.
Short-term coverage will typically kick in immediately, but it will not payout for extended periods of time. Long-term coverage, on the other hand, can help you cover your expenses for a much longer timeframe. Do keep in mind that since each company offers different policies, the actual amounts of money and time will vary from policy to policy.
Because of this, there are two important terms you should understand to make sure you take out the right policy;
- Elimination Period. Elimination Period is the amount of time you need to wait until your policy kicks in. In other words, you could think of it as a deductible period for your policy. Once your elimination period is satisfied, you will begin receiving your monthly or weekly benefit checks.
- Benefit Period. The length of time you will receive these benefits. The benefit period will vary by policy type, premium, and policy provider – and they can be as short as a few years or until the insured is in his late 60s. As the end of your benefit period approaches, you’ll probably hear from your insurer asking if you want to renew the same policy for the next term.
Most companies offer both long and short term disability insurance policies. Do keep in mind that they might be called differently, though, which can make things a little confusing.
Also, consider whether you have enough savings in your emergency fund to sustain yourself for the short term, in which case you might want to consider skipping the short term disability insurance. Since long term disability insurance works over a more extended period of time, it is always a good choice to have one.
Find the best disability insurance
There are many options to choose from when picking the right insurance company and policy for your disability insurance. The first step is to calculate your necessary monthly expenses and check your emergency fund to work out how many months can you survive without an income in case of injury or illness.
Once that is done, it’s time to go shopping! Ask for quotes, paying special attention to elimination and benefit periods that would work best for you.