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A Guaranteed Renewable Disability Insurance Policy

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Guaranteed Renewable Vs Non

Definition of Guaranteed Renewable Life Insurance : Insurance Basics

Guaranteed renewable and non-cancellable policies share a few similarities and differences. The terms during the first three years of both types of policies will remain the same. During this time, the insurance premiums must be paid on time, and the policy provisions cannot be modified by the insurer.

In terms of the differences, for a guaranteed renewable policy, the rates can be changed after the first three years of the policy. The rate change is typically applicable to the entire risk class and not for an individual policy or person. A risk classDemographicsDemographics refer to the socio-economic characteristics of a population that businesses use to identify the product preferences and can be segregated based on factors such as age, gender, or occupation.

For a non-cancellable policy, the policy rate remains the same even after the three years. Policies with a non-cancellable provision are also more expensive than guaranteed renewable, as the policyholder is protected from any rate increase announced by the insurance company.

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Other Disability Insurance Policy Options

In addition to different waiting periods, benefits periods, and benefits rates, which are described here, Short-Term Disability Insurance and Long-Term Disability Insurance policies can vary in other aspects. These details are important because they can have a major impact on your benefits if you become disabled.

Cost Of Living Adjustment Rider

A Cost Of Living Adjustment Rider is designed to help your benefits keep pace with inflation after your disability has lasted for 12 months. This adjustment can be a flat percentage or tied to the Consumer Price Index. Although costly, this rider can provide significant increases to your monthly benefit if you are disabled early in your career. That being said, if cutting the cost of coverage is an issue, this might be the first optional rider to consider excluding from your policy especially if you are not purchasing the largest monthly benefit for which you qualify.

For example, I recently worked with a 35 year old female Internal Medicine Physician that qualified for a monthly benefit of $12,475, payable after 90 days with a Residual Disability and Recovery Benefit Rider, a 3% COLA Rider, a Future Benefit Increase Rider and a Benefit Update Rider. Her monthly premium with a unisex rate and 20% discount was $325.85. Removing the COLA Rider reduced her monthly premium to $281.34. For approximately the same monthly premium , she would have only been able to purchase $11,000/month with the COLA Rider.

Using a 3% assumed inflation rate, we calculated that she would need to be disabled for approximately 5.5 years , before the smaller benefit with the 3% COLA Rider would exceed the larger initial monthly benefit without it.

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Premium Rates And Contractual Provisions

Finally, remember, if policies are structured the same way and all agents are showing policies with the same discounts, the premium rate will be the same. This industry is heavily regulated and the premium rates and contractual language must be approved by each state. Therefore, if the plan parameters are the same, the only way that one agent can provide a lower price to the consumer is by having access to or knowing of a discount plan that another agent does not.

Individual Disability Insurance: Back To The Basics


Lawrence Keller

Purchasing an individual disability insurance policy is often one of the first steps in creating a financial plan. After all, your ability to work and earn an income is what allows you to pay down debt, build wealth and create a lifestyle for you and/or your family.

Disability insurance is something that anyone who is working but has not yet achieved financial independence needs. While you might love what you do, if you are working because you need to generate an income, you need to protect that income, and the only effective way to do that is to purchase disability insurance. This article will help you understand which features should be included in your disability insurance policy and why.

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Insuranceopedia Explains Guaranteed Renewable

This insurance feature is often included in health, life, and disability insurance policies. Coverage and renewal of coverage are ensured if this feature is in the contract. All the policyholder has to do is to pay his or her premiums promptly for risks to be covered.

The insurance company can raise the premium of the policy but not on an individual policy but on one whole class of policy. Most often, when a company has to raise the premium, it has to present its argument to the regulatory board of a state and only when granted is it legally able to do so.

Related Question

Why You Need Disability Income Protection Before Youre Sick Or Injured

  • Apply while youre healthy. You get the most favorable terms by buying individual disability income insurance before you need it. Once youre too sick or injured to work, you usually cant get the protection you need.
  • Lock in pricing. Once you have your non-cancellable and guaranteed renewable policy, the amount you pay each month is guaranteed, and the insurance company can never cancel your coverage as long as you make your payments on time.
  • Secure coverage while on the path to your career. If youre studying to become a professional such as a doctor, dentist, or a lawyer, you can apply for insurance before you graduate, with options to increase coverage as your income grows.
  • Customize your coverage. You can select options to customize your protection. These options can let you increase coverage as your income grows and help keep pace with the cost of living. You can even buy coverage to help you replace your retirement plan contributions or protect your ability to repay student loans during a period that you cant work due to sickness or injury.

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Changes To Your Premium

Under non-cancelable policies,” your premium can never be raised above those shown in the policy. Also, the policy cannot be canceled as long as the required premiums are paid on time.

Under guaranteed renewable policies, your premium can be raised, but only if the change affects an entire class of policyholders. Initial premiums for guaranteed renewable policies can be less expensive than non-cancelable policies.

Other less expensive policies that are “guaranteed renewable policies” or have limited premiums are also sometimes available.

Social Security Disability Insurance

Disability Insurance Basics

For people who become disabled but canât afford a private disability insurance policy, Social Security disability insurance may be an option. The government pays Social Security benefits to people who become disabled much like a long-term disability insurance policy, but the Social Security administrationâs definition of disability is much more strict than a typical disability insurance plan, and the large majority of applicants are rejected. Additionally, SSDI benefits are much smaller than those offered by private plans.

Learn more about Social Security disability insurancehere.

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Unisex Premium Rates For Females Going Goinggone

Due to a higher morbidity rate, premium rates for females are substantially higher compared to their male counterparts. The solution is for female physicians to purchase a policy that includes a unisex rate structure and a discount. This is a blended rate that greatly favors females and can, generally, provide them with a savings of 40-50% off the normal female premium rates.

To qualify, one would normally purchase their policy as part of a Multi-Life Discount program through one’s employer or as part of a Guaranteed Standard Issue program, except in Montana where all policies have unisex rates.

For example, lets assume that we have a 30-year old female Emergency Medicine Resident in New York State purchasing a policy from MassMutual with a monthly benefit of $5,000, payable after 90 days, to age 65. Also included is an Extended Partial Disability Benefit Rider, a 3% Cost Of Living Adjustment Rider and a $10,000 Future Insurability Option Rider. The level monthly, non-discounted, gender distinct premium is $331.65. However, the same policy with a unisex rate and 25% discount is $182.15 month or approximately 45% less.

Assuming the monthly benefit was never increased, if she kept her policy until age 65, the cumulative savings would be $62,790! Of course, if she increased her monthly benefit, the savings would be that much larger.

Understanding Guaranteed Renewable Policies

Most insurers offer both guaranteed renewable policies and non-cancellable policies. If premiums are similar for both a guaranteed and a non-cancellable policy, the non-cancellable policy is a better deal for the consumer because it offers the double guarantee of re-insurability and locked-in premiums.

In total, insurers typically offer three types of policies: non-cancellable plus guaranteed renewable, guaranteed renewable, and conditionally renewable.

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Active Duty Military Residents/fellows

MassMutuals Future Insurability Option Rider is typically 3X the base policys monthly benefit . Therefore, starting with $2,000 month, an FIO Rider of $6,000 month would be available. This would allow for a total monthly benefit of $8,000, not including the Automatic Benefit Increase Rider which, would allow for an additional $300 month over five years or a total of $8,300 monthly benefit. Assuming no other coverage this would require an earned income of approximately $185,000. However, those Residents/Fellows in higher income specialties will likely require a much larger amount of coverage. The same would be true for Active Duty Physicians that are ultimately planning to separate from service and enter private practice.

MassMutual makes two different increase options available. The Future Insurability Option Rider and the Benefit Increase Rider . Purchasing two different policies from MassMutual for $1,000 month with each increase option rider allows for this . One policy, would have the FIO Rider and allow for a potential maximum monthly benefit of $4,150 and the other would allow for up to $20,000 month . This combination also protects against any subsequent changes in health, noted on your military exit physical, would not be taken into consideration, after the initial policy or policies were medically underwritten.

What To Look For In A Disability Insurance Policy

Own Occupation Disability Insurance

At its very core, disability insurance is akin to an Automated Teller Machine Card. The more hours you have access to a cash machine, the easier it is to withdraw funds from your account. You can think of it this way, the more restrictive your policy is in terms of its features the definition of total disability, the trigger for Residual/Partial Disability, and how claims related to mental/nervous and/or substance abuse disorders and foreign residence will be handled, all of which will ultimately determine your ability to receive benefits from your policy. As such, each additional restriction or limitation that is part of it, means that you will have less access to the cash machine in order to withdraw funds. In short, the fewer limitations associated with your policy, the easier it will be to receive benefits, from a contractual standpoint, in the event of a claim.

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What Is Guaranteed Renewable

The term guaranteed renewable is used in the insurance industry and refers to an insurance policy feature that ensures that the policyholder continues to receive coverage as long as the policys premiums are paid.

In a guaranteed renewable policy, there is, at times, an option where the policyholder is given a provision to renew coverage on the policys anniversary date. The insurerLife and Health InsurersLife and health insurers are companies that provide coverage on the risk of loss of life and medical expenses incurred from illness or injuries. The customer – the purchaser of the insurance policy – pays an insurance premium for the coverage. is not allowed to cancel the policy but is allowed to raise the rate on the policy issued.

Typically, most insurance policies are both guaranteed renewable and non-cancellable. Another type of insurance policy is an optionally-renewable policy.

Protect Yourself Financially Against Over 30 Illnesses And Conditions

For substantial financial protection against over 30 serious illnesses and conditionsDisclaimer1, choose our comprehensive Critical Illness Recovery Plan.

Ideal if You

  • Need a substantial coverage amount
  • Want coverage for a wide range of illnesses and conditions
  • Are age 18-65
  • Lump-Sum Benefit: $25,000 to $2 million
  • Comprehensive: Coverage for over 30 serious illnesses and conditionsDisclaimer1
  • Flexible: Your choice of premium and term options, plus optional coverage for even more protection
  • Long-Term Care Conversion Benefit: From age 55 to 65, you can convert all or some of your coverage to long-term care insurance without proof of insurability
  • Assistance Services: Best DoctorsDisclaimerâ¡ Service, Medical Confidence Service, âThe Healing Journeyâ Program and Early Assistance Benefit

This plan includes a unique combination of assistance services that can help you and your family better cope with the emotional stress and challenges of a critical illness:

Who Can Apply?

What’s Covered?

Provides a lump-sum benefit if you are diagnosed with any of the following critical illnesses or conditions and satisfy the survival period, as defined in the policy:

Survival Period

90-Day Waiting Period for Cancer

No benefit will be paid , nor will premiums be refunded for any critical illness, death or other loss that results directly or indirectly, from any of the following:

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What Is A Noncancellable Insurance Policy

A noncancellable insurance policy is a life or disability insurance policy that an insurance company cant cancel, increase the premiums on, or reduce the benefits of for as long as the customer pays the premiums.

Noncancellable insurance policies give the policyholder peace of mind that the cost, amount of coverage, and the term is known. They can also be assured that they wont have to re-qualify for the policy at some point in the future when their health might not be as good and insurance might be harder to get.

Individual Disability Insurance Features

How Does Disability Insurance Work?

When shopping for a plan, ask about what features may be right for you. For example, many Guardian plans offer some of the following features:

  • Waiver of premium: Waiver of premium for disability is a provision in an insurance policy that states the insurance company will not require the insured to pay the premium if they are disabled and receiving benefits. Unlike most other insurance companies, well also continue to waive premiums for six months after you recover and benefits end.
  • Hospice care benefit: If youre admitted into a qualified hospice program, youll be considered totally disabled and in many cases, the policy elimination period will be waived so you can receive benefits sooner.
  • Unemployment premium suspension: Suspends premiums while youre unemployed, allowing you to stop paying premiums but continue owning the policy. However, coverage is also suspended while youre unemployed, so if you become disabled during that time, you wont receive a benefit.
  • Occupational rehabilitation and modification and access benefit endorsement: Helps pay for occupational rehabilitation expenses plus the cost of modification to your work environment to accommodate physical limitations.

Plus, several optional disability plan riders are available:

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Residual Or Partial Disability Benefit

While a policy with an Own-Occupation definition of total disability is the best, it does not adequately protect your income as it pays benefits solely based upon your ability to perform the duties of your occupation or medical specialty. For example, if you are an Emergency Medicine Physician and develop a medical condition that still allows you to practice emergency medicine but you must reduce the number of shifts you work per month and/or the number of hours you work per shift, causing a loss of income, without a loss of earning component in your policy, no benefits would be payable even if your loss of income was substantial.

Therefore, your policy should contain a Residual/Partial Disability Rider. This takes away the all or nothing associated with Own-Occupation and generally, pays benefits proportionate to your loss of income. Typically, a loss of 15-20% or more compared to your pre-disability income is required. Additionally, some companies state that they will not pay less than 50% of your policys monthly benefit for the first 6-12 months of a Residual/Partial Disability claim and, finally, if your loss of income exceeds 75-80% compared to your pre-disability income, full benefits would be payable for that particular month.

Future Increase Option Rider Or Benefit Update/benefit Purchase/benefit Increase Rider

When it comes to increase options, there is the traditional increase option where you pay a premium in order to have the ability to increase your monthly benefit, up to a predetermined maximum, regardless of your health, as your income rises.

Berkshire, MassMutual, Ohio National and Ameritas all offer this type of increase option. You pay a premium for this and, as such, you have the ability to increase your coverage annually, subject to your income and other disability insurance in force. If you want to exercise it, you can. If not, there is no requirement that you do so and this option will continue to be available annually until the rider expires and is removed from the policy.

In many cases, another type of increase option is included in the policy, at no cost, if certain criteria are met. While this is Principal and Standards only increase option , MassMutual and Berkshire makes this available as an alternative increase option on their ProVider Choice Select policy.

Under these riders, every three years you would have the ability to increase your coverage. However, you must check-in in order to keep the Benefit Update Rider , Benefit Increase Rider or Benefit Purchase Rider on the policy.

If, however, you do qualify for additional coverage, you must purchase at least 50% of the eligible amount or, again, this increase option rider will be removed from your policy permanently.

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