We will review the new Assurity short-term disability policy, including all of the mechanics, special features, and good-to-know quirks. With 1 in 20 people experiencing a short-term disability this year, considering how to keep the bills paid is time well spent.
The exciting part about this new policy is that it provides coverage for gig workers and improves options for women.
For more general information on disability insurance, read the comprehensive disability insurance guide.
Let’s get started.
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Short-term disability insurance helps cover a family during difficult times where someone is unable to work, usually ranging from a couple of weeks to two years. One of the perks of Assurity’s new policy is the weekly benefit rather than waiting on a monthly benefit amount.
It’s an individual disability insurance policy, although there are also options to add coverage for stay-at-home spouses. One of the other helpful aspects of coverage is nontraditional workers will still qualify in a budget-friendly way – people doing gig work, or making a living from several part-time jobs.
Give us a call at (858) 703-6178 to get quotes and compare short-term paycheck protection policies for your family.
Assurity Short-Term Disability Overview
First, the online application and instant decision underwriting mean you can get disability insurance checked off your to-do list today. You won’t have to wait for a medical exam, do a health interview over the phone, or dig up income verification paperwork.
So here’s how the policy works.
It’s renewable coverage to age 65. In English, that means there’s no price increase as long as you pay your premiums.
Assurity sends weekly benefit payments (as opposed to monthly with many policies) and will cover up to 60% of your income. W-2 employees can get up to $1,000 a week in benefits, up to $600 a week for self-employed or commissioned employees.
And, because you pay for the policy out of pocket, your benefits aren’t taxable.
The policy includes a 50% partial benefit payout if you’re unable to work full hours at your job.
You can choose from several benefit periods:
The elimination period (also called the waiting period) has even more flexibility:
- 0/7 (accident/sickness)
- 0/14 (accident/sickness)
- 7 days
- 14 days
- 30 days
- 60 days
- 90 days
But here’s the best part. The own occupation definition is the industry’s strongest definition of disability, and many disability insurance companies charge extra for it. What it means is that if you cannot perform the duties for your specific occupation, they’ll pay your disability claim.
The standard definition says that you cannot do your job, AND you aren’t working in some other way.
This helps reinforce Assurity’s dedication to the way work is shifting in the current era. Gig work, 1099 employees, and people pulling together incomes from several part-time jobs used to mean that getting disability insurance was impossible. But this new adjustment to current economics means that people who are making good money without the ol’ 9-to-5 can insure their paychecks and keep the family afloat if something happens.
You can choose between an accident & sickness policy (highly recommended) or an accident-only policy.
Unlike long-term disability coverage, the application and underwriting process is easy.
There are no medical exams. Neither does Assurity require you to submit years of tax returns and other paperwork to qualify financially. During the application process, you enter your income, and they’ll tell you the maximum total disability benefits you can apply for. They don’t do any financial underwriting and will only look at the financials if something comes up during the claims process that doesn’t seem right.
The speed of the issue process avoids the traditional difficulties of buying affordable paycheck protection. It’s the type of policy that you apply today and get the policy within two days.
Women & Family Focused Benefits
The accident and sickness policy comes with a built-in childbirth benefit. Finally, an insurance company realizes that children are expensive!
The childbirth benefit only requires the birth certificate as proof and will pay you (whether you’re the mother or the father) an additional lump sum of 2x your weekly benefit, up to $500.
It’s not a ton, but to our knowledge, it’s the only childbirth benefit on disability income insurance.
Assurity includes the standard disability riders as well as a few new ones.
- Partial Disability Benefit – pays a portion of your benefits if you can’t work part of your hours/duties
- Presumptive Disability Benefit – severe injury or illness like loss of sight in both eyes, hearing, speech, both feet, will pay the total monthly benefits
- Waiver of Premium Benefit – you won’t pay premiums while receiving benefits
- Childbirth Benefit – 2x weekly benefit lump sum upon birth of a child (up to $500 & only available on the accident & sickness plan.)
- Organ Donor Benefit – pays benefits if you suffer complications during organ or bone marrow donation (Only available on the accident & sickness plan.)
- Social Insurance Offset – reduces your premium by reducing benefits dollar-for-dollar with any social security benefits received
One note on the social insurance offset: it can be a great way to reduce monthly premiums and tends to be low risk. Most people will not qualify for federal or state disability benefits on their first application, or even if they go through the appeal process. Plus, the application process often takes over a year to even hear back the first time.
This is still different than worker’s compensation. Read this article for more information on the differences between worker’s comp and disability insurance.
You can add any of the following to your policy to customize it:
- Family Care Rider – 50% weekly benefit when taking time off to care for a sick family member
- Guaranteed Insurability Rider – Allows you to increase benefits without further underwriting
- Return of Premium Rider – Returns a portion of premiums after many years
- Retroactive Injury Rider – Pays benefit if the insured becomes disabled within 30 days of an injury
- Stay-at-Home Spouse Disability Income Rider – Coverage for a stay-at-home-spouse
- Catastrophic Disability Rider – Extra benefits for loss of limbs, sight, or hearing (Only available on the accident & sickness plan.)
Some riders are a good idea to have on a policy. Guaranteed insurability is one people often choose since incomes tend to keep increasing while people are at an age where they’re shopping for disability insurance. All you need to do is show proof of increased income.
Other optional riders are new to the industry. Stay-at-home-spouse coverage rarely comes up as an option for disability policies.
Is Assurity a Good Company?
Assurity has a long history of offering disability insurance products at lower rates than most companies.
One of the things we love about Assurity is that it’s a Certified B Corporation. This isn’t a legal thing, it’s an outside certification that rates a company’s standard on how they treat their employees, the work they do within the community, the transparency of their products and financial practices, and uses ethical supply chain practices.
The big part is this certification requires company bylaws to state that the company cannot value one group of stakeholders (employees, shareholders, surrounding community, etc.) over another. For example, a company cannot push for shareholder profits while ignoring employee working conditions.
It also holds an A- in financial stability from AM Best.
Assurity’s new short-term disability product is one of the more remarkable coverage options we have seen come out of the disability insurance marketplace in a long time, particularly because it’s a short term disability policy.
The ability to insure your income when doing gig work is new and exciting, if you find insurance industry news exciting. We hope that more companies will follow suit as the nature of employment changes toward a more mobile workforce over the coming years.
How Abrams Insurance Solutions Can Help
At Abrams Insurance Solutions, we’re a family-owned business of independent agents determined to find the best coverage for our clients at the lowest possible price. It can be a challenge sometimes with disability insurance. But with new products coming out as companies try to separate themselves from competitors, we help our clients take advantage of it.
Give us a call today at (858) 703-6178 to get and compare disability insurance quotes and see what makes the most sense for you and your family.