The Standard

AM RATING: A

PROVIDER: Standard Insurance

DEFINITION OF DISABILITY: Own-Occupation Definition

RESIDUAL BENEFIT: Requires 20% loss of income

FUTURE INSURABILITY RIDER: Available annually up to age 55.

The Standard is one of the largest and widely trusted true own occupation insurance providers. Their Platinum Advantage policy provides excellent coverage specifically for medical professionals.

The Standard is one of the Big Six Insurance companies, meaning they are one of the only insurance companies to provide TRUE OWN OCCUPATION disability insurance.

The Standard is a great option for medical professionals who are looking to secure their income with disability insurance. The Standards’ Platinum Advantage policy is made into a true own occupation policy with the Own Occupation Rider. This rider makes the Platinum Advantage policy fully comprehensive and protective of physicians in the case of an illness or injury that may result in a disability or loss of career. 

Standards definition of totally disabled is as follows:

“Receive full disability benefits if you can’t perform with reasonable continuity the substantial and material acts necessary to perform your regular occupation, even if you work and earn money in another occupation.”

The own occupation rider is what secures Standard’s definition of disabled to be 100% true own-occupation coverage. 

The definition of this rider is as follows: 

Own Occupation Rider: “Under this rider, you are considered totally disabled if, due to injury or sickness, you can’t perform with reasonable continuity the substantial and material acts necessary to perform your regular occupation in the usual and customary way even if you are engaged in another job or occupation for wage or profit. You must also be receiving regular medical care from a physician(s) to treat your injury or sickness. If you are a physician or dentist and have limited your regular occupation to a specialty recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties or American Osteopathic Association Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists of American Dental Association, then that specialty will be deemed your regular occupation. If you are an attorney and have limited your practice to the usual and customary activities of a trial attorney, then the trial attorney will be deemed your regular occupation.” 

This rider clarifies that you are totally disabled if you are unable to perform the material and substantial duties of your occupation, even if you are gainfully employed in another occupation, as long as you are not able to work in your occupation. 

Standard will deem your specialty to be your occupation if your occupation is limited to the performance of the material and substantial duties of a single medical specialty or single dental specialty. 

A policy from Standard is guaranteed renewable up to age 67. In addition, you can purchase the non-cancelable rider to make your policy non-cancelable. This means Standard can not cancel or raise your premiums as long as you are paying your premium before you reach age 67, regardless of income, health, or occupation changes. 

Once you reach age 67 you have the option to renew your policy annually as long as you are currently working at least 30 hours in a week and had been the year before, a few additional requirements may apply.

POLICY TIME PERIODS

The Elimination Period which is the number of days following the disability before benefits become payable and the benefit period, which is defined as the maximum time for which you can receive benefit payments for disability, are also two important definitions to notice for each company. 

Below are Guardians definitions of each: 

Elimination Period: The policy has the following elimination periods as options:

  • 60-day. 

  • 90-day. 

  • 180-day. 

  • 365-day.

Benefit Period: The benefit period with standard has a range of options which are available to age: 

  • 65

  • 66

  • 67 or 

  • two years

  • five years

  • 10 years

This is the longest period of time for which Standard will pay benefits for a continuous disability.

BENEFIT RIDERS TO ENHANCE YOUR INCOME PROTECTION

Standard also provides many additional features that you can add to your policy to add additional payments. The following are options to add on to your policy: 

Own Occupation Rider

Under this rider, you are considered totally disabled if, due to injury or sickness, you can’t perform with reasonable continuity the substantial and material acts necessary to perform your regular occupation in the usual and customary way even if you are engaged in another job or occupation for wage or profit. You must also be receiving regular medical care from a physician(s) to treat your injury or sickness. If you are a physician or dentist and have limited your regular occupation to a specialty recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties or American Osteopathic Association Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists of American Dental Association, then that specialty will be deemed your regular occupation. If you are an attorney and have limited your practice to the usual and customary activities of a trial attorney, then the trial attorney will be deemed your regular occupation. 

Enhanced Residual Disability Rider

Under this rider, you will be considered residually disabled if, during the elimination period, you are working in your regular occupation or another occupation but, due to injury or sickness, you have at least a 20 percent loss of income or duties or time. After the elimination period, if you are working with a loss of income of at least 20 percent, regardless of any loss of duties or time, you will be eligible for benefits. The benefit amount will be at least 50 percent of your policy’s basic monthly benefit for the first 12 months. After that, the benefit amount will be proportional to your loss of income. However, if your loss of income is more than 80 percent, the benefit amount will equal your policy’s full basic monthly benefit. To be eligible for benefits, you must be receiving regular medical care from one or more physician(s) for your injury or sickness. This rider is required on your policy. 

*This rider also includes a recovery benefit. If you return to work in your regular occupation or any other occupation for at least as many hours as you worked before your disability but, solely because of your injury or sickness, you have a loss of earnings of at least 20 percent, you may receive a recovery benefit. 

Noncancelable Policy Rider 

As long as you pay premiums on time, The Standard can’t raise the premium at any time up until the policy’s termination date. You’ll still have the option to accept premium increases for increases in benefits under the Benefit Increase Rider and/or the Automatic Increase Benefit Rider (if selected). 

Indexed Cost of Living Rider 

To help your potential disability benefits keep up with inflation while you remain disabled, this optional rider will increase your monthly benefit each year by up to 3% of the previous year’s benefit amount, compounded. The percentage will be based on the average annual change in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for that year. The example below shows the potential benefits of a prolonged disability. After you recover, you have the option to purchase the benefit increases provided by this rider during your disability.

*FOR ILLUSTRATION PURPOSES ONLY 

The illustration above assumes disability beginning at age 40 and lasting through age 67, with an $18,000 basic monthly benefit and annual increase based on a 3% rate of inflation, compounded. Actual increases will be based on the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U). If the CPI-U increases by less than 3% in any year, the actual increase will be less than the amount shown. 

Catastrophic Disability Benefit 

If you experience a catastrophic disability, you may need additional income to offset increased expenses. This optional rider pays a benefit for a catastrophic disability, in addition to the basic monthly benefit, if you’re presumptively disabled.

*FOR ILLUSTRATION PURPOSES ONLY 

PLATINUM ADVANTAGE BUILT-IN BENEFITS AND FEATURES

Recurrent Disability: If you recover from a disability for which you have been paid benefits and you become disabled again from the same cause(s) within 12 months, the later period of disability is considered a recurrent disability. Benefits paid for recurrent disability are considered a continuation of the preceding disability and no additional elimination period will be required. No disability benefits are due or payable during any period of recovery. 

Presumptive Disability Benefit: If you totally and permanently lose your speech, hearing in both ears, sight in both eyes, use of both hands, use of both feet, or use of one hand and one foot, we’ll pay the full benefit for total disability, beginning with the day of the loss and continuing to the end of the maximum benefit period. 

Rehabilitation Benefit: While you’re disabled, you have the option to participate in a voluntary rehabilitation program to help you return to full-time work. If The Standard approves your participation in a rehabilitation program, they’ll pay the reasonable costs of a program that meets mutually agreed-upon objectives. The program can include modifications to your workplace, vehicle, or home; training and education; family care expenses; and job-related and/or job search expenses. 

Coverage for Mental Disorders and/or Substance Abuse: The Platinum Advantage policy provides 24 months of benefits for disabilities stemming from mental disorders and/or substance abuse. 

Premium Waiver Benefit: The Standard will waive all premiums due under your policy while disability benefits or recovery benefits are payable. 

Survivor Benefit: We’ll pay a survivor benefit in the amount of three times the basic monthly benefit if you die while disability benefits are being paid under this policy. 

Guaranteed Renewable: As long as you pay premiums on time, The Standard can’t change or cancel your policy or change any terms, except the premium, until the termination date. Premium rates may be changed only after the policy is three years old and only if the change applies to all policies with similar benefits insuring the same risk class. Risk class includes occupation class, gender, and tobacco use. 

Elimination Period: Your policy will specify the period of time, measured from the first day of your disability, throughout which you must be disabled before disability benefits become payable. The days in the elimination period may be consecutive or interrupted by period(s) of recovery, but the total must be reached within a longer period of consecutive days, as shown in the chart. 

Maximum Benefit Period: This defines the maximum period of time disability benefits will be payable for any one continuous disability and recovery benefits related to that disability. For any maximum benefit period, they will not pay benefits beyond the later of the policy termination date or the date on which 24 months of benefits have been paid, whichever is longer. 

Renewal Option: You may apply to continue the policy beyond the termination date, if you’re working at least 30 hours per week and are not disabled at the time of your request. Only the total disability benefit will be available, and some provisions of the policy may change under the renewal option. The premium may also change. The benefit period is 24 months for total disability beginning before age 75, and it is 12 months for disability beginning after age 75. Your policy will end under the renewal option on the date you no longer work at least 30 hours per week (unless you’re disabled), or on the date, you recover from a disability covered under this option.

Suspension During Military Service: You may suspend the policy if you are on full-time active duty in the military service. During a suspension, no premiums are due and you will have no coverage under the policy. If your active duty ends within five years after the suspension date, you may request that your coverage be resumed without evidence of insurability. 

COMPANY POLICY UNIQUE FEATURES

Family Care: This unique, industry-leading benefit is only available with Platinum Advantage Standard Policy. If you take time away from work to care for a family member with a serious health condition, are working at least 20 percent fewer hours, and lose at least 20 percent of income, you can receive a monthly benefit based on your loss of income. 

Family members include your spouse or domestic partner, parents, and children (including adopted children, stepchildren, and children of your partner). You may claim this benefit up to two times and receive a total amount (for all claims) equal to six times your policy’s basic monthly benefit. 

This is a great feature that is exclusive to Standard policies that can aid in unforeseen future hardships.  

Suspension During Military Service: You may suspend the policy if you are on full-time active duty in the military service. During a suspension, no premiums are due and you will have no coverage under the policy. If your active duty ends within five years after the suspension date, you may request that your coverage be resumed without evidence of insurability.

This added advantage makes The Standard policy a great option for military personnel. 

When looking at your policy options, consider Standard. The coverage amounts and definition of “disabled” make Standard an excellent choice for your disability insurance policy. Standard has many customization options as well as many features and benefits that make a policy completely customizable and personalized for you. 

If you are interested in learning more about Disability Insurance, read more on our 2021 Beginners Guide to Disability Insurance.