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Sometimes people do not consider what would happen if they were sick or injured. Do you have dependents? How would they be cared for? How would you pay your bills? If you own a business, how would it keep going? Believe it or not, your chances of becoming disabled at some point in your career are probably higher than you would think. One out of every 8 people will become disabled for either a short or long period of time. Your chances of being disabled for longer than three months are much greater than your chances of dying prematurely. That’s why having disability insurance is so important, since it can replace part of your income if you are unable to work due to injury or illness.

Short-Term Disability provides income in the early stages of disability and may pay for two weeks up to two years.

Long-Term Disability replaces partial income for a longer period of time, usually ending after five years or when the disabled individual turns 65. The two major types of individual long-term disability insurance are noncancelable and guaranteed renewable. In these policies, the insurer cannot cancel or refuse to renew the policy as long as premiums are paid on time. With a non-cancelable policy, premiums can never be raised above those shown in the policy as long as required premiums are paid. With a guaranteed renewable policy, the premium fees can be raised, but only if the change affects an entire class of policyholders.

How are premiums determined?
Disability premiums are based on many variables including: age, sex, occupation and the amount of potential lost income you might have. Usually, the lower the chance that your job puts you in danger, the lower the premium. The higher the danger, the bigger the premium. So a lawyer would have lower premiums than a construction worker.

Options to Ask About

Coordination of benefits will make up the difference not paid by other policies, so if you are hurt at work, first workers comp would pay and then your disability and then any difference not paid would be picked up by coordination of benefits.

Cost of living adjustment (COLA) increases your disability benefits as the cost of living goes up over time, as measured by the Consumer Price Index.

Residual or partial disability rider allows you to go back to work part-time, get paid part of your salary and receive a partial disability payment if you are still disabled.

Return of premium means the insurance company must refund part of your premium if no claims are filed for a certain period of time named in the policy.

Waiver of premium means that you don’t pay premiums after you’re disabled for 90 days.

Additional purchase option allows you to buy additional insurance at a later time,

Disability laws have changed quiet a bit over the past few years, so be sure to check with your Strategic Insurance
Solutions, Inc. advisor to be sure you are properly protected.

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