Guardian’s New Disability Insurance Tool
Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, a prominent mutual insurance company, has a solid disability income insurance product that’s very popular with doctors and other white-collar professionals. So we were naturally very interested to check out its brand new online disability insurance tool.
It amounts to a calculator that’s very finely articulated when it comes to medical professions. Where many carriers don’t get too far into the details when asking about your profession, Guardian has different disability insurance rates for physicians with surgical duties and other physicians, for example.
Specifically, Guardian disability insurance lets you select from among a variety of medical industry professions:
- Certified Nurse’s Assistant
- Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
- Licensed Practical Nurse
- Nurse Practitioner
- Physician (non-surgical duties)
- Physician’s assistant
- Registered Nurse
- Surgeon (physician with surgical duties)
From there, Guardian lets you input your age and state of residence, and lets you customize your quote based on the following criteria:
- Maximum monthly benefit
- Longest period of time benefits can be paid out (10 years, or up to age 65)
- Exclusionary period, or the length of time that must elapse before benefits are payable.
A few observations: We noticed that based on an income of $200,000 and a $9,000 per month maximum monthly benefit, a surgeon can expect to pay about $100 more than a non-surgeon physician.
This isn’t surprising… surgeons have to be on their feet for hours at a time, and some disciplines require a fair amount of physical exertion on top of that. That means less severe injuries and illnesses can disrupt their ability to earn a living as surgeons, compared to other kinds of doctors.
Does this mean that Guardian is the best deal for non-surgeon physicians? Well, that depends. Every case is different. Sometimes we find that Guardian is an excellent option. Guardian is a popular disability income insurance choice among physicians for a reason. But they aren’t always the best match for every individual for a variety of reasons.
Often, the best deal for any given client’s situation revolves not just on premium but also on things like the definition of disability, the available riders for future disability insurance purchases (particularly important for medical students, residents and others who have a reason to expect significant increases in pay as their futures progress), and the individual’s medical situation.
Are you a smoker? Are you packing a few extra pounds? Have a back problem from a few years ago? Female? Different carriers underwrite these risks in different ways. Someone who’s ‘rated up’ to a more expensive category by one carrier may be a preferred risk with very competitive pricing at another carrier, at the same time.
That’s why disability insurance is such an individual decision. There is no single rule of thumb that can define the best policy for any given individual. It is nearly always a matter of comparing and contrasting a variety of different features and benefits in the policy, combined with the individual financial situation and career goals and medical history, and then balancing that against premium.
After working with thousands of doctors and other medical professionals at all stages of their careers, we have found that when the process is done right, with all the proper due diligence, the monthly premium is actually lower on the list of the most important factors in making disability insurance decisions.
That’s why it’s important to look at many different carriers. No one carrier is going to offer the very best plan for everyone at the very best price. It’s impossible. It’s usually best to work with an experienced broker who understands the underwriting approaches and pricing of each carrier, along with their reputation when it comes to claim time.
DoctorDisability.com is an independent disability insurance agency that can sign you up for a number of different companies. We take your information and help you get a quote and offer from Mass Mutual, Guardian, TheStandard, Principal, Assurity, MetLife and other carriers, and help you select the policy or combination of policies that provides the best protection for you and your family and the best value.
To get started, fill out our online form, or call us today at 866-899-7318. We work with doctors, residents, med students, and people in the allied professions anywhere in the country.
We look forward to working with you.