Ameritas was originally Old Line Bankers Life Insurance Company, founded in 1887 by five community leaders looking for a local life insurance company.
It became Ameritas Life Insurance Company in 1988, although it remained headquartered in Lincoln, Nebraska, serving 5.3 million customers across a broad range of insurance products.
Ameritas has the reputation of being the oldest and most respected insurance company in the United States.
- CEO: William Lester
- Year founded: 1887
- BBB score: A+
- A.M. Best rating: A
- Phone number: 800-745-1112
- Services offered: Life insurance, investment advisory services, brokerage services, private client services, annuities, dental and vision insurance, business planning, retirement plans, and disability insurance
Ameritas Disability Insurance: Fast Facts
Ameritas provides profound disability benefits with many opportunities for add-ons to enhance coverage.
- Disability insurance products: Individual long-term disability (DInamic Cornerstone) and DInamic Fundamental, a lump sum disability policy
- Benefit periods: Two years, five years, ten years, or to age 65 or 67 (DInamic Cornerstone)
- Maximum benefits: $30,000 monthly (DInamic Cornerstone) or $100,000 (Fundamentals)
- Elimination periods: Varies by plan from 30 days to 730 days
- Discounts: n/a
Disability Insurance Designed for Doctors
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Ameritas’ Definition of Disability
The company offers True Own Occupation and Any Occupation coverage.
The Fundamentals policy includes Any Occupation coverage, and the Cornerstone policy includes True Own Occupation, which is great for physicians.
True Own Occupation
True Own Occupation covers physicians who can’t work their specific medical occupation. You receive benefits even if your disability enables you to work a different occupation.
Any Occupation coverage only covers physicians who are disabled and unable to work any job, even those outside the medical profession.
Built-in Benefits of Ameritas Disability Insurance
Ameritas includes many benefits, making its disability insurance for physicians one of the most flexible.
Good Health Benefit
The Good Health Benefit is provided to Ameritas clients for no charge. It lowers the elimination period by two days for every year you don’t have a disability and use your Ameritas disability insurance for a maximum of 30 days.
If an injury hurts you and requires medical care but doesn’t disable you, this Ameritas policy will advance $500 of your monthly medical or dental treatment benefit.
COBRA Premium Assistance
If you lose your job and, therefore, your medical insurance due to your disability, your Ameritas policy will cover the cost of your COBRA premiums for no extra charge. This benefit covers up to $1,000 a month for you or you and your family for up to 18 months.
Ameritas riders increase the base coverage offered by Ameritas. Some riders are included, and others are extra.
Future Increase Option Rider
As your salary increases, so does your need for higher disability insurance coverage. The Future Increase Option Rider allows you to increase your coverage without undergoing more underwriting.
Automatic Increase Rider
The Automatic Increase Rider automatically increases your coverage by 4% of the base coverage amount annually for the first five years. You do not need to supply proof of financial need or undergo medical testing to receive it.
Lump Sum Savings Rider
This rider protects your retirement savings should you become disabled and unable to work. When you can’t work, you can’t contribute to your retirement plan, but the Ameritas disability plan provides financial protection to keep your retirement savings going.
Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) Rider
The COLA rider increases your benefit if the cost of living increases while you’re disabled and actively receiving benefits. You can purchase a 2% to 6% Compound or 3% Compound Rider. Both increase the total monthly benefit of the policy after one full year of disability to help offset the effects of inflation.
Student Loan Protection Rider
If you have student loans and cannot cover them, this rider will provide up to $2,500 monthly to cover your student loans. This rider is an add-on and not automatically added to your policy.
Catastrophic Disability Rider
If you experience a severe disability, the Catastrophic Disability Rider can provide extra financial protection to help.
Ameritas Disability Insurance Premiums
Ameritas isn’t transparent with its premiums, forcing you to contact a financial professional to discuss your options. However, they’re known for their affordable premiums throughout the industry.
Disability insurance premiums cost 1% to 5% of your annual salary. Many factors affect your premiums, including age, location, health, specialty, and gender.
Alternatives to Ameritas
Ameritas offers good disability insurance options, but there are alternatives to consider from the Big Five disability insurance companies.
Like Ameritas, MassMutual is one of the older disability insurance companies. It was founded in 1851 and has two options for disability insurance. Like Ameritas, you can customize your plans with optional riders.
MassMutual has one of the highest value COLA riders, but some think the definition of “Own Occupation” at MassMutual is more restrictive than necessary.
The Standard is known for its True Own Occupation policy as they have the most liberal definition of it. Their plans work great for doctors and other medical professionals, but the downside is you must purchase your own occupation rider to benefit from this rider.
If you’re looking for an insurance company that offers simplified underwriting, Principal is a good option.
Many find Principal’s premiums higher than the other Big Five insurance companies, but they have the most extensive range of coverage options and riders.
Unlike Ameritas, Principal makes it easy to find out the cost of premiums by requesting a quote online; it takes only five minutes.
Pros and Cons
- High monthly benefits: Ameritas pays $500 to $30,000 per month based on earned income
- Advancement for non-disabling injuries: Get up to $500 per month for treatment of an injury that doesn’t render you completely disabled
- Good health benefit: Reduce your elimination period by two days per year that you don’t have a disability claim up to 30 days
- Not transparent: Ameritas isn’t transparent with its premiums; you must talk to a salesperson to get a quote
- Strict limits on mental health disorders: If a mental health disorder disables you, the benefits are limited
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Ameritas a Good Company?
Ameritas has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and an A rating with A.M. Best, making it a solid insurance company to trust with your disability insurance needs.
While they aren’t transparent with their premiums, most people state they pay an average of 1% to 5% of their annual income in premiums for coverage, and Ameritas offers many additional benefits to make the policy beneficial during trying times.
Who Is Eligible for Ameritas Disability Insurance?
As long as you work, you could be eligible for Ameritas disability insurance. The policies work well with physicians, especially if you add on the True Own Occupation rider, so you get coverage even if you can work another position.
What Is Ameritas’ Claims Process?
If you become disabled, you must file a claim with Ameritas by mail. After receipt, you’ll discuss your case with a claim examiner who will visit you and talk to your medical providers and employer.
They may request financial documentation or any additional documentation they deem necessary.
How Can a Physician Apply for Ameritas Disability Insurance?
To apply for disability insurance with Ameritas, contact a financial professional by phone. They do not provide quotes or applications online.
What Happens if My Disability Is Temporary or Partial?
Depending on your policy, you may get compensation even if your disability is partial, and you can work another position. You must have your own occupation coverage for this option.
Otherwise, you may receive payments for the duration of your disability, but the coverage ends when your medical provider determines you can return to work.
Is Long-Term Disability Insurance Worth the Investment?
Protecting your income is essential, especially after spending thousands of dollars on your education. Long-term disability protects you financially should you no longer be able to work, ensuring financial peace for you and your family.