Formerly known as the Oregon Life Insurance Company, The Standard Insurance Company offers a variety of insurance products to individuals and employers.
They are licensed in 49 states and Washington, DC, and they are licensed as The Standard Life Insurance Company of New York in New York state.
Headquartered in Portland, The Standard began selling disability insurance in 1952. Today, they are one of the top disability insurance providers in the country.
The Standard Insurance Company Fast Facts
- CEO: Dan McMillan
- Year founded: 1906
- BBB score: A+
- A.M. Best rating: A
- Phone number: 1-800-631-0802
- Services offered: Dental, vision, individual disability, group disability, life insurance, AD&D, critical illness.
The Standard Disability Insurance Policies
Understanding how a disability insurance company defines disability is one of the most important things before selecting a policy.
Each company and policy defines disability differently, and you won’t be able to collect disability benefits if you don’t meet the definition according to the policy.
There are two standard definitions of disability used by most companies: any occupation and own occupation.
The term “any occupation” disability is used in disability insurance policies to determine whether an insured person qualifies for benefits after becoming disabled.
In context, the term “any occupation” means an insured person is considered disabled if they are unable to perform the duties of any occupation for which they are reasonably suited based on their education, training, or experience.
Under an “any occupation” policy, you won’t receive benefits if you can work any job that is reasonably aligned with your skills and education, even if it’s not in your original field or profession.
Own occupation disability insurance policies differ from “any occupation” policies because they specify that a person will receive benefits if they are unable to continue in their own occupation due to sickness or injury.
These policies are preferred to “any occupation” policies because they allow you to receive benefits if you’re forced out of your chosen profession due to disability – even if you can reasonably perform a different job. Because these policies are more sought-after, they are often paired with higher premiums.
The Standard Disability Insurance: Built-in Benefits
The Standard’s individual disability insurance policy – the Platinum Advantage plan – comes with a number of built-in features to protect you in case of illness or injury.
Automatic Increase Benefit
For insureds under 60, The Standard will automatically increase your benefits by 4% for the first five years of the policy, unless declined due to preexisting conditions.
Family Care Benefit
The Standard will pay a benefit if there is a 20% or more loss of income due to caring for a family member during a serious illness.
Premium Waiver Benefit
The Standard will waive premium payments after a claim is approved.
Presumptive Total Disability Benefit
The Standard will presume total disability if you lose your sight, hearing, speech, hands, or feet due to injury or illness. This will stand regardless of work earnings or the benefits waiting period of the policy.
The Standard will pay for vocational rehabilitation, training, and education to help you return to work after an illness or injury.
The Standard will provide a lump sum benefit payment if the insured dies while on claim.
The Standard offers several additional riders that you can add to your disability coverage to help you cover monthly earnings in a time of need.
Benefit Increase Rider
You can purchase additional coverage every three years without having to undergo a medical exam. This rider comes at no cost, but you will lose the rider if you do not provide an application and proof of income.
Catastrophic Disability Rider
The Standard will pay additional benefits if you are unable to perform two or more daily activities, such as dressing or bathing yourself, due to a catastrophic disability.
Indexed Cost of Living Rider
The Standard will increase your benefit each year based on the Consumer Price Index to offset the impact of inflation on your policy benefits.
Noncancelable Policy Rider
The Standard will never change your premium rates as long as you make your payments on time.
Residual Disability Rider
The Standard will cover you if you become disabled but are still able to work in a limited capacity. The residual disability rider is offered at three levels, so talk with your insurance agent to determine which level is best for you.
Student Loan Rider
The Standard will pay an additional benefit to cover your monthly student loan payments.
The Standard Disability Insurance Premiums
The underwriting process is critical in determining the premiums for disability insurance policies. Like most disability insurance companies, The Standard has a private underwriting process that cannot be fully understood from the outside.
However, there are some common factors that play a role in underwriting and premium pricing:
- Occupation Class: The job of the applicant is one of the top determinants of premium prices for The Standard. Jobs that pose higher risks, either due to physical demands or environmental factors, will come with higher premiums. For example, a construction worker will have a higher premium than an office worker.
- Age: In general, younger insureds will have better rates because they typically pose a lower risk.
- Gender and Sex: Gender and sex can play a role in premium prices because certain health conditions may be more prevalent in one sex than the other.
- Health History: The Standard conducts a thorough health examination during the underwriting process. Individuals with preexisting conditions or a history of substance abuse or mental disorders will have higher premiums.
- Benefit Period: The longer you want to receive benefits – whether it’s one year, two years, or ten years – will directly impact the price of your policy.
- Benefit Amount: Similarly, you will pay more if you want higher monthly benefits.
- Riders and Additional Features: Any added features or riders, such as the Indexed Cost of Living Rider, will come with an additional cost, increasing the price of your coverage.
Compared to other disability insurance providers, The Standard tends to offer competitive rates, especially for white-collar professionals like physicians.
While their premiums may not be the lowest on the market, they strike a balance between affordability and comprehensive coverage.
Alternatives to The Standard Disability Insurance
Ameritas disability insurance is popular among physicians in particular because they consider your specialty to be a part of your “own occupation.” This means that even if you can work another occupation after your disability, they will still pay you full benefits.
Additionally, Ameritas has a strong financial track record and a great history of paying claims. They are an excellent option if you’re looking for a strong policy specifically for physicians.
As one of the top disability insurance providers in the U.S., Ohio National is a strong contender for physicians who want to protect their income in case of injury or illness.
Ohio National Own-Occupation Rider, which says that you will still receive benefits even if you have to change professions within the medical field.
Unfortunately, this is a rider and not a built-in feature of the policy. You will need to pay more in premiums to receive this particular definition of disability.
Pros and Cons of The Standard Disability Insurance Company
- Own Occupation Disability Definition: The Standard defines disability as the inability to work in your own occupation due to injury or illness. This means if you’re a surgeon and can no longer perform surgery due to disability, you will still receive benefits by working as a medical director.
- Convertible Coverage: If you leave your current employer where you have your disability insurance, you can convert your policy to an individual policy to keep your coverage.
- Family Care Benefit: Taking care of a family member with a serious illness can take a lot of time and monetary resources. If you have lost more than 20% of your income due to caring for a family member, The Standard will pay you monthly benefits.
- Automatic Monthly Benefit Increase: For the first five years of your coverage, The Standard will increase your benefits by 4% each year if you are under the age of 60.
- Fewer Insurance Products: The Standard only has two disability insurance products to choose from: the Platinum Advantage and the Protector Platinum. You may consider looking at other providers if you want more coverage options.
- Strict Medical Exams: The Standard requires strict medical underwriting to be eligible for coverage. For people with preexisting conditions, this can mean higher premiums.
- No Online Quotes: Unfortunately, The Standard does not allow for quotes or sample quotes online. You will need to contact the company or an insurance agent to receive a sample quote.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is The Standard’s claims process?
You can file a disability claim with The Standard in several ways. However, they do not detail the claims process on their website (Standard.com) or social media. You may contact their claims department via telephone, email, or contact your independent insurance agent.
What is the average claim response time frame?
The Standard allows customers to file claims 24/7. However, they do not specify an official period of time during which they respond to claims.
How strong is The Standard financially?
As of August 2023, The Standard has over $45 billion in assets under administration. They have an A+ rating with Standard & Poor’s, an A1 rating with Moody’s, and an A rating with AM Best. These ratings indicate excellent financial performance and stability.
What is The Standard’s customer service availability?
The Standard does not specify their customer service hours on their website (Standard.com) or social media pages. You can contact their team(s) via specific phone numbers that connect you with the business unit best able to answer your questions.
Does The Standard offer quotes online?
No, The Standard does not offer quotes online. You will need to contact a representative to get a ballpark quote or schedule a medical exam to receive an exact quote.