Tuesday, September 20, 2016

What's up Doc, DI-style

DI being, of course, disability income insurance. My industry isn't well-known for frequent innovations, so when I saw this in email, my curiosity was piqued:

"Guardian challenges Individual Disability Income Insurance industry with unique features for physicians"

Physicians, like most of us, depend on their wages to pay for things like food and shelter, cars and clothes, and all the rest. And it's not like this niche has gone under-served: along with lawyers and accountants, white collar-focused carriers have long since targeted these typically high-end clients.

So what could Guardian have possibly come up with to merit such a breathless headline?

I looked through the email, and a couple items caught my eye:

■ Enhanced True Own-Occupation Protection means more ways to qualify for benefits

Own-occ has long been the gold standard for high-end DI plans. Briefly, it means the inability to perform the majority of the duties that they one's been trained to perform. Now, this is just a baseline definition, and carriers usually tweak them to make their product more attractive. Any wording that makes it easier to access benefits, as this rider purports to do, has to be a plus.

■ Option to protect student loan debt payments.

This is truly cool, and exclusive to Guardian. I really like programs like this; when carriers think "outside-the-bun" (as with MassMutual's RetireGuard) it makes me smile. Think about it: if your income stream is cut off, how are you paying off your student loan(s)? If you're a doctor or lawyer (for example), you're likely paying off both undergraduate and graduate schools.

There are other interesting provisions, as well, including coverage for hospice care.

Kudos to Guardian.

[Hat Tip: Adrianna Webster]
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