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Disability Insurance Carrier Review: The Standard

I review these products to inform the public about these carriers.  Most disability insurance products are very good, but what is right for one person isn’t right for another. That is why you should talk to an expert, objective agent, who can help you navigate the sea of carriers and their individual product features.  I am available for consultations, which you can schedule HERE, or you can always contact me directly at 888-636-2310.

Who is The Standard?

The StandardIn 1906, when the Northwest was largely an untamed wilderness, a visionary man, named Leo Samuel, founded the company that would become The Standard.

Started as a company that provided disability insurance to a burgeoning logging industry, The Standard has evolved to a company that has over 40 offices throughout the country and over 2700 employees.

Headquartered in Portland, OR, The Standard primarily offers:

  • Group disability insurance
  • Individual disability insurance
  • Group life insurance
  • Group accidental death and dismemberment insurance
  • Group dental insurance
  • Group vision insurance
  • Retirement plans
  • Annuities
  • Absence Management Services

The Standard has a very interesting history.  If you’re interested in learning more, they have a great story that can be found HERE

The Standard’s Financials

The Standard is rated A (Excellent) by A.M. Best, their third highest rating. They have maintained this rating since 1928, one of only 16 life/health insurers consistently to achieve an “A” rating or higher for over 75 years.

If you’d like to learn more about The Standard’s financial strength, please look at their web page.

Products Offered

The Standard offers many products, most notably, group insurance.  However, their individual disability insurance policies are some of the best on the market.

They offer five individual plans, three for individual coverage and two that are business based.  The Standard covers all the bases and covers them well.

For White-Collar Workers

White Collar Disability Insurance The StandardThere are two main plans, Protector Platinum and Protector+.  The Platinum plan is their most comprehensive.  Offering true own occupational coverage with a host of included features, this plan is one of the top plans on the market for white-collar professionals.

These policies compete with Guardian, Principal, Northwestern, Ohio National, and other white-collar focused carriers.

Included in each Platinum policy is an automatic increase benefit (AIB), which increases your benefit by 4% for the first five years.  It also includes a compassionate care benefit, which will cover the insured, should they lose 20% or more in earnings during the care of a loved one with a serious health condition.

Other benefits include unlimited mental and nervous disorder coverage for all occupations, residual riders, foreign resident coverage, and a survivor benefit.

The Protector+ is a less expensive, but less comprehensive, plan for white-collar workers. It has a modified own occupation definition (disabled from your own occupation, but not working in another occupation) and does not include the AIB or the compassionate care benefit.  It also offers less discounts, less occupational classes, and limitations on mental/nervous, rehabilitation, and recovery benefits.

Protector+ offers a social insurance supplement, something the Platinum plan does not offer. It will also offer a two-year elimination period, another benefit not available on the Platinum. For most high income protection plans, neither one of these features are exceptionally desirable.  However, for a budget-minded consumer or someone who has group coverage and is looking for personal paycheck protection, it can be a solution.

For Blue-Collar Workers

The Standard’s blue-collar plan is called the Protector Essential.  It is guaranteed renewable and offers regular occupation coverage to the maximum benefit period, no limitation on coverage for mental/nervous disorders, and a residual disability benefit.

Protector Essential mainly competes with Assurity, Mutual of Omaha, Ameritas, and Mutual of Omaha.

This policy is excellent for people making less than 100k annually and have a need for affordable coverage with numerous built-in features. Protector Essential is very strong for younger professionals, grey and blue-collar workers, and those who are price sensitive and don’t need the most comprehensive plan.

For Business Owners

The Standard has two key plans for business owners.

Business Owner Disability Insurance The StandardThe first is a business overhead policy.  This is a fairly common offering, depending on your state. The most important thing about The Standard is they offer several group plans that allow for tremendous cross-selling possibilities.

Business overhead will pay the business expenses of the owner if he or she were to become disabled. These policies are based purely on the fixed expenses of the business, such as a lease, mortgage, payroll, and/or other costs directly incurred by the business.  It does not consider profitability or future growth.

The second policy might be the most underappreciated and underutilized disability insurance on the market: Disability Equity Protector.

This policy is essentially a disability buy/sell, which assists in the purchase of a disabled owner’s interest in a business if a long-term disability occurs.  Many firms have protection in case of an owner’s death, but overlook the financial devastation that can occur because of disability. Flexible funding methods are available, using lump-sum and/or monthly installment payments, which help to provide the funds to affect an orderly transfer of ownership.

The interesting thing about buy/sell disability insurance is it is rarely brought into the picture.  Banks don’t always require it for loans, and attorneys rarely write it into the agreement. The issue with not utilizing this coverage is that the ramifications are huge.  A disability not only creates an issue with the purchaser, who can no longer maintain the success of the business, but it ignites a very uncomfortable dynamic, as a new owner that can’t maintain the business’s profitability and an existing owner, not yet paid for the business.

The Standard Pros

About Raymer Malone, CFP®
About Raymer Malone, CFP®

Raymer Malone, CFP® is principal and owner of www.highincomeprotection.com, an online insurance agency that specializes in disability insurance.  Ray has been in financial services since 1998 and has been life and health licensed since 2004. He started his company to help consumers get access to disability insurance products online and to provide them with the proper direction in selecting a policy. Ray resides in Lake Tahoe, NV with his wife and two children.

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