More Commonly Asked Questions on Individual Disability Plans

In the previous article, I explained individual disability plan coverage and options available to professionals and executives. While the article was quite comprehensive, I wanted to answer some commonly asked questions that I receive when quoting individual disability plans. I also want to explain how these professionals and executives might be able to benefit from considering industry or professional association plans, such as those exclusive to BenefitDeck.

If you haven’t yet read the previous article titled “Long-Term Disability Considerations for Executives and Professionals”, it might be worthwhile for you to go back and have a read before continuing on. Otherwise, if you have more questions on this topic, please send them our way.

What if my firm/company has a group plan with long-term disability benefits?

Some professionals work for companies and firms that have a group long-term disability (LTD) plan. Because specialized professionals generally consider individual disability plans, the company or firm usually sets up plans for two categories of employees. One plan is for administrators and general office workers which would offer group LTD benefits and another is for their professionals and executives which excludes the LTD coverage. This allows the latter employees to source and purchase their own disability insurance plans.

What if I lose my job? Will I still be covered for individual long-term disability?

If a lawyer or doctor loses their job, it is up to them to advise the insurance provider. Specialized employees are normally not out of work for very long so as long as the premium is still being paid, the individual will retain their benefits. When a new job is secured, the individual must advise the insurance company of any change in income in order for the policy to remain effective.

What if I am self-employed? Will I be eligible for an Individual Disability Plan?

If a lawyer or doctor is running their own firm, the insurance company will want to see at least two years of proven income. This allows them to minimize their risk, ensuring firm stability and confirming a realistic insurable level of income. Every application is considered individually, and a benefits consultant can help advise the client if the two-year stipulation is not met.

Should I consider industry or professional association plans?

An experience and knowledgeable benefits consultant can help a professional or executive choose the right individual long-term disability benefits plan. However, in certain cases, professional or industry associations offer pooled long-term disability plans. For instance, BenefitDeck has exclusive contracts with the following associations:

- Canadian Bar Insurance Association (CBIA) – in British Columbia

- Digital Media Association of BC (DigiBC)

By choosing disability coverage through an association, you will benefit from savings on the premium. Because the plans are pooled amongst members, the insurance company offers a discount to anyone who signs up under the association plan. The claims are spread across all participating individuals and thus, there is less risk for the insurance provider.

Associations such as CBIA also provide unique perks to their participating members. In the event that the claims are low, and savings are incurred upon renewal of the pooled plan with the insurance company, CBIA actually rewards its members by either reducing plan rates, enhancing benefits offering, or returning money. To read more about the associations that we work with, please read our Associations Benefits Plan webpage.

Have More Questions on Short or Long-Term Benefits?

Understanding the in’s and out’s of short and long-term benefits plans, including coverage, applications, claims processes and payouts can become overwhelming. Working with a trusted and knowledgeable benefits consultant will simplify the entire process. With over 35 years of combined experience, our team at BenefitDeck is here to answer all your questions and steer you towards the best benefits plans for you and your company. If you have any more questions, please contact our team. We would be happy to assist in any way we can.

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