Northwestern Mutual disability insurance review 2022

Fill the income gap your employee benefits don’t cover with an individual policy.

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  • you’re looking for an individual policy from a top insurer.

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  • if you want to get a quote without the hard sell of going through an agent.

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Short term disability


Long term disability


Benefit period No info available
Waiting period Short-term disability- 7-14 days
Long-term disability- 3-6 months
Coverage amount Short-term disability- up to 80% of gross salary
Long-term disability- up to 60% of gross salary
Individual credit Not offered
Available states All 50 states
Policy riders Yes
Simplified issue Not offered


  • Financially strong.
  • Customizable policies.
  • Medical professional coverage.
  • Coordinates group and individual.


  • No online quote.
  • Higher premiums.

Review by

Heather Petty is a personal finance writer at Finder specializing in home loans, banking and insurance. After falling victim to a disreputable mortgage broker when buying her first home, she’s on a mission to help readers avoid similar experiences when managing their own finances. A self-proclaimed word nerd, her writing has been featured on MSN, and, among others. Heather previously worked as a technical writer and editor for the casino systems industry and is an internationally published young adult mystery author. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in journalism from the University of Nevada, Reno.

Expert review

Northwestern Mutual offers customizable options from a reliable company with a good reputation, but you’ll pay for that stability with higher premiums. And if you’re looking for an insurer that allows you to get a quote without having to contact an agent, compare disability policies to see if you can find a better fit.

What disability coverage does Northwestern Mutual offer?

Northwestern Mutual offers long- and short-term disability policies, but provides no specifics about the policy coverage without consulting an advisor. You can choose from the following policy premium options:

  • Level premium coverage. Your premium remains the same for as long as your policy is active.
  • Non-cancelable guaranteed renewable.By paying a slightly higher premium, your coverage is guaranteed to renew annually at the same premium rate with the same options.
  • Guaranteed renewable. Your benefits will stay the same, but your premium may change annually as your income, circumstances and age change.
  • Annually Renewable Disability Income (ARDI).Start with a lower premium that gradually increases. This policy can be upgraded to the Level Premium Coverage option.

What riders can I get?

Northwestern Mutual allows you to customize your policy using the following riders:

  • Waiver of premium. If you’ve purchased this rider, you’ll be eligible to stop paying your premiums if you’ve been disabled for at least six months without having your policy lapse.
  • Additional purchase. With this add-on, you can purchase additional disability insurance to help cover any gaps. The additional insurance must meet Northwestern Mutual’s underwriting guidelines.
  • Social insurance substitute.Provides a supplement to your Social Security Disability benefits.
  • Future increase. Offers a 6% annual increase in your benefit to help cover inflation.
  • Indexed income.Offers a 6% annual increase in your benefit after the first full year of disability to help cover inflation costs.

Pros and cons of Northwestern Mutual disability insurance


  • Financially strong. Northwestern Mutual gets top marks for financial strength from AM Best, Standard & Poor and the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
  • Customizable policies.You have a wide array of options to choose from, both in your premium structure and benefit options.
  • Medical professional coverage. Doctors and dentists can find more flexible disability coverage that takes into account the unique work responsibilities of medical professionals.
  • Coordinates group and individual. If you have a disability policy through your work and choose to buy an individual plan, Northwestern Mutual coordinates your policies to make sure you get the most out of your benefits.


  • No online quote. To get a quote, you have to contact a Northwestern Mutual financial advisor.
  • Higher premiums.When compared to other companies of similar size, Northwestern Mutual’s rates tend to be higher, in part because its policies are exclusively sold through advisors on commission.

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Northwestern Mutual disability insurance reviews and complaints

Northwestern Mutual has an A+ rating with the BBB and far fewer customer complaints than would be expected for a company of its size — only 16 in the last three years, as of October 2020. In addition, the company was the 4th highest ranking in customer satisfaction in J.D. Power’s 2020 US Life Insurance Study.

How do I apply?

You can’t get a quote online for Northwestern Mutual. Instead, from the disability insurance page on its website, click Let’s Talk and enter your goals and contact information. Then, you’ll be paired with a financial advisor, who can go through your disability insurance options with you.

Frequently asked questions about Northwestern Mutual disability insurance

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