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Petersen International Underwriters (PIU) disability insurance review

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Backed by Lloyd’s, this long-term disability policy has one of the highest limits on the market.

  • Get a quote if you’re a high-income earner who needs up to $100,000 in monthly benefits.
  • Look elsewhere if you need short-term disability, or prefer to apply online.

No

Short term disability

Yes

Long term disability

Details

Benefit period 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 or 10 years
Waiting period 30, 60, 90, 180 or 365 days
Coverage amount Up to $250,000 a month
Individual credit Not offered
Available states All 50 states
Policy riders Residual benefit rider.
Cost of living adjustment (COLA) rider.
Simplified issue Not offered

Pros

  • High coverage limits
  • Flexible policies
  • Solid built-in benefits
  • Specialized coverage
  • Financial strength

Cons

  • No online claims

Expert review

Katia Iervasi

Review by


Katia Iervasi is a staff writer who hails from Australia and now calls New York home. Her writing and analysis has been featured on sites like Forbes, Best Company and Financial Advisor around the world. Armed with a BA in Communication and a journalistic eye for detail, she navigates insurance and finance topics for Finder, so you can splash your cash smartly (and be a pro when the subject pops up at dinner parties).

Expert review

PIU caters to high-income earners with its Personal High Limit Disability Plan, and those in specialized occupations with its niche lineup. Beyond being generous, the policy includes added-value features — such as a transplant and survivor benefit.

If you have simpler needs or want to apply for a short-term policy,compare disability insurance companies.

Built-in benefits

The standard long-term disability plan from PIU includes these benefits:

  • Recurring disability. Waives the elimination period if you suffer from another disability due to the same or related cause as the first, within six months of returning to work full time.
  • Presumptive disability. If you lose your eyesight, hearing or the use of your hands and feet, the insurer will waive the waiting period and pay benefits for the entire benefit period.
  • Rehabilitation benefit. Offers financial assistance if you participate in a PIU-approved rehabilitation program.
  • Waiver of premium. Pauses your premiums while you’re totally or partially disabled.
  • Survivorship benefit. Pays a lump sum to your beneficiaries equal to three times your monthly benefit if you die while receiving benefits for a claim.
  • Transplant benefit. If you’ve had your policy for at least six months and are disabled as a result of organ donation, the insurer will pay benefits.

Available riders

You can add these riders to your policy for an additional fee or higher premiums or if you qualify:

  • Residual benefit rider. Pays a monthly benefit if you lose at least 15% of your income due to a disabling accident or illness.
  • Cost of living adjustment (COLA) rider. Adjusts the monthly benefit each year to align with inflation.
  • Guaranteed issue. This policy skips the medical exam, and is available to both individuals and employers.
  • Accelerated approval. A supplemental policy that’s open to those aged 35+ who already have disability insurance coverage.
  • Graded benefits. Protects 50%, 65% or 80% of your income depending on the premiums you want to pay, and stays in force for three, four or five years.

What disability insurance policies can I get?

PIU also offers customized policies based on your profession and earnings, such as policies designed for:

  • Executives. Designed for high-income earners, this policy pays a maximum monthly benefit of $100,000. Executives of publicly-traded companies can also calculate income based on salary, bonuses and stock options.
  • Medical professionals. These policies cater to medical professionals by replacing up to 75% of their income, up to $100,000 per month.
  • Entertainers. Offers customized coverage for those who work in the entertainment industry, with monthly benefits between $1,000 and $100,000 a month.
  • Financial experts. Provides up to $100,000 in monthly benefits for people who work in the financial services industry, such as brokers and traders.
  • Pilots. Pays up to $25,000 in monthly benefits for five years after a disability that causes you to lose your license.
  • Athletes. The insurer has specialized policies for student athletes, racecar drivers and professional jockeys.

Pros and cons of PIU disability insurance

Pros

  • High coverage limitsDepending on your income, you may be able to get up to $250,000 in monthly benefits. To compare, many competitors only offer up to $20,000.
  • Flexible policies. You can choose from a range of waiting and benefit periods, and add riders to your coverage
  • Solid built-in benefits. The policy offers recurrent and presumptive disability, among other useful benefits
  • Specialized coverage. PIU’s niche policies cater to specific professions and needs.
  • Financial strength. The insurer is backed by Lloyd’s, which has an A (Excellent) rating with AM Best.

Cons

  • No online claims. You can’t file a claim online, and the insurer doesn’t have a dedicated phone number for disability claims.

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Petersen International Underwriters disability insurance reviews and complaints

While PIU has been in business for over 40 years, it isn’t yet accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). However, it has an A+ rating for its customer interaction.

The BBB has only recorded two complaints in the last three years, which suggests customers are satisfied with the service they’re receiving.

How do I apply for PIU disability insurance?

  • Phone. Call 800-345-8816 on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. (PST).
  • Email. Send a message to piu@piu.org.
  • Mail. Address mail to 23929 Valencia Boulevard, Second Floor, Valencia CA 91355.

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