The Standard disability insurance review 2021
Strong disability coverage that can be customized to suit your needs and budget.
finder.com’s rating: 3.5 / 5.0
- Consider The Standard if… You want to prepare for the possibility of being a caregiver, or you’re looking for a more flexible policy.
- Look elsewhere if… You want to apply for a policy online.
Short term disability
Long term disability
|Benefit period||2 years, 5 years, 10 years, or to age 65 or 67|
|Waiting period||60, 90, 180 or 365 days|
|Available states||All states except New York|
No info available
- Disability options specific to business owners
- Offers a unique loan rider
- Informational and easy to use website
- No online quotes
- Paper claims filing
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).
One of the largest disability insurers in the US, The Standard is well-placed to give its customers options — in terms of policies, benefits and riders. It set itself apart by offering a unique family care benefit to caregivers who lose income or working hours as a result of a loved one’s disability.
The company is old-school in that you’ll need to speak to a rep to apply for coverage and file a claim. If you’d like to manage your policy online, compare disability insurance providers.
The Standard’s disability insurance for businesses
The Standard offers two disability insurance policies for business owners:
- Business Overhead Protection pays your share of business-related expenses, like lease payments or payroll, if you’re unable to work due to an injury or illness. It can be customized with riders, such as salary replacement or future purchase option rider.
- Business Equity Protection helps to fund your business’ buy/sell agreement if one of the owners becomes totally disabled and wants to sell their share in the company.
Built-in benefits and available policy riders
The benefits and riders vary between policies. Your Platinum Advantage, Protector Platinum or Platinum Essential plan might include the following features.
- Family care benefit. Pays caregivers a benefit if they lose at least 20% of their income or working hours while looking after a family member with a serious illness. Note: This benefit is unique to The Standard, and isn’t available in California or New York.
- Guaranteed renewable. Keep up with your premiums, and the insurer can’t change your policy.
- Presumptive total disability benefit. Pays out a benefit if you lose your sight, hearing, speech or both hands or feet — regardless of your income or waiting period.
- Partial disability benefit. If you’re partially disabled, you’ll receive 100% of the basic monthly benefit for the first six months, and a portion of the benefit thereafter.
- Benefit increase. Increase your coverage without going through the underwriting process again.
- Premium waiver benefit. Waive your premiums while you’re totally disabled and on a claim.
- Automatic increase benefit. Boost your monthly benefit by 4% each year for the first five years.
- Rehabilitation benefit. If you participate in a voluntary vocational rehab program, the insurer will take care of the costs up to a “reasonable” amount.
- Survivor benefit. If you die during a claim, this provides a lump sum payment to your beneficiaries totaling three times your monthly benefit.
- Cosmetic or transplant surgery benefit. If you have your policy for at least six months and are disabled as a result of cosmetic or transplant surgery, you’ll get a monthly benefit.
- Basic, enhanced or short-term residual disability. Pays a monthly benefit if a sickness or injury renders you unable to work and have lost at least 20% of your income.
- Non-cancelable. Locks in your premium for the life of your policy.
- Student loan rider. If you become totally disabled and can’t work, The Standard will cover all or part of your student loan repayments.
- Future purchase option. Allows you to purchase more coverage once a year without providing evidence of insurability.
- Catastrophic disability rider. Pays an additional benefit if you suffer a serious disability that prevents you from performing two or more of the activities of daily living (ADLs).
- Indexed cost of living. To keep pace with inflation, this rider increases your coverage by 3% to 6% annually while you’re disabled.
Pros and cons of The Standard disability insurance
- Disability options specific to business owners. This insurer offers plans designed to protect business owners, like its business overhead protection plan or business equity protection plan.
- Offers a unique loan rider. This rider allows you a benefit to go toward a portion of your student loan debt while you’re on disability, an add-on you won’t see with every company.
- Informational and easy to use website. The Standard has an easy to navigate website that includes specific details about each policy, and clear examples of how the plans pay out, something you won’t find on every insurer’s site.
- No online quotes. If you want to see what your rates and plan details might look like, you’ll have to speak to an insurance agent. Many competitors offer the ease of online quotes.
- Paper claims filing. Instead of implementing an online claims process like many of its competitors, this insurer relies on a paper claims packet that will need to be completed and mailed in.
The Standard disability insurance reviews and complaints
The Standard has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 1958, and holds an A+ rating. But customers award the insurer 1.2 out of 5 stars, with many of the reviews citing poor customer service and a frustrating claims process. The BBB also records 47 complaints in the past three years, which were promptly addressed by the insurer.
While it’s worth noting the customer service complaints, keep in mind that these reviews reflect the company as a whole — not just its disability insurance department.
The Standard’s financial strength
It’s important to choose a financially strong insurer because you might not file a disability claim for years. The Standard scores top-tier ratings from the major agencies and currently manages $30.16 in assets. As a policyholder, you can assume the insurer has the financial resources to pay out claims in the foreseeable future.
|A.M. Best||A (Excellent)|
|Standard & Poor’s||A+ (Strong)|
Compare alternatives to The Standard
How do I sign up for The Standard disability insurance?
You’ll need to speak to a rep. Here’s how:
- Head to The Standard’s website. On the homepage, click I want to… Protect my income.
- Press Individual income protection insurance.
- Scroll down and click Connect with a Financial Professional.
- Fill out the form with your personal and contact details. When you’re ready, click Submit, and a financial advisor will contact you within one business day.
More about The Standard
Founded in 1906 by an immigrant named Leo Samuel, The Standard was originally called Oregon Life Insurance Company. Samuel’s goal was to provide life insurance to the Pacific Midwest, and the company made its mark for being one of the first to offer a waiver of premium feature.
Over the next few decades, the company changed its name to The Standard and became a mutual insurance company. It began selling annuities, accidental death and dismemberment, retirement plans and dental and disability insurance to individuals and organizations.
Today, the insurer is committed to giving back to the community. The Standard Charitable Foundation is behind initiatives like the Employee Giving Campaign — which raised $4.4 million for schools and nonprofits in 2017.
Frequently asked questions
Disability insurance ratings
★★★★★ — Excellent
★★★★★ — Good
★★★★★ — Average
★★★★★ — Subpar
★★★★★ — Poor
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We assess each company’s financial strength and customer satisfaction, as well as policy features, benefit and elimination periods and available riders. We then give each insurer a score between one and five stars that reflects available options and industry reputation.