INDIVIDUAL DISABILITY POLICY
With this kind of policy, the insurance provider looks at the person who is applying for insurance and focuses on her or his occupational classification and health status. In general, the more education that is required to do your job, the higher the occupational classification and longer benefit period you may expect. The more physical the job you have, the higher the risk of disability, resulting in a lower occupational classification and a shorter benefit period. There are usually more claims made for work of a physically demanding nature and the insurance companies deal with this by providing benefits for a shorter period of time and charging higher premiums.
The insurance policy underwriter will also look at all of your medical history before approving your policy. With individual disability policies, you can purchase additional features and benefits at an extra cost to customize your coverage for your particular needs. Examples of these additional features include a cost of living adjustment, partial or proportionate disability coverage, and “own” occupation, to name only three. Ask your insurance provider for more information about any additional features that you could add to your policy.
The best kind of disability insurance policy is one that gives you these additional features, waives the “pre-existing condition” clause and allows for part-time work without jeopardizing income.
Volunteer Legal Advocacy Program MS Society of Canada, BC Division