Tips on Shopping for Individual Disability Income Insurance
- Find an Agent - Ask people you know if they would recommend their agent. Find an agent who is reliable and helpful in answering any questions you have regarding your policy.
- Find a Reliable Company - Use the Bureau's "Licensee Search" tool in the left menu of this page, or contact the Bureau to find out if a company is licensed in Maine.
- Shop Carefully - Take your time and do not be pressured into buying a policy by high-pressure tactics. When comparing policies from two or more companies or even two policies from the same company, make sure you understand the differences in the policies. Read the renewal provision that is usually found on the first page of the policy to determine if and when the company can refuse to renew your coverage.
- Replacing a Policy - Replacing an old policy with a new one may not be a good idea. A new policy may have waiting periods and pre-existing conditions exclusions that could leave you without coverage. The company may attach riders to a new policy that exclude coverage for an existing health condition.
- Make Sure There is a "Free Look" Provision - Companies issuing individual disability income in Maine generally give you a minimum of ten days to review the policy and return it if you are not satisfied for any reason. The ten days begin the day you receive the policy. If you decide not to keep the policy, return it during the ten day period. If you return it during the ten days, you will get a full refund.
- Fill out your application completely and accurately - It is important to give correct and complete answers when applying for insurance. If you omit or misrepresent information, the company can void the contract.
Applying for an Individual Disability Income Insurance Policy
Most companies will require you to complete an application and provide personal information, including your medical history. If your application is incomplete or inaccurate, the company may deny benefits at claim time and rescind your coverage. It is important that you disclose all conditions and answer all questions completely. If someone else fills out the application for you, read it carefully before signing it.
Companies frequently request medical records and may require you to take a physical exam or have blood tests. If you have serious or chronic health conditions, you may be charged a higher premium for coverage or you may be unable to qualify for individual disability income insurance.
The Cost of Individual Disability Income Insurance
Many factors contribute to the disability insurance premiums. In general, the less dangerous your occupation, the lower the premium will be. If the policy is issued on a "Guaranteed Renewable" or a "Non-cancellable" basis, the premium may be affected.
The length of the elimination and benefit periods you choose will also affect your premium. The longer the elimination period, the lower the premiums will be. If you have enough resources to cover your expenses for 60 or 90 days, rather than the typical 30-day period, your premium will be lower. The longer the benefit period, the higher the premiums will be. If you select a maximum benefit period to age 65 rather than for five years, the premium will be higher. Any optional benefits you select will increase your premium.