Updated: Jan 16
The definition of your contract drives everything, so knowing what type of definition you have is paramount. We have mentioned in the past how holding an annual review with your broker/agent to cover all of your policies is important, as a good habit to get into each year. It is good to revisit your overall coverage(s) as you have changes income, family size and so on. Reviews are important, especially as you have new group benefits rolled out annually.
At MD Disability Quotes, most of our clients are purchasing a rider that is going to protect their specialty. Depending on the carrier, you will see it named: True Own Occupation, Own Occupation, and Regular Occupation. These types of contracts build in an extra layer of protection to transfer risk away in the event of income loss to that specialty and/or subspecialty.
The traditional sentence in each of these contracts that defines what a total disability is states: "If, solely due to illness or injury, if the insured becomes unable to perform the material and substantial duties of their occupation, then they could be considered totally disabled." By the policy's contractual language and you will see different variations of this sentence throughout the carriers but it essentially works the same way. These supplemental policies that we are talking about here are going to allow for a person to collect income if disabled from their material duties; even if they are gainfully employed. This is different from group contracts, which will be not be covered in this article.
At this point, the carriers have stated that if there was a vaccine injury, this injury would fall under the scope of "illness or injury" so up until this point, we have no reason to believe a claim would not be paid from a COVID-19 vaccine or any other vaccine.
If getting ill from a vaccine causes a disability, then file a claim. If you can't do your job, you should get benefits as long as you don't have an exclusion for that specific injury or illness.
So, do we know if the insurance carriers will eventually build in a provision to exclude injuries such as this? They have not let us believe this is the case.
Now, again back to the plans and riders we mentioned above, these are either Noncancelable and Guaranteed Renewable or Guaranteed Renewable only plans. That being said, the original policy approval and offer for coverage is locked in and any future changes to health would not affect this plan.
So, does this mean you need to do a mad dash to secure a plan because policy provision changes could happen? We don't have a reason to believe that is the case. We haven't heard any speculation that the industry is trying to do so, or at least not at this time. So, when should you get your plan if you haven't secured one yet?
The sooner the better is what we advise, as health is always a factor. In our previous blogs called 4 Reasons Insurance May Be Delayed and Is COVID-19 a Disability Claim, you can see how being exposed or testing positive can play a role in the application process while you are trying to obtain your coverage.
If you have been COVID positive and have had any residual effects, those will be documented in your medical history. Medical history that is pre-existing after a COVID-19 exposure will be just like any other history as that will count against you and be excluded from future coverage and/or your offer will possibly be modified or could be declined from coverage all together. We advise to do your research immediately to learn which plans are a good fit for you and your specialty, so that you can understand how much coverage is necessary to factor into your budget now, and so you can protect your income ASAP. Getting approved while healthy is eminent and of upmost importance.
Our team is happy to walk you through the process and has processes built for you to work with us remotely, as seamlessly as possible. Let us know if you have any questions, need quotes or need your current policy reviewed.