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LTD insurance companies
Old 05-30-2008, 05:36 PM   #1
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LTD insurance companies

I ran a search and did some reading up on the past discussions of long term disability (LTD) insurance. My employer provides some basic LTD coverage but recently offered the option to voluntarily increase the basic LTD benefits and based on my family's situation I think it makes sense to do so.

I read that MassMutual, Northwestern Mutual, and Guardian were three of the best companies to work with for LTD insurance.

My employer-sponsored plan is through Unum Life Insurance Company of America / Provident Life and Accident Insurance Company / The Paul Revere Life Inusrance Company (not sure why it's all 3 of them, but whatever, they probably cover different bits and pieces of it for all I know).

Any thoughts on whether these companies are OK to deal with? I'd prefer to just go through this employer plan both for convenience and because there is a "guaranteed issue" amount that covers the extra amount of LTD insurance I'm looking to pick up, so there is no physical or anything like that. But if these companies suck I guess it's worth avoiding them and looking to do it on my own.
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Old 05-30-2008, 08:27 PM   #2
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Lusitan, you will have to make your own decision. But there are a few companies in the insurance industry I personally will never do business with. Guess who is on that list?

If you cannot qualify for a policy with one of the top shelf DI companies out there, I suppose the policy offered by your employer is your only choice. But if I were in your shoes, I would try finding a different policy on my own first.

You can add New York Life to the list of the good companies, IMO.
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Old 05-31-2008, 03:19 PM   #3
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My LTC policy, which is endorsed by my pension fund, is with Prudential. They have oodles & loads of options and coverages, and you tailor the policy to meet your needs and expectations. The rep that I worked with patiently sat and explained every detail, of every option to me......and let me make every decision, on every option....with NO pressure or coercion at all!
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Old 06-01-2008, 11:09 AM   #4
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I am on LTD from UNUM. My internist, who was my primary paperwork filler-outer, described UNUM as "The pitbull of insurance companies."

Mike D.
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Old 06-01-2008, 08:31 PM   #5
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Duh! I guess I was a bit dyslexic when I read the OP......I mistakenly read it as LTC not LTD. Oops! Sorry 'bout that!
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Old 06-02-2008, 10:54 AM   #6
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there are a few companies in the insurance industry I personally will never do business with. Guess who is on that list?
doh! I was afraid of that. Brewer - is that from personal experience, or based on the personal experiences of others you know? Or are you looking at things from an analyst perspective? Just curious.

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I am on LTD from UNUM. My internist, who was my primary paperwork filler-outer, described UNUM as "The pitbull of insurance companies."
doh! Sorry to hear you're on LTD, Mike. Other than being SOBs about paperwork with your internist, did you have a negative experience with UNUM? At least it sounds like they're paying out for you.



I have this one-week window (I know, I know ... I put this off for a couple of weeks and now I'm under the gun to decide) where I can sign up for this new plan for the "guaranteed issue" LTD insurance because the whole plan is new for my employer. After this initial period, if I want to sign up with this work plan I'll have to do with whole medical underwriting thing.

I'm not sure if I would have any problem getting LTD on my own, my health history is decent but not perfect, and so I'm thinking it might be a good idea to just bite the bullet and go with these guys for now, and then if/when I get around to checking out private LTD insurance from better companies I could cancel this one.

Anyone see a problem with that plan?
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Old 06-02-2008, 11:07 AM   #7
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Your plan is fine, but look at the fine print on when you can drop the plan. Have to wait for annual benefots switch time?

As for the company in question, its based on professional experience. But go look at their history. I think there are still hundreds or thousands of policyholders suing them for denying benefits. When your three principal regulators get together and force you to go back and re-examine tens or hundreds of thousands of claims you denied, it doesn't make me want to depend on the company if I become disabled and very much in need of the promised benefits.
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Old 06-02-2008, 12:44 PM   #8
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I would go with a company that has a good record of paying claims:

Northwestern Mutual
New York Life
Genworth

Can't think of many more, maybe ING..........
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Old 06-02-2008, 01:10 PM   #9
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I would go with a company that has a good record of paying claims:

Northwestern Mutual
New York Life
Genworth

Can't think of many more, maybe ING..........

FD, you talking about LTC or LTD re: Genworth? Thought they weren't much of a name in the lattter.
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Old 06-02-2008, 01:15 PM   #10
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FD, you talking about LTC or LTD re: Genworth? Thought they weren't much of a name in the lattter.
Oops, I was thinking LTC............
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Old 06-02-2008, 04:14 PM   #11
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doh! Sorry to hear you're on LTD, Mike. Other than being SOBs about paperwork with your internist, did you have a negative experience with UNUM? At least it sounds like they're paying out for you.
My internist had dealt with them dozens of times before and knew how they acted. Apparently, they have a low claims payment history and can thus afford to charge less for premiums. A lot of employers think only of price when selecting the insurance company to handle their bennies. In my experience, most people don't think about LTD at all because they think they'll never need it.

When I went out, over 10 years ago now, I asked my personnel lady why they didn't offer the option of before tax paying of premium/upping the percentage of pay covered/supplemental type stuff. Her answer: We didn't offer it because it was too much work for the HR people...

Mike D.
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Old 06-03-2008, 03:38 AM   #12
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If you are young and have many years to work... purchasing your own LTD can make sense... especially if you switch jobs... your plan goes with you.

If I purchased an LTD policy, I would choose a highly rate company and check out complaints against them... as others have stated. Cost is important... but not as important as getting scr3wed if you need to use the LTD benefit.

Personally, I have always used my company's LTD plan because it was more cost effective... the company is reliable and strong.
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Old 11-11-2009, 12:07 PM   #13
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Resurrecting an old thread with a new question: does anyone have any experience dealing with MetLife for LTD, or in general?

Seems they're maybe not as highly regarded as Northwestern Mutual or New York Life, but better than UNUM.
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Old 11-13-2009, 07:20 PM   #14
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Resurrecting an old thread with a new question: does anyone have any experience dealing with MetLife for LTD, or in general?

Seems they're maybe not as highly regarded as Northwestern Mutual or New York Life, but better than UNUM.
Guardian is the disability company you want to work with. They have an own occupation definition that says even if you are disabled and can't work in your own job, you can still work in another job and collect the disability payments. Other companies may define a disability as being unable to work in any job, not just your own.

As an example, one of our long-time clients bought an own-occupation disability policy from us when he was just out of med school as an OBGYN. Didn't think he'd really need it and sort of balked at the high premiums, but decided to do it. 10 months later was diagnosed with cancer. He is still alive today and doing well, but received about $150k/year on the disability policy (tax-free) for about 20 years and was still able to work in another position when he recovered to supplement that substantially. A good example would be a physician who can no longer practice, but can teach at a medical school, which I would imagine is a $100k+ income in itself.
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Old 11-16-2009, 09:20 AM   #15
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Guardian is the disability company you want to work with. They have an own occupation definition that says even if you are disabled and can't work in your own job, you can still work in another job and collect the disability payments. Other companies may define a disability as being unable to work in any job, not just your own.
Yeah, I have heard good things about Guardian in that respect. However, MetLife (and I imagine many other companies) also have plans with the same "own occupation" definition. The plan I'm looking at is a supplemental plan with MetLife offered through my employer, with an own occupation feature as you described, so I've decided to go with it.
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Old 11-16-2009, 09:26 AM   #16
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Yeah, I have heard good things about Guardian in that respect. However, MetLife (and I imagine many other companies) also have plans with the same "own occupation" definition. The plan I'm looking at is a supplemental plan with MetLife offered through my employer, with an own occupation feature as you described, so I've decided to go with it.
Keep in mind that a disability plan through your employer may not offer a monthly benefit as high as you could get on your own disability plan, and if you ever leave your job, you would lose your disability coverage. Sometimes it can be best to supplement your employer-based disability with a personal policy to increase the maximum benefits and have an option in case you change jobs.
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Old 11-16-2009, 10:33 AM   #17
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Keep in mind that a disability plan through your employer may not offer a monthly benefit as high as you could get on your own disability plan, and if you ever leave your job, you would lose your disability coverage. Sometimes it can be best to supplement your employer-based disability with a personal policy to increase the maximum benefits and have an option in case you change jobs.
Not to mention that if your receive LTD disability payments from an employer benefits plan, they are taxed, whereas if you buy a plan outside your employer, the payments are tax free.

I have both, an employer plan and a private plan.........YMMV........
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Old 11-16-2009, 11:13 AM   #18
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Not to mention that if your receive LTD disability payments from an employer benefits plan, they are taxed, whereas if you buy a plan outside your employer, the payments are tax free.

I have both, an employer plan and a private plan.........YMMV........
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Old 11-16-2009, 11:26 AM   #19
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Keep in mind that a disability plan through your employer may not offer a monthly benefit as high as you could get on your own disability plan, and if you ever leave your job, you would lose your disability coverage. Sometimes it can be best to supplement your employer-based disability with a personal policy to increase the maximum benefits and have an option in case you change jobs.
Very good point. I should clarify -- my employer already has a group plan, but that's not what I'm talking about.

This MetLife plan is an optional supplemental plan and is portable, therefore I will take it with me when/if I leave my job (unless I no longer need to insure my income of course).

While the portable plan is "supplemental" in that it covers roughly the other 50% of my income not covered by my employer's group plan, it's sufficient for us even should we lose the group plan (i.e. if I move to a new employer with no group plan) since we live on roughly 50% of my income anyway.
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Old 11-16-2009, 11:30 AM   #20
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Very good point. I should clarify -- my employer already has a group plan, but that's not what I'm talking about.

This MetLife plan is an optional supplemental plan and is portable, therefore I will take it with me when/if I leave my job (unless I no longer need to insure my income of course).

While the portable plan is "supplemental" in that it covers roughly the other 50% of my income not covered by my employer's group plan, it's sufficient for us even should we lose the group plan (i.e. if I move to a new employer with no group plan) since we live on roughly 50% of my income anyway.
You should check with MetLife to see what the premiums would be on conversion if leaving the job....would they stay the same or would they increase substantially? There are a lot of moving parts to disability insurance. Can I ask what the premium they quoted was and how much monthly benefit it gives you? If you don't want to post that here, I understand.
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