Disability Insurance

True Own Occupation

Get full benefits if unable to work in your specialty, and enjoy the freedom to work in a different occupation or specialty.

For groups and freedom-loving individuals.

 

Work on Your Own Terms

 

Own Occupation disability insurance pays even if you can do something else.  "True" Own Occupation disability insurance takes this idea one step further by allowing you to work in a different occupation while on claim without a reduction in disability benefits, creating a path to full income replacement.   

Let's look at the skills your occupation requires and consider what else you could do.

Decision Making

Requires: judgment, cognitive acuity, memory, concentration, energy

Example

 

An Attorney experiences burnout or is medically restricted from stressful work due to cardiovascular issues. 

 

With True Own Occupation Disability Insurance, full benefits are payable without offset even if the individual earns income in a different occupation such as:

 

  • Writing as a self-employed author

  • Authoring publications for the firm

  • Teaching at a University

  • Start a BNB or grow grapes

  • Train associates

  • A less stressful legal specialty such as probate

Travel

Requires: air travel, driving and walking to attend client meetings, conventions, and presentations

Example

 

A Management Consultant develops Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) in the leg, a blood clot resulting from surgery.   Medically restricted from travel, the consultant could theoretically continue consulting remotely from home, but her True Own Occupation disability insurance policy does not contain duties modification language so she has a choice.   

 

With True Own Occupation Disability Insurance, full benefits are payable without offset even if she earns income in a different occupation such as:

 

  • Authoring articles to improve the firm's visibility and industry credibility

  • Start a business without traveling

  • Take an internal role in the firm such as training associates

  • Managing her husband's real estate and property management business

Articulation

Requires: pitching investors, media relations, eloquence, memory of content and important people

Example

 

A CEO has a Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA), also known as a "mini-stroke" resulting in reduced articulation performance, specifically word repetition, delayed word recall, inability to make decisions and forgetting important details.  

With True Own Occupation Disability Insurance, full benefits are payable without offset even if the CEO earns income in a different occupation such as:

  • Authoring articles to improve the firm's visibility and industry credibility

  • Running an Alpaca ranch

  • Real Estate investing

  • Property Management

  • Government work 

Personal Interaction

Requires: hearing, speaking

Example

A Financial Planner loses his hearing due to a viral infection.

With True Own Occupation Disability Insurance, full benefits are payable without offset even if the Financial Planner earns income in a different occupation such as:

  • Authoring articles or books

  • Preparation of Deliverables for the clients of other Financial Planners

  • Research

  • Development of Training materials

  • Compliance reviews

  • Requesting and Analyzing Proposals

  • Farming hops

With hearing loss, there is a universe of possibilities.

Dexterity

Requires: typing on a keyboard, steady use of all digits

Example 1

A Software Developer is diagnosed with Ulnar Nerve Palsy, a neurological condition in this case depriving him of effective use of one hand.  

With True Own Occupation Disability Insurance, full benefits are payable without offset even if the Software Developer earns income in a different occupation such as:

  • Training

  • Supervising developers (not coding)

  • Executive Leadership

  • Starting a business

Example 2

A Cardiovascular Surgeon is diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), resulting in a loss of hand dexterity and coordination.  In this case, disease management is relatively successful, enabling her to function normally otherwise, but she is not fit to perform surgery.    

With True Own Occupation Disability Insurance, full benefits are payable without offset even if the Cardiovascular Surgeon earns income in a different occupation such as:

  • Teaching at a University

  • Hospital Adminstration

  • Research work

  • Primary Care

  • Starting a business

Regular & Continuous Attendance

Requires: reliable attendance and availability

A Business Development Director experiences intermittent seizures, occurring at random times, interfering with important sales meetings and presentations of both internal and external nature.    

With True Own Occupation Disability Insurance, full benefits are payable without offset even if the Business Development Director earns income in a different occupation such as:

  • Associate training, remotely from home

  • Reviewing Sales Contracts

  • Research associate within the same field

What Does the True in True Own Occupation Disability Insurance Mean?

True Own Occupation is a feature built into some disability income policies that permits an individual who is on-claim to work in a different occupation and still collect full benefits, creating a path to 100% income replacement or more.  Without the True, a worker may qualify as disabled even if they are able to do something else, however it would not possible to actually do so without risking disqualification or a reduction in benefits.

Why is True Own Occupation Disability Insurance Important?

Freedom to moonlight in a different occupation during a disability claim becomes increasingly important for psychological and financial reasons as the claim continues.  Longer claims create the greatest need for true own occupation coverage for several reasons.  First, retraining for a new occupation is likely to carry a loss of income, especially if the worker is heavily invested in a specialty.  Second, the passage of time brings into clarity the need to maintain lifestyle by supplementing disability benefits, which are low by design.  Above all, true own occupation coverage offers freedom to work on one's own terms and control one's own destiny.

How Can I Tell If a Policy is True Own Occupation?

There is no industry-standard language to establish the presence of true own occupation coverage.  Besides True Own Occupation, it may also be called Regular Own Occupation or Pure Own Occupation.  One major carrier calls it Own-Occupation without a moniker.  Whatever the label, the advantage contractually manifests through a separate rider, for additional cost,  that provides for an alternative definition of disabled without the requirement of not working.

 
 

Disability Underwriters

1420 5th Avenue   Suite 2200

Seattle, WA     98101

(206) 673 2219