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Insurance FAQs

Here are answers to some of our more popular insurance questions. If you would like more information, please see our article, "What is Disability Insurance and Do I Need It?"  or give us a call at 480-348-2200.

If you have questions regarding the COVID-19 Crisis, please see our specific COVID-19 FAQs and COVID-19 Resources for Providers.

Disability

May is Disability Insurance Awareness Month! Now is the perfect time to review your disability insurance coverage to meet your exact needs! Call us today at (480) 348-2200 to learn more!

What is disability insurance?

Disability insurance (DI) is a form of income protection that pays you a portion of your monthly income if you can’t work because of an illness or injury.  Depending on the type of Disability Insurance, it could cover 60-80% of your income for a set period of time if you are unable to work.   For more information on disability insurance see our article, "What is Disability Insurance and Do I Need It?" or call us at Desert Mountain Insurance, 480-348-2200,  and we will be happy to discuss the different options available to you. 

My employer offers disability insurance. Is that enough?

It’s important to know the details of your specific disability policy.  Often, disability insurance policies offered by employers are short-term disability policies and would not apply if you leave your employer.  We at Desert Mountain Insurance can research the full range of options for you.  For more information on disability insurance see our article, "What is Disability Insurance and Do I Need It?"  or give us a call at 480-348-2200

What is covered by disability insurance?

Disability insurance can cover short-term and long-term situations.  The most common reasons for short term disability* are:

  • Pregnancies
  •  Musculoskeletal disorders affecting the back and spine, knees, hips, shoulders, etc.
  • Injuries such as fractures, sprains, and strains of muscles and ligaments
  • Digestive disorders, such as hernias and gastritis
  • Mental health issues including depressions and anxiety 

 The most common reasons for long-term disability claims* include:

  • Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Cancer
  •  Injuries such as fractures, sprains, and strains of muscles and ligaments,
  • Mental Health issues
  • Circulatory (heart attack, stroke)

 

For more information on disability insurance see our article, "What is Disability Insurance and Do I Need It?"  or call us at 480-348-2200.  Our team of professionals at Desert Mountain Insurance can help you find a disability policy tailored to safeguard you.

 

* According to the report, “The State of Disability Coverage in America” by the Council for Disability Awareness

What is an "Own Occupation" Disability Policy?

Very basically, an own-occupation insurance policy covers individuals who become disabled and are unable to perform the majority of the occupational duties that they have been trained to perform.

Under the own-occupation disability insurance definition, an insured person will receive benefits if you are unable to work in your “own occupation,” regardless of whether you find employment in another profession or another medical specialty.

There are contingencies for this type of insurance policy, one of which is that the individual being employed at the time the disability. It is definitely an important policy for doctors, dentists and other healthcare specialists to consider. For more information on disability insurance see our article, "What is Disability Insurance and Do I Need It?"  or call our office at (480) 348-2200 and we would be happy to explain how it works!

My "friend" wants to get a disability policy but uses marijuana. How will that affect "his" eligibility?

A disability policy may be possible even with marijuana use. Each policy would be evaluated and the premium rated individually.  Underwriting guidelines are subject to change and can vary per company. Some of the variables that could affect acceptance and premium are whether it is for medicinal or recreational use and how often it is used.    For more information on disability insurance see our article, "What is Disability Insurance and Do I Need It?"  or call our office at  480-348-2200 to discuss your specific options.

I pay for SSDI Social Security Disability Insurance through my payroll taxes. Isn’t that enough coverage?

These facts from the Social Security Administration show that it can take a long time for a SSDI claim to process and the outcome may not be a great as you thought it could be. 

  • It generally takes three to five months from time of application for SSDI benefits to get an initial decision1. The backlog of appeals cases was more than one million in 2017, with associated processing time averaging more than 18 months2.
  • The average SSDI benefit as of January 2018 was $1,197 a month3. That equates to $14,364 annually — barely above the poverty guideline of $12,140 for a one-person household, and below the guideline of $16,640 for a two-person household4.

 

You can see where having your own disability policy would be beneficial.  Call us at 480-348-2200 and let us help you find a policy that could offer you peace of mind.  

 

1 Social Security Administration, Factsheet https://www.ssa.gov/disability/Documents/Factsheet-AD.pdf

2 Social Security Administration, Age Distribution of Pending Hearings, (FY 2015 – FYTD 2019 Quarter 1), https://www.ssa.gov/appeals/charts/Age_Distribution_Pending_Hearings_FY2019_1st_Qtr.pdf

3 Social Security Administration, Monthly Statistical Snapshot February 2019 https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/quickfacts/stat_snapshot/2019-02.pdf, Table 1.

4 ASPE Poverty Guidelines 2019, https://aspe.hhs.gov/povertyguidelines

I am covered by my Workers Comp at work. Do I need disability insurance?

Worker’s Comp policies cover only work-related injuries and illnesses.  Disability policies will cover you regardless of where or how you sustain an injury as long as you meet the definition of disability with your specific policy.    For more information on disability insurance see our article, "What is Disability Insurance and Do I Need It?" or call us at Desert Mountain Insurance, 480-348-2200, and we can help you find coverage for injuries sustained that are not work-related.   

If I am injured off the job, am I still covered by my company’s disability policy?

It is important to read your policy but it is likely that your disability insurance covers your injury as long as you meet the definition of disability in your specific policy.  For more information on disability insurance see our article, "What is Disability Insurance and Do I Need It?"  or call us at 480-348-2200 and we can help you review your policy to ensure your needs are being met.

Other

Do I have to buy Tail Coverage from my current provider?

This answer may surprise you but there are a variety of carriers who can offer stand-alone tail coverage.  Some who may be able to offer coverage cheaper or better than your current carrier.  Careful, though, not all Tail Coverage is equal.   For more specific information, read our article “Do You Have to Buy Tail Coverage from Your Current Carrier” from our website or Call our office at 480-348-2200 and our professional agents can help you with the possibilities.

What’s the difference between a Crime Policy and a Cyber Security Policy?

Crime policies cover the direct loss of your funds, whether through maleficence, employee dishonesty or social engineering whereas cyber policies cover economic damages arising through a failure of network security or privacy controls which may cause indirect losses.  For more information, see our website article. “Social Engineering: A Growing Threat to Your Cyber Security” or call our office at 480-348-2200.

What is Social Engineering and how do I protect my company from it?

Insurance Risk Management, Inc. (IRMI) defines social engineering as “the act of deceiving people to cause them to divulge confidential information.”   It usually involves someone posing as someone with the authority to obtain sensitive information, such as a password, or it could cause a fraudulent funds transfer.   A Cyber policy is a good start to protecting your business in the event of a social engineering scam.   For more information, see our website article, “Social Engineering: A Growing Threat to Your Cyber Security” or call our office at 480-348-2200.

My employee was running an errand for the business and got into an accident. Is it covered on my business insurance?

Two commercial policies are at risk for a claim to be filed.  Your employee could file a Workers Compensation claim for any injuries or disability sustained.  Any other injured party could file a liability claim for any injuries that would exceed the limits of liability under the employee's and at-fault driver's personal auto policy.  With the proper coverage, your business could be protected.   For more information, see our article, "How to Protect Your Business if Employees Drive Their Own Vehicles for Company Errands" and call our office at 480-398-2200 so we can discuss your specific policies.