The Standard – Providing You Additional Disability Protection
As complicated and confusing as insurance can be, for many, it’s a necessity. The most important thing to consider when dealing with insurance is which insurance company can offer what you need. You should also know that insurance can be broken up into several different policies, some of which you may or may not have access to. Here’s a look at what The Standard has to offer.
- What is The Standard?
- How does The Standard work?
- How much does The Standard cost?
- Pros & cons
- The bottom line
What is The Standard?
The Standard is an insurance company that offers a variety of insurance products nationwide. Several of the company’s insurance policies are offered to employees through their workplaces. This includes life insurance, disability insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, and more. The Standard also offers some forms of individual disability income protection insurance that you can purchase on your own, outside of your employer’s offerings.
warning: Most of The Standard’s plans are group plans. This means that you can only enroll in them if they are offered by your employer.
How does The Standard work?
For the most part, The Standard offers its insurance policies through workplaces. This means that your employer would be the one picking out which policies to offer to you and other employees. Workplaces can offer a variety of insurance plans, from health insurance with or without dental and vision coverage to life insurance and disability insurance. To find out if your workplace offers insurance, you can speak to your human resources representative.
In most cases, once you’re eligible for an employer’s insurance plan(s), you’ll be given information about the plans and policies that are offered through the workplace. Keep in mind, though, that you may only be able to enroll during certain periods of the year.
Even if your employer offers insurance, there may be situations where you might want to look into supplementing the employer-sponsored plans with additional insurance policies. Or, you may want to consider a policy that is completely different than what is offered by your employer. The Standard offers a few different individual disability income protection insurances to help out in these situations.
How much does The Standard cost?
As with any type of insurance product, there is no set cost for The Standard’s insurance products or policies. The cost of your insurance policies will depend on a number of factors, including your health history and occupation. The specific policy and the benefit amount of the policy that you choose will help determine the cost as well. Generally speaking, the cost of an individual disability policy may be anywhere between 1% and 3% of your annual income.
The cost of annuities works a bit differently. An annuity is a useful retirement planning tool, but it comes with quite a few fees. When you purchase an annuity from The Standard, you’ll be entering a financial contract with them. Most insurance plans require you to pay a premium in exchange for financial protection if covered damage occurs. In the case of an annuity, you’ll be required to pay a premium in exchange for guaranteed payments from the insurance company. Most people use annuities to help fund their retirement.
The costs and fees of an annuity depend on the type of annuity product you choose. On any annuity, you’ll likely pay an administrative fee as well as a management fee for the investment(s) that are included in your annuity. There may also be additional fees, such as a fee if you add on an upgraded death rider or other non-standard features.
Typically, employer-sponsored insurance policies are less expensive than individual insurance policies. Be sure to ask your employer if it offers or is willing to offer insurance policies from The Standard.
The Standard features
Individual disability insurance coverage
While often more expensive than group disability insurance policies, individual disability insurance has its place. If you have an individual disability insurance policy, you’ll be able to keep your policy even if you change jobs since it is not tied to your employer. Even if you have a group disability insurance policy, an individual disability insurance policy may be beneficial. It can supplement your group plan to offer coverage that you may not have otherwise.
The Standard’s Platinum Advantage offers stand-alone income protection that you can use either on its own or in combination with a long-term disability insurance policy. According to The Standard, there are several benefits that make Platinum Advantage unique.
The policy’s Family Care Benefit provides a monthly benefit amount if you need to take time off from work to care for a relative with a serious health condition. This relative could be a child, parent, or your spouse. The Family Care benefit is available if you work at least 20% fewer hours than normal and experience an income loss of 20% or greater while you are caring for your sick relative.
Other features of Platinum Advantage include:
- An automatic increase benefit rider and benefit increase rider that allows your insurance benefit to increase along with your salary. This ensures that the coverage from your insurance policy is aligned with your current salary.
- The guaranteed renewable feature, which means that as long as you pay your premium on time, The Standard cannot change your policy.
- The rehabilitation benefit, which covers the cost of a rehabilitation program that is approved by The Standard if you need it to return to work sooner after an injury or illness.
- The survivor benefit, which states that if you pass away while you’re receiving disability benefits, your beneficiary will receive a benefit that is equal to three times your policy’s basic monthly benefit.
- An optional residual disability rider, which will replace a portion of your lost income if you become disabled but you’re still able to work in some capacity. You can choose a residual rider that works best for you based on your profession and your income.
- An optional student loan rider, which states that the Standard will reimburse a portion or all of your student loan payments if you become totally disabled and cannot work.
You can also get an annuity from The Standard, even if you’re not affiliated with a group or employer-sponsored plan. If you purchase an annuity, you’ll pay your premium and allow your annuity to grow at a set rate. You can choose to either receive your payments immediately or you can defer them to a date in the future, such as for after you’ve retired.
The Standard offers annuities with the following benefits.
Flexible access to funds
One thing to understand about annuities is that they are designed to be a long-term investment and often as a long-term retirement planning option. Many annuities have what they call a surrender fee, which means that if you withdraw money from your annuity during a period of time that is specified in your contract, you’ll have to pay a fee. The Standard’s annuities are different because they offer flexibility through a number of ways to withdraw funds from your annuity during the contract’s surrender-charge period without any charges.
Personalized customer service
The Standard offers personalized customer service starting from the moment when you submit your contact form. If you purchase an annuity from The Standard, it also promises “competitive rates and innovative product features.”
Who is The Standard best for?
Though The Standard offers most of its products through employer-sponsored and group plans, there are some products that can benefit you even if you’re shopping for insurance on your own.
People who want additional income protection
It’s common to worry about what will happen to you or your family if you’re suddenly experiencing a loss of income or work due to an injury or illness. The Standard’s Platinum Advantage product can be beneficial if you’re looking for income protection in the event that you’re unable to work due to a covered injury or illness. The Standard’s disability income protection insurance in particular is a great option because it will payout benefits if you’re unable to work while caring for a relative with a serious medical condition.
People planning for retirement
Retirement planning doesn’t end at a 401(K) or IRA. Annuities can be an important part of retirement planning, especially if you want to guarantee a certain income throughout your retirement years. The Standard can help you find an annuity that meets your needs and offers the level of flexibility that you desire.
Who shouldn’t use The Standard?
There are several insurance providers to choose from for a reason — it’s unlikely that an insurance provider can provide the exact right solution for every person.
People looking for individual medical plans
The Standard doesn’t offer medical, dental, or vision plans to individuals. It does offer dental and vision group plans, but you would need to get those through your employer.
People looking for other retirement accounts
The Standard can be a great insurance provider for you if you want to purchase an annuity. However, if you’re looking for other retirement accounts or products, you won’t be able to find them here because The Standard only offers retirement accounts through employers.
Pros & cons
- The Platinum Advantage disability income insurance includes a Family Care Benefit. In addition to receiving coverage if you’re unable to work due to your own disability, you can receive coverage if you lose work and income while caring for a sick family member.
- The Standard’s annuities offer flexible access to your funds. While other companies may charge a fee to withdraw funds during the surrender-charge period, The Standard offers ways to do so without paying a penalty.
- Most of The Standard’s plans are group plans. This means that you can only enroll in them if they are offered by your employer.
- The Standard doesn’t offer insurance quotes for individuals on its website. To talk about policies and pricing, you have to speak with one of The Standard’s agents.
The Standard vs. competitors
|Company||Products offered||Employer-sponsored plans?||How to contact|
|The Standard||Disability income protection, annuities||Yes||Online form, by phone|
|Moody Insurance Agency||Medical insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, life insurance, accidental death and dismemberment insurance, disability insurance, disability income insurance, long-term care insurance, retirement products||Yes||Online form, by phone, or by email|
|Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company||Annuities||Yes||By phone numbers or email addresses as provided on the website|
Moody Insurance Agency
Moody Insurance Agency is a newer insurance agency, having been founded in 1972. The company specialized in risk management solutions, as well as employee benefits and insurance. It offers a wide range of products, from medical and dental insurance to disability insurance, retirement plans, and more. Additionally, the company offers human resources services and administrative services to its employer clients.
Whether you’re running a business or looking for protection for your family, Moody’s consultants can help you find the insurance plans that will work best for you. The company offers services that range from helping you understand how to file a disability claim to help you assess and manage the risks of home renovations. To learn more about Moody’s products, you can fill out a form on its website or reach out via phone or email to one of Moody’s offices.
Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company
Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company (also known simply as Reliance Standard) is an insurance carrier that specializes in employee benefits solutions. Its products include group insurance products such as short-term disability, long-term disability, and accidental death and dismemberment insurance. It also offers voluntary group plans that are 100% paid by the employee but offered at more affordable rates through an employer. These products include disability insurance, term life insurance, critical illness insurance, accident insurance, dental insurance, and eye care insurance.
Reliance Standard also offers traditional fixed annuities and fixed index annuities to individuals. To learn more about annuities, the company has a dedicated email address that you can reach out to. For information about other products, you can find the appropriate contact information in its directory.
Is The Standard BBB accredited?
Yes, The Standard has been BBB accredited since 1958. It has an A+ BBB rating.
Do you need to provide medical records for disability insurance?
Insurance providers may require that you as the policyholder undergo a medical exam before it will issue a life insurance or disability insurance policy. The insurance provider then uses the medical records from your medical exam as one of the factors it considers when determining your insurance premium. Factors such as your age, lifestyle, and occupation may also impact your insurance premiums.
What is an elimination period?
When reviewing any disability insurance policy, you’ll likely see the phrase elimination period included in the documents. The elimination period is the amount of time that you’ll need to wait before your insurance company will payout your insurance benefits. The elimination period begins the day that you are considered disabled and unable to work. When purchasing a policy, you’ll be able to choose the length of the elimination period.
The elimination period usually ranges anywhere from 30 days to 720 days (two years). You may be able to lower the cost of your insurance premium if you choose a longer elimination period.
However, you should keep in mind that if you become disabled, you may be without income for that period of time. Although it may be tempting to lower the cost of your policy, you’ll want to make sure that you can remain comfortable financially if you’re without an income throughout your elimination period.
The bottom line
The Standard is an insurance company that has been around for over a century and has the ratings to prove its reliability. While many of its products are offered through employers, this is a company to look into for a variety of insurance needs. In some cases, your employer may offer plans from The Standard already, and all you need to do is ask about it. Even if your employer doesn’t offer plans from The Standard currently, you may be able to ask them to consider it in the future.
Even if you can’t access plans through your employer, The Standard does offer products that can benefit most families. Its Platinum Advantage disability income protection can offer peace of mind for your family, whether you use it as a supplement or as a standalone product. The Standard’s annuities can also be a wonderful asset in your retirement planning toolkit.
It’s important to remember that even if you speak with an agent or financial consultant from any company, you are not obligated to purchase one of its products. While you can’t get an insurance quote directly from The Standard’s website, you can initiate a conversation to get more information. If you’re interested in learning more about any of The Standard’s products, you can reach out by phone or online form for additional information.