If you want disability insurance to cover you up to age 70 from an insurer with high customer service ratings and strong financial strength, MassMutual is a carrier you should consider.
The company offers individual and group disability policies, as well as business overhead expense insurance. Its disability insurance is non-cancelable and guaranteed renewable.
Investopedia considers MassMutual the best long-term disability provider for self-employed applicants. This is based on having a 65 percent income replacement, higher than competitors.
MassMutual recently earned the title for best service by The Balance for both short-term and long-term disability insurance.
Built-in features of MassMutual disability insurance
MassMutual does not offer a 30-day elimination period. Its shortest option is 60 days, followed by 90, 180, 365, and 730. The 730-day period is not approved in several states.
The following are some of the other built-in features of the company’s policies:
- Waiver of premiums once your disability claim is approved.
- Rehabilitation benefit that covers approved vocational rehab program while you’re totally disabled.
- Automatic Benefit Increase, which increases the monthly benefit for the first five years without underwriting, unless declined.
- Presumptive Total Disability, which means you are considered be totally disabled if you lose sight, hearing, speech, hands, or feet. There is no elimination period and you will receive full benefits regardless of employment.
- Optional riders are available on MassMutual policies.
- MassMutual’s disability insurance policies offer the following riders:
- RetireGuard, which provides an additional monthly benefit to enable you to continue contributing to your retirement fund.
- Student Loan Rider, which pays an additional benefit, up to $2,500 per month, to cover qualified student loans.
- Catastrophic disability benefit, which adds to your monthly benefit if you are disabled with an injury that prevents you from performing daily living activities.
- Cost of Living Adjustment Rider, which increases disability payments during your period of disability based on inflation.
- Future Insurability Option that enables you to increase your coverage annually with no medical underwriting.
- Short-term Disability Benefit Rider, which pays a short-term benefit during the waiting period of an insured’s group plan.
Learn More: How Disability Insurance Riders Work
Pros of MassMutual disability insurance
Online reviewers cite the following features and benefits that make MassMutual a company to strongly consider for disability insurance.
It has a unique recurring disability feature. If you suffer from a new disability that was related to a previous claim, the policy waives the elimination period and benefits begin immediately.
The company offers a true Own Occupation Rider, which means you’re considered disabled if you cannot perform the material responsibilities of your specific profession, even if you’re capable of performing other work.
Whereas most companies only offer benefit periods to ages 65 or 67, MassMutual has an option to age 70 in addition to the other two ages. You can also get a benefit period ranging from two years to 10 years.
MassMutual offers a simplified underwriting program, which means no medical exam, though you will have a few health questions to answer on the application. It's available to applicants 45 years old or younger, who make at least $30,000 annually and are in the company’s 3A or 3P occupation class or higher. The monthly benefit limits for its simplified issue policies are $5,000 for individual disability and $10,000 for business overhead coverage.
The company offers gender-neutral rates, good for women who typically pay more for coverage than men. It also provides multi-life discounts for individual policies sold to three or more people working for the same employer.
Few negatives cited by online reviewers
Negative opinions and potential red flags about MassMutual and its disability coverage are hard to find online.
One issue is that the company does not enable you to get an insurance quote on its website. You will have to contact a financial professional representing MassMutual, which you can find on the company’s website.
There is, however, a calculator to help you determine the amount of disability insurance you might need.
MassMutual — short for The Massachusetts Life Insurance Company of America — has been in business since 1851. As a mutual company, it is owned by policyholders, not shareholders. The company says it has consistently paid dividends to eligible policyholders since the 1860s. Dividends are typically available after the fifth year of owning a MassMutual policy.
It’s possible, though certainly not guaranteed, that an annual dividend payment could offset some of the cost of one monthly premium payment on a disability insurance policy.
In 2020, it ranked no. 123 on the Fortune 500 list. Its financial ratings are:
- A++ (Superior) by A.M. Best Company (the highest rating it gives out)
- AA+ (Very Strong) by Fitch Ratings (the 2nd highest of 21 rating classes)
- Aa3 (High Quality) by Moody’s Investors Service (the fourth highest of 21 rating classes)
- AA+ (Very Strong) by Standard & Poor’s (the 2nd highest of 22 rating classes).
Those considering MassMutual might also be interested to know that the company has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, the highest it awards. Ratings represent the BBB's opinion of how the business is likely to interact with its customers.
The company has also committed to helping the environment. Its corporate headquarters in Springfield, Massachusetts earned a Silver Leadership rating in Energy and Environmental Design for Existing Buildings. The designation is based on the building’s use of energy and air quality. The building uses low-flow water fixtures and high-efficiency heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment, and the parking lot has a rain harvesting system to irrigate campus grounds.
Since 2014, MassMutual has been recognized annually as one of the world’s most ethical companies by Ethisphere, which has created global standards for ethical business practices.
Joel Palmer is a freelance writer and personal finance expert who focuses on the mortgage, insurance, financial services, and technology industries. He spent the first 10 years of his career as a business and financial reporter.
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