What is Group Disability Coverage?

Disabilities often have a significant negative effect on employees’ finances, rendering them unable to work and, therefore, unable to earn an income. A disability may not only make it impossible for an employee to perform their current job, but it also can render it difficult to do other types of work.

Because they can’t work, disabled employees frequently experience a drop in income. In some cases, they can’t earn anything at all. When a New Jersey employer offers group disability insurance, employees have a safeguard against any financial loss that a covered disability may cause.

Group disability coverage is a form of insurance that provides financial assistance if a covered disability impacts an employee’s ability to work. As opposed to individual disability policies, group disability policies insure a group of people, which is often a business, government, or non profit’s employees. The risks associated with insuring the covered individuals are spread out over everyone in the group, which lets insurers keep premiums affordable.

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What Disabilities Does Group Disability Insurance Cover?

Every group disability insurance policy has specific criteria that define what disabilities the plan covers. These criteria are fully explained in each plan’s paperwork (which is why it’s important to read all of the documents that a plan comes with).

Generally speaking, whether a disability is covered is dependent on how long an employee has been disabled and whether they’re able to work in occupations outside their field. Some policies also limit how long they provide payments for covered claims.

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What Types of Group Disability Policies Are There?

Group disability coverage can be categorized in two different ways.

First, there are short-term group disability policies and long-term policies. Short-term policies typically begin providing payments shortly after an employee becomes disabled, but they only provide payments for a set amount of time. A short-term policy, for example, may only provide payments for a few weeks or months. Long-term policies don’t usually begin paying as quickly, but they may continue making payments for months or years after an employee becomes disabled.

Second, there are income-replacement group disability policies and owner-occupation policies. Income-replacement policies normally are the less-expensive option, but they also provide less protection. These policies will generally only pay on claims when an employee can’t work at all. If an employee is able to take a different job -- even one that’s much lower and pays a lot less -- income-replacement policies usually won’t provide any payments. Own-occupation policies generally cover employees as long as they’re unable to work in the field they’re trained for. If an employee can still work at a lower-paying job after becoming disabled, an own-occupation policy will likely still make payments on their claim.

There are both short-term and long-term income-replacement policies, and short-term and long-term own-occupation policies.

What Businesses in New Jersey Offer Group Disability Coverage?

Because almost anyone can become disabled, many New Jersey businesses, governments and nonprofits offer group disability insurance to their employees. Some businesses and organizations pay all of a policy’s premiums, while others provide coverage as an optional insurance that employees can sign up for. When offered as an optional coverage, at least a portion of a policy’s premiums is usually paid by employees.

Additionally, some other groups may give their members disability insurance, either as a coverage that’s included with membership or an optional coverage members can purchase.
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How Can New Jersey Businesses and Organizations Get a Group Disability Policy?

Businesses and other organizations in New Jersey that would like to add group disability insurance to their benefits package should talk with an experienced advisor who specializes in group benefits packages. An advisor will be able to help businesses explore the policies that are available and select one that will be good for their employees. There are qualified advisors located throughout the state to service businesses all around.


Meet Your Industry Specialist

Terence J. Gorman

During his 25+ years of experience in the insurance industry, Mr. Gorman has made it his mission to provide his clients with service levels that exceed all expectations. Client satisfaction has always been the foremost goal.

Prior to joining World Insurance, Terence worked with large market groups, 5,000+ employees, designing, underwriting and implementing their employee benefits programs. Throughout his career, he has helped multiple organizations and their employees save hundreds of millions of dollars, while improving plan efficiencies and increasing employee satisfaction.

"My team's success historically comes from organic growth and retention. We pride ourselves on service and measure success by the referrals our clients happily provide."

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