February 24, 2024

To assist you in shopping around, we analyzed insurance companies to select the best short-term disability insurance policies.

Let’s walk you through the key aspects of short-term disability insurance, helping you understand what it is, how it works, and why it’s crucial for protecting your income and financial well-being when faced with a temporary inability to work.

Short-Term Disability Insurance

Overview of Short-Term Disability Insurance

Short-term disability insurance (STD) is a type of coverage designed to replace a portion of your income if you are unable to work due to a non-work-related illness or injury.

Unlike long-term disability insurance, which typically covers extended disabilities lasting several months or even years, short-term disability insurance provides benefits for a shorter duration, usually ranging from a few weeks to a few months.

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Why Short-Term Disability Insurance Matters

Short-term disability insurance serves as a financial lifeline during times when you are temporarily unable to work due to various reasons, including:

Illness: Recovery from illnesses like surgeries, illnesses, or accidents can require time away from work.

Injuries: Accidents or injuries, whether from sports, falls, or other incidents, may necessitate short-term recovery periods.

Pregnancy: Many women use short-term disability insurance during pregnancy and postpartum recovery to cover their income during maternity leave.

Mental Health: It also covers mental health conditions that temporarily prevent you from working.

Rehabilitation: After certain medical procedures or surgeries, rehabilitation and recovery may be necessary.

How Short-Term Disability Insurance Works

Short-term disability insurance operates as follows:

Waiting Period: Typically, there is a waiting period, often called the “elimination period,” before you can start receiving benefits. This period can range from a few days to several weeks.

Benefit Duration: STD benefits usually last for a limited period, such as 9 to 52 weeks, depending on your policy.

Benefit Amount: STD policies typically replace a portion of your income, typically between 50% to 70%, up to a predefined maximum limit.

Premiums: You pay regular premiums to maintain your short-term disability insurance coverage. Premiums may vary based on factors such as age, health, and the coverage amount.

Top Short-Term Disability Insurance Coverage Options

Mutual of Omaha

Mutual of Omaha tops the list of companies offering the best overall short-term disability insurance coverage.

This insurer offers benefits for up to 10 years (much longer than many other companies do), and some policies even start paying benefits 30 days after you become disabled.

Up to $20,000 in monthly benefits are available, and policies can be issued up until age 61.

AM Best has an A+ (Superior) financial strength rating for Mutual of Omaha, which was founded in 1909. Although not all of its policies are offered in every state, it provides insurance coverage nationwide.

The Mutual of Omaha offers some of the most comprehensive and benefit-rich short-term disability insurance available.

There are many benefits that come with policies by default, including a survivor benefit, a premium waiver benefit, guaranteed renewability, rehabilitation coverage, and up to six weeks of maternity leave.

Also, there are elimination periods available in 30, 60, and 90-day increments, as well as options for longer elimination windows of 180, 365, and 730 days.

The STD policies from Mutual of Omaha are transferable, so you can take them with you if you change jobs.

You can add riders to your policy if you want even more coverage, including the return of premium, an extension for mental or nervous disorders and substance abuse, the cost-of-living adjustment, and more.

State Farm

Only State Farm and Mutual of Omaha offer short-term disability benefit periods that can last up to three years.

According to your occupation and present income, State Farm’s short-term disability insurance offers monthly coverage ranging from $300 to $3,000.

State Farm was established in 1922 and currently has the highest financial strength rating possible, an A++ (Superior) rating from AM Best.

In 47 states, they have short-term disability insurance options (Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Rhode Island are not included). Additionally, they boast an easy application process that gives you quick coverage.

State Farm has some significant exclusions that you should be aware of, such as the limited coverage for mental or nervous disorders and the absence of coverage for complications resulting from cosmetic procedures.

State Farm also does not provide add-on riders. On the State Farm website, you cannot buy a policy or request a quote for coverage. Instead, get a quote and more information about the policy from a local agent.

Haven

Of the businesses we examined that provide STD insurance to individuals, Haven offers the shortest elimination period.

A benefit period of three, six, or twelve months can follow an elimination period of fourteen (14) days, thirty (30) days, or sixty (60) days. Policies are typically affordable and are guaranteed to renew until age 65.

Additionally, you can apply online and request a quote directly from Haven’s website for a quick coverage decision. We also value the data, usability, and transparency the Haven website offers.

Although Haven is a young company, policies are supported by MassMutual, which has the highest possible financial strength rating of A++ (Superior) from AM Best. The Haven policy does have some restrictions, though.

Higher-income people might find Mutual of Omaha to be more beneficial because the maximum benefit period is one year and the maximum monthly benefit is $5,000 or 60% of your income.

Breeze

You can get coverage for up to 3 months of unpaid leave for typical childbirth, adoption, or caring for a family member by adding Breeze’s family care rider, which is an inexpensive endorsement.

Additionally, Breeze accepts applications and quotes entirely online. Higher-income individuals might want to select a different company since Breeze only offers benefits worth up to $1,000 per week.

However, Breeze’s premiums are more expensive than Haven’s for comparable coverage, but at a much lower price, you can choose to purchase an accident-only policy from Breeze.

Additionally, your elimination period is not up for selection as it offers a 13-week benefit period with a 14-day elimination period or a 26-week, one-year, or two-year benefit period with a 30-day elimination period.

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Conclusion

Whether provided by your employer or purchased as an individual policy, short-term disability insurance offers peace of mind and financial security when you need it most.

However, from our analysis, Mutual of Omaha would be the best option for people who need a high monthly coverage amount, appreciate a host of built-in benefits, and don’t mind working with an agent to apply.

Those seeking quick coverage, an absolutely online experience, and coverage no longer than two years should get quotes from Haven and Breeze.

State Farm is highly rated and delivers a second option for a longer benefit period than Breeze or Haven, but has the lowest monthly benefit cap of the insurers we reviewed.

To safeguard your financial future, consider these vital coverage options and explore your financial strength and policy choices today.

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