Disability Insurance Quotes:
How Occupation Affects the Premium
When you request disability insurance quotes from your BGA, you will be asked for your client's occupation. The reason for this can be found in any policy's definition of total disability. In an own-occupation definition of disability, for example, total disability is usually defined as, "due to injury or illness, you cannot perform the usual and customary duties of your occupation."
In a disability insurance policy, as in any insurance policy, the insurance company is taking on a risk. One of the primary risk factor of disability is occupation, as in how much risk does the occupation pose to the insurance company? A surgeon, for instance, would pose a great risk of disability than a general practitioner. If both suffered a serious injury to the hand, a surgeon would most probably be disabled (per the definition above), but a physician in general practice might still be able to continue working.
When requesting disability insurance quotes or eventually completing the application with your client, you will be asked for the occupation and, sometimes be required to provide additional information about their daily duties. If there are several main duties (e.g. managing a company and sales), you might even be asked the percentage of time spent on each. Some occupations might need to be further delineated by degrees held, size of company and how long they have been working in the same occupation.
The disability insurance quotes (and ultimately the policy) will include an Occupation Class, indicated by a number. There isn't an industry-wide numbering system, so one company might assign you a 4, whereas another might consider you a 5. The higher the number (of each company's numbering system), the lower the risk your occupation presents to the insurance company. In some cases, a higher number might also mean richer policy benefits.
We often get quote requests listing the occupation as "self-employed" or "business owner" and can't really do much with that information, as it really doesn't tell us what the person does at work. Some occupation titles are self-explanatory (e.g. cardiovascular surgeon) but others might need additional information, A good example would be "Executive." That doesn't tell the insurance company much about your duties, so additional information would usually be requested.
When requesting disability insurance quotes, be as specific as possible with your occupation.