Did you know there are more than 6,000 insurance companies in the United States?
If you’re shopping for an insurance policy, you have a lot of options. Do you know which one is the best?
There are a lot of different aspects you’ll need to weigh when shopping around for insurance.
You probably have a friend or cousin who is an insurance agent. They’ve probably tried to sell you coverage in the past, but just because you’re related doesn’t mean they are the best choice.
If you want the best insurance coverage, regardless of the type of plan you’re looking for, you need to do a lot of groundwork. You need to determine which company has the best coverage, affordable prices, and a solid history.
This article is going to look at Petersen International Underwriters.
You probably haven’t heard of them, but you should include them in your insurance search. They aren’t a household name, but they could be an excellent choice for you.
History of Petersen International Underwriters
Before we show you where PIU is today, we want to show you where they began. PIU was established by W. Harold Petersen, who grew up in Iowa. While Harold was growing up, he saw his family struggle financially because of his father’s spinal condition.
Although Harold went to the University of California for journalism, he found himself working part-time at the Mutual of Omaha. This is where he was introduced to the idea of disability insurance.
In 1979, he decided to create his own agency, Petersen International Underwriting.
He wanted to make the disability insurance coverage easier. While working with Mutual of Omaha, he saw clients have to buy multiple policies to protect their income.
To combat this, he created a High Limit Disability Insurance policy.
After a couple years of good business, PIU became a coverholder at Lloyd’s in 1983. PIU delivers their own quotes, and issues policies for Lloyd’s of London. PIU still builds their plans, and their quality of service is the same.
PIU is not the oldest company out there. They’ve only been in business for almost 40 years, but they’ve experienced a lot of growth in those 40 years.
Ratings and Finances
When you’re shopping around for an insurance company, one important thing to look at is their grades from third-party companies. In regards to insurance, the most prominent ratings are from Standard & Poor’s, A.M. Best, and the BBB.
The BBB gives Petersen International Underwriters an A+ rating based on everything from the company’s honoring of commitments, customer service, transparency, and more.
The ratings for PIU are a little different than most other insurance companies.
They are a coverholder of a company called Lloyd’s. Lloyd’s is an underwriting company who specializes and works with over 50 insurance companies and has over 4,000 coverholders.
The financial strength ratings come from Llyod’s. For Lloyd’s, they have an A+ rating from S&P, an AA- from Fitch, and an A from A.M. Best. All of these show excellent financial security and projected future.
Products from PIU
PIU has a handful of different insurance products they offer. They sell:
PIU has very interesting insurance products you may not find with other companies. In fact, they have some of the most specific and unique plans on the market.
High Limit Accident Insurance
To start, let’s look at their accident insurance. You can be as safe as you want, but you never know when there is going to be an accident. This plan can protect a single person or a group of people in case of accidental death or dismemberment.
These plans are similar to a traditional life insurance policy, but they only pay out if the policyholder passes away because of an accident, not if they were to die from natural causes.
With this policy, you can get coverage anywhere from $100,000 to $100 million. One exciting aspect of the PIU accident insurance plan is it can be customized for situations like war or terrorism zones.
For just about any situation, this accident insurance policy can protect you.
To get the High Limit Accident Insurance, all you have to do is complete their one-page application. You don’t have to take a medical exam. It’s quick and easy.
Another unique insurance PIU offers is their health insurance. They don’t offer traditional health insurance.
Instead, they sell a short-term insurance policy which protects people who are traveling overseas, traveling to the U.S., or people who need health insurance for less than a year.
Their health insurance plans are:
- USAway Major Medical Plan
- International Major Medical
- Bridge Major Medical Insurance
- Accident Only Major Medical
All of these plans are designed for different groups of people, but they are all easy ways to get health coverage without having to jump through all of the hoops of a traditional health insurance policy.
PIU recently announced updates to its Bridge Plan, a gap plan which temporarily substitutes for Medicare restrictions, in 2019.
Their policies have very loose requirements. With most of them, as long as you’re younger than 64, you can get insurance protection.
Individual Disability Insurance
Most people don’t fully understand disability insurance, which is a serious mistake.
If you were to be injured at work, then Worker’s Compensation is going to help replace your income, but if you are seriously injured outside of work, then Worker’s Comp won’t do anything.
If you were to find yourself too sick or injured to work, then you aren’t going to have that paycheck coming in. This is where a disability insurance policy comes in.
If this is something you’re interested in, you should know PIU is simply one of many disability insurance companies, but they have perhaps the widest possible selection of products.
Individual High Limit Disability Insurance
Some employers offer their employees short-term disability insurance, which will help replace your paycheck for a couple weeks or months, but what happens if you still can’t get back to work?
This is why you should buy a long-term insurance policy.
One interesting aspect of the PIU disability insurance is the fact that its own occupation total disability definition. This means if you’re too injured to perform your job, you can get the payout from the policy, even if you are working somewhere else.
Another interesting feature of this policy is if you’re deemed totally disabled, you’ll get a lump sum benefit payment. They also have a few riders you can add on, like a residual rider.
Guaranteed Issue Group/Multi-Life Insurance
If you can’t be approved for a traditional policy because of your health or any pre-existing conditions, then this guaranteed issue policy could be a great option.
As long as you’re within their age limits, then you can be approved for one of these plans. There is no easier way to get disability insurance. There is no medical exam or hoops you have to go through. Apply and then you have coverage.
Accelerated Disability Benefit to Age 70
The name of this policy says it all. These plans are not intended to be the main policy.
The purpose of these plans is to add additional coverage from an already existing plan. These plans usually last 5 years and you can get one as long as you’re 35 or older.
Executive 400 Disability Insurance
This is a niche kind of disability insurance, which isn’t going to meet the needs of most people. These plans have a max coverage limit of $100,000 a month, which most people don’t need nearly this much coverage.
These plans are designed for applicants who run their own business or a person who is a key part of their business.
PIU sells several kinds of disability insurance plans which are customized depending on the occupation:
- Physicians & Surgeons Disability
- Dentists Disability
- Chiropractors Disability
- Entertainment Industry Disability
- Brokers & Traders Disability
- Legal Professionals Disability
- Pilots Loss of License
- Blue & Grey Collar Disability
We aren’t going to detail all of these plans, because they are pretty straightforward. You can guess from the name of the plan what they cover.
Graded Benefit Disability
This plan will protect 65% of your income, or you can choose a 50% or 80% option. The more coverage you want, the more you’re going to pay every month.
These plans are available from 3 years coverage to 5 years coverage, and just about any occupation is accepted.
Stock Option Disability
This plan is designed for high-up executives of companies which are publicly traded. If you’re disabled permanently, this policy will account for bonuses on top of your salary and up to 80% of the payout can be in stock options.
A pension is one of the best things you can do for your future finances. If you’re ever stuck with a disability, your pension is going to take a huge hit.
With this plan, the policyholder will be paid out the balance of the pension contributions they would have made if they wouldn’t have been disabled.
Business Disability Insurance
Not only does PIU sell a ton of individual disability insurance policies, but they also have some business disability insurance plans as well. These policies are built for people who either own a business or are key parts of their company.
These policies include:
- Buy-Sell Disability
- Buy-Sell Plus
- Overhead Expense
- Key Person Disability Insurance
- Contract Guarantee
- Severance Agreement Disability Insurance
- Salary Continuation
- Loan Indemnification
Each of these policies has slightly different coverages and protection.
If you’re one of the key workers in your organization, you should consider purchasing one of these policies.
Other Products Sold By PIU
Aside from their main policies, there are a few other plans they sell as well. We are not going to detail them (most of them are self-explanatory), but you should be aware of your options.
They have several contingent insurance policies:
- Key personal failure to survive
- Kidnap & Ransom Insurance
- Brand Protection
- Business Loan Failure to Survive
Advantages and Disadvantages of PIU
Now, let’s look at some of the pros and cons of PIU. Each company has areas where they shine and other areas where they fall flat.
One of the advantages of PIU is all the options they have available.
They have an insurance plan for some of the most niche sections out there. As you can tell from the dozens of options of disability plans, they have a plan designed for every occupation and person out there.
Most companies have one or two plans and try to fit every applicant in those plans. PIU has plenty of specialized plans for their clients.
Another benefit of buying a plan through PIU is their accelerated underwriting process. Regardless of the policy you buy, the process is going to be quick. With some companies, you could wait months to be approved.
PIU makes it much faster.
The disadvantage of PIU is simple, they aren’t best for the average applicant. If you’re looking for a simple, run-of-the-mill life insurance or disability insurance policy, you should probably look elsewhere.
This isn’t to say PIU is a bad option or a terrible insurance company. If you’re a special insurance case, either high income or high-risk, then PIU could be the perfect carrier.
How to get The Best Insurance Coverage
Regardless of the type of insurance, you’re looking for, or the amount of coverage you need, the one thing we tell every applicant is this, compare. Each insurance company is different.
Even if two companies seem to have the same plan doesn’t mean they are going to charge the same premiums.
By shopping around before you buy, you can save yourself thousands of dollars throughout the course of the insurance policy.
Finding the perfect company can be overwhelming. All of the plans, terms, and coverage limits can be mind-numbing. Instead of having to waste your precious time researching and calling, just keep looking at our articles.
At Good Financial Cents, we pride ourselves in giving consumers the information they need to make the best choices for their insurance needs.