Let’s talk about all the awful things that could happen to you! Actually, maybe that’s not the best idea, but you never know when something tragic could strike.
This is what makes insurance plans so important.
The problem is, shopping for insurance is overwhelming and stressful.
There are a dozen different kinds of insurance and over 6,000 carriers on the market. If you want to get the best protection, you need to do some prep work.
You need to pick a company who has quality products, affordable rates, great customer service and is financially stable. How are you supposed to find one?
This is where we come in.
At Good Financial Cents, we’ve done the work for you. We’ve taken the time to review some of the most popular (and some of the not-so-popular) insurance carriers out there.
This article is going to outline The Standard. You might not have heard of them, but they could be the perfect solution to all your insurance needs.
History of The Standard
If you want to look at the beginnings of The Standard, you have to go all the way back to 1906.
The Standard was established by Leo Samuel.
He created the company to help provide life insurance to loggers who weren’t able to get life insurance policies through other companies because of the danger of their job.
Not only were most companies afraid of giving life insurance to loggers, but all of them were on the east coast. Samuel opened up the Oregon Life Insurance Company to protect the people of the Northwest.
He changed the way we look at life insurance. There were a lot of loggers who lost their jobs because of serious injuries. They weren’t making money, which means they couldn’t pay the insurance premiums.
Samuel recognized the problems with this process.
To serve his customers, he was the first to create the waiver of premium coverage. If one of his customers was ever permanently disabled, they could keep their plans without having to pay the premiums.
They’ve continued to grow through the years.
Today, they have over 6 million customers in every state. They are still headquartered in Oregon, but they have 40 offices all across the United States.
Ratings, Grades, and Finances
When you’re looking for the perfect company, you need a company who is financially sound. You need to know they are going to still be there when it’s time to cash in a plan.
The best way to do this is by looking the ratings form the experts. There are a lot of companies who specialize in reviewing companies and projecting their futures by looking at dozens of different factors.
The three big reviews are: A.M. Best, Standard & Poor’s, and Moody’s. The Standard has excellent ratings from all of these companies, meaning you can depend on them to maintain their promises to you.
From A.M. Best, The Standard has maintained an A rating or higher since 1928, currently holding an A. They are only one of only 17 companies who has held this high of a rating for 75 years.
Additionally, from Standard & Poor’s they have another A+ rating. Moody’s gives the Standard an A1 rating, another strong score for the life insurance company.
In addition to the major credit rating agencies, the Standard has an A+ rating from BBB, where the company has been accredited since 1958. This is the highest possible grade they give.
The financial future of an insurance company is one of the most important factors to consider. With The Standard, you don’t have to worry about their longevity.
Products Sold Through The Standard
The Standard has a huge list of insurance products they sell. Regardless of what kind of coverage you’re looking for, you can find it at The Standard.
To start, we are going to look at there is their life insurance. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a logger or lumberjack to buy one of their plans.
They don’t have a traditional individual life insurance plan. Instead, they market their policies to companies which want to offer their employees life insurance.
These plans are an excellent way for a group of employees to get affordable coverage.
Most workers don’t fully understand the importance of disability insurance.
Even if they do understand the coverage, they don’t buy a plan, which could be a terrible mistake.
If you’re at work, and you take a tumble down the stairs, then Worker’s Compensation is going to help replace your income.
What happens if you are injured outside of work?
You’re doing housework on the weekend, and you take a fall. You’re too injured to go to work for months.
You won’t have a paycheck coming in, how are you going to pay your monthly bills?
This is the exact reason you should invest in a disability insurance policy. These plans can protect your income, and The Standard understands the importance of that.
They offer several kinds of disability insurance:
- Group Short Term Disability
- Group Long Term Disability
- Individual Disability
To start, we are going to briefly look at the group plans. More than likely, you aren’t buying disability coverage for a group of people, but you should still be aware of the options.
Just like with group life insurance, The Standard offer plans for businesses who want to give coverage to their employees. They sell both group short term and long term.
If you’re injured or ill for a couple of weeks, short-term disability will kick in and replace a portion of your income. These plans are designed to be effective for a couple of weeks.
What if you’re too injured or too ill and you’re out of work for even longer?
This is why you should also have a long-term disability insurance policy.
With both of their group plans, the underwriting is extremely simple. All of the employees will be able to get approved for the protection.
Other Group Plans
The Standard sells a lot of insurance policies.
If you’re looking for group coverage, The Standard is an excellent place to start your search.
Here are some of the other plans they sell:
- Group Accident
- Group Accidental Death and Dismemberment
- Group Dental
- Group Vision
- Group Hospital Indemnity
Individual Disability Insurance
One of the shining parts of The Standard is their disability insurance coverage.
They are one of the best companies for getting disability insurance coverage.
They give you three different options:
- Income Protection
- Business Protection
- Guaranteed Standard Issue
Each of these is slightly different coverage and you’ll need to understand the differences between them.
Let’s get started with their Income Protection plan, Platinum Advantage. This plan provides a lot of coverage you won’t find with other companies out there.
Each of these offer different protection, we are going to detail some of the key points of each of them.
As you can probably guess from the name, the Platinum Advantage policy is the premium option from The Standard. If you want the most possible disability insurance from The Standard, this is the choice for you.
Here are the basics of the plan. You can get benefit periods of anywhere from 2 years to 10 years (or until age 67). They have elimination periods of 0 days to 365 days depending on where you live, and it’s available to just about any occupation.
With this policy, you get some incredible protection.
First, you’ll get the Family Care Benefit, which you will not find at any other company out there. According to the numbers from the Pew Research Center, 23% of adults are responsible for the care of an aging adult.
Because of this, there are about 1 in 5 caregivers who financial struggles because of the care to aging adults.
This benefit will allow you to get a monthly benefit from the plan if you lose more than 20% of your income if you have to take care of a family member, such as a parent or an aging adult.
There are two other riders The Standard adds at no cost to most policies, a benefit increase rider and an automatic increase benefit rider.
Benefit increase rider lets you get more coverage every three years without having to go through the medical underwriting process again.
The automatic increase rider allows your coverage to up with the standard of living cost. This rider increases the monthly benefit 4% every year for the first 6 years.
The next option is the Protector Platinum disability insurance policy, available only in California. This policy has a whole host of benefits. You’ll get the Compassionate Care benefit, similar to the Family Care Benefit, and a ton of other benefits.
With this policy, if you have become partially disabled, you’re going to receive full benefits from the plan for 6 months. Also, you’re also going to get:
- Total disability
- Own occupation definition
- Rehabilitation benefit
- Recovery benefit
- Survivor benefit
- Waiver of premium benefit
- And much more
The Protector Platinum policy offers just about every additional benefit and rider you can think of. They have a few optional riders you can add on to your plan if you want extra coverage.
If you want additional protection, you’re going to have higher premiums, but it can give you some additional peace of mind. These include:
- Future purchase option
- Non-cancelable rider
- Indexed cost of living
- Catastrophic disability
If you want a more affordable option, the Protector Essential plan gives you disability protection at a lower cost. This is also available only in California. You’re going to get less coverage than with their other options, but you’re going to be able to enjoy some lower rates.
You’ll still get some of the core benefits, like waiver of premium, total disability, rehab benefit, and much more.
Just like with the other policies, you’ll still have the option to buy additional riders.
Protector Essential is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to save money but still get disability coverage.
Now, let’s talk about the business disability options The Standard sells. You have two options, Business Overhead Protector and Business Equity Protector.
With Business Overhead Protector, there are a couple of expenses you can protect as a business owner.
If something were to happen to you, and you’re the one keeping the shop open, then your business could be forced to shut down. This is where this business disability insurance policy comes in.
This can help cover the costs of wages, utilities, mortgage or lease payments, and more.
Business Equity Protector is a Buy/Sell policy.
This policy is designed to help business partners buy the other partner’s share of the business if anything were to leave one of them disabled.
This plan will ensure the policyholder gets compensation from the buy-out while the business continues to stay operational.
Guaranteed Standard Issue
The last kind of disability insurance they offer is a guaranteed standard issue policy offered through an employer at a workplace.
Just like other kinds of guaranteed standard issue plans, there in no medical underwriting, and you can get protection as long as you’re under the age of 99.
The Standard offers two of their plans as Guaranteed Standard Issue, Platinum Advantage, and Protector Platinum (available only in CA). You can only get guaranteed standard issue plans through your work, and you’re not going to get as much protection as with the traditional policy.
You’ll still get the Family Care benefit and the residual disability rider, but the rest of the riders depend on what your workplace chooses.
Other Financial Products sold by The Standard
Aside from the group insurance and the disability insurance, The Standard also wants to help you plan for your future.
You can probably figure out from the names, but an immediate annuity is built for those are looking to invest a large amount of money, but not have it tied up for decades.
The deferred annuity lets people invest the money and let it grow tax-deferred. You can then withdraw the money in a lump sum or in payments.
Pros and Cons of The Standard
Each insurance carrier has advantages and disadvantages. Regardless of the insurance plan you’re looking for, you need to find a company where the pros outweigh the cons.
With The Standard, one of the pros is also a con.
If you’re a business owner, they have a dozen different options for group coverage. You can buy just about every possible plan for your employees, all in one place.
On the flip side of that, if you’re looking for individual coverage, The Standard doesn’t have a ton of options.
You’re going to be limited to a handful of choices.
How to Get the Best Insurance Coverage
We know shopping for insurance isn’t fun.
There are endless options you have to compare, and all of the situations require something bad to happen to you.
Instead of wasting your time calling agents or researching companies, we’ve done the work for you.
We’ve taken the time to do in-depth reviews of some of the best companies out there.
Be sure to check out all of our reviews and use them to make the best choice for your insurance needs.