Having the right insurance policy in place is pivotal when you have a disability. If you find that your new disability has become a long-term problem, you will need to transition from a short-term policy to a long-term one.
Understanding Your Level Of Disability
Whether you have a partial disability or a total disability can determine the insurance benefits you receive.
If you have an accident that causes a partial disability, you will likely get a short-term insurance policy, but if your disability turns into a long-term problem, you will want to transition to a long-term policy.
Make sure you know the differences between partial and total disability before you begin the transition process.
Whether you qualify as having a partial or total disability ultimately comes down to the language used in the insurance policy.
The Key Differences Between Short And Long-Term Policies
While every disability insurance policy is different, the two key differences between short and long-term policies are the length of the policy and the level of coverage.
Typically, short-term disability policies expire after three to six months whereas long-term policies can range from two to ten years or longer. Long-term policies can also last until the policyholder reaches a certain age, such as retirement age.
While long-term policies can provide people with long-term disabilities with peace of mind, bear in mind that long-term plans generally come with more benefits restrictions than short-term ones.
Transitioning From A Short-Term Policy To A Long-Term Policy
Regardless of the route that you take to transition from a short-term disability insurance policy to a long-term one, it is vital that you carefully go through the terms and conditions and ensure you know what is and isn’t covered before you sign on the dotted line.
You can transition to a long-term policy in two ways. You can either stay with your existing insurance provider or you can find a new one.
Staying with Your Current Insurance Provider
The first option is arguably easier. The insurance company already has all of your medical records and other reports, so you won’t have to go through the lengthy claim process that you would with a new insurance provider.
Of course, you will still have paperwork to complete because your long-term disability insurance claim has to be consistent with the claim you filed for your short-term insurance.
Changing Your Insurance Provider
The option of going with a new insurance provider can be more difficult. For one thing, a new provider will not have your medical reports and records, so you will need to go through the new claim process, which can be lengthy and challenging.
However, you can make the process go smoother by ensuring you include a copy of your short-term disability insurance policy approval letter and other relevant files when you apply for a long-term policy with a new insurance provider. By doing so, it will be easier for your new insurer to see you qualify for the policy.
Also, one key advantage of going with a new insurer is you may be able to get a better rate than with your existing provider. It can take time to shop around to find a new insurance company for your needs, but you can potentially save money by doing so.
Compare the costs and benefits of other insurers with your current insurance company to discern which option is best for you.
At the end of the day, the important thing is getting the coverage you need to give you peace of mind for the future.