Disability Insurer Profiles: Standard

Standard is another disability insurer we will look at that specifically markets its policies to physicians and dentists.

See our profiles of MassMutual, MetLife, Northwestern Mutual, Guardian, and Hartford.

StanCorp Financial Group (“StanCorp”) was founded in 1906 and uses the marketing name “The Standard” to refer to its primary subsidiaries, which include the Standard Insurance Company and the Standard Life Insurance Company of New York.  In 2013, StanCorp received $351.7 million in pre-tax income, and $272.4 million (approximately 77%) of that income was attributable to profits from StanCorp’s insurance services.  StanCorp is particularly proud of its consistent long term growth and—given the fact that 77% of StanCorp’s profits come from its insurance services—StanCorp has an obvious incentive to deny high paying claims submitted by physicians and dentists.

Company: StanCorp Financial Group, Inc.

Location: Portland, Oregon.

Associated Entities: Standard Insurance Company; The Standard Life Insurance Company of New York; StanCorp Investment Advisers, Inc.; Standard Retirement Services, Inc.; StanCorp Mortgage Investors, LLC.

Assets: $22.73 billion in 2014.

Notable Policy Features:  If you are considering a Standard disability insurance policy, you should pay particular attention to whether the policy allows for total disability benefits if you are working in another occupation.  Oftentimes, Standard policies will pay nothing more than residual disability benefits if you are able to secure other part-time employment.  For example, if you can no longer practice dentistry, but you are able to teach classes at a dental college, Standard may refuse to pay you total disability benefits.  If you are eligible for residual benefits, Standard will require you to submit proof of your income every single month.

Read more about the difference between total disability benefits and residual disability benefits.

Claims Management Approach:  Standard tends to demand strict compliance with its claims procedures, and Standard will generally not be very accommodating if you make a mistake.  This can be problematic, because, for many policyholders, the claims process is unfamiliar and daunting.  If you are dealing with Standard, be sure to ask for a detailed explanation of what is required of you.  You should pay close attention to deadlines, as they will likely not be flexible.  You should also make sure that you use Standard’s forms when providing attending physician statements or other documentation of your disability, because Standard will not accept other insurers’ forms.

These profiles are based on our opinions and experience. Additional source(s): “Quick Facts About the Standard” and “About the Standard,” available at www.standard.com; StanCorp 2014 KBW Conference Presentation, available at investor.stancorpfinancial.com.