Generally speaking, “any occupation” (“any occ”) provisions state that an insured will be considered disabled if he or she is no longer able to perform the duties of any gainful occupation. Another common variation of the any occupation provision provides that an insured is totally disabled if he or she is “not able to engage in any gainful occupation in which [he or she] might reasonably be expected to engage because of education, training or experience.”
Obviously, “any occupation” provisions are much more restrictive than “own occupation” provisions, which simply require you to demonstrate that you can no longer perform your prior occupation. If your policy has an “any occupation” provision, you will generally have a much harder time collecting benefits than you would under an “own occupation” policy.
Some insurance companies sell policies that are initially “own occupation” policies for the first few years of coverage, but then convert to “any occupation” policies thereafter. If you have a policy that converts to an “any occupation” policy after a few years, your insurer could initially pay your benefits under the “own occ” provision, but then promptly terminate your benefits as soon as the “any occupation” provision becomes effective. Sometimes, these types of policies are mischaracterized as “own occupation” policies, so you must be sure to read your policy’s particular language carefully, to make sure that you are actually receiving a true “own occupation” policy.
Click here for more information about how “any occupation” provisions can affect your ability to collect disability benefits.