Women shopping for disability insurance will notice that their rates are significantly higher than their male counterparts. According to the companies, this is based on risk and claims history. As a result, their premiums are a whopping 40% or more than the same exact policy for men.
The best way to counteract the rate discrepancy is to look for a unisex rate policy. Unisex policies provide the same exact benefits as a gender distinct policy but the rates are the same for both men and women. They will reduce the rates for women about 35% and increase for men by about 15%. If you are a man and are looking at a unisex policy, make sure it has a discount on top of the unisex rate which will offset the difference.
Where do you find unisex rates? First, check with an insurance brokerage like Set for Life to see if you already have discounts available. If the discounts do not yet exist at your place of employment, work with an experienced brokerage to help you sent them up. This typically requires at least 1 or 2 other people from the same employer to apply for coverage. If you are a medical resident approaching graduation, make sure you purchase your unisex policy prior to graduation to lock in the discounted rate.
Not all unisex policies are the same, especially when it comes to increasing your policy. Most policies have a future increase option rider FIO or a guaranteed insurability option GIO which will issue a new policy when you increase your benefit amount. Typically, the increased amount will not be issued at the unisex rate which could provide a real sticker shock when you want to increase benefits.
Look for a policy that is adjustable where a new policy is not issued when you increase coverage. Make sure your discount is permanent and will apply to future increases.