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Recurrent Disability Insurance

Recurrent Disability - After You Recover From One Disability, And Another One Happens

A recurrent disability is exactly as it sounds. You are disabled once, re-cover, then have a recurrent disability. You will find that most contracts have a recurrent disability provision built in. The average provision will say something like this:

"For a recurrent disability, within six months, from the same or related cause, the insurance company will waive the elimination period."

The recurrent disability insurance provision is designed to make sure that a person does not have to go through more than one elimination period within a certain period of time. It is important for you to know that the six-month, same or related cause definition is the generic definition. Also, a recurrent disability provision is more important than one might think. Many times people will think of this miscellaneous feature that is not as important as some of the other features like Non-Cancellable, and Own-Occupation. In my opinion it is as important, especially when you go on a disability insurance claim. For example, look for a policy that provides a 12 month recurrent clause so that related disabilities which reoccur within 12 months of a prior disability do not require a new elimination period.

Waiver of Elimination Period

I know one disability insurance company that has a 5-year waiver of elimination period provision that waives the elimination period for any cause if benefits were paid for at least one day on a disability that lasted more than six months. Once something goes wrong with the human body to cause a disability, this tends to set off a chain reaction of events. Condition Y will cause the human body to develop condition X over the next few years. With a 5 year waiver of elimination period, you would not have to prove to an insurance company how one disability is related to another to waive the next elimination period. It is quite difficult on the finances to get through a three month elimination period one time, you should find a disability insurance company that offers the five year waiver of elimination period so you may not have to satisfy more than one elimination period in five years1.

These are the personal views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America or its subsidiaries and affiliates thereof.

1Continuously disabled for at least 30 days. If any of the requirements are not satisfied, then you would have to satisfy another elimination period.