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7 Best Disability Insurance Companies of 2024

While it often gets overlooked, disability insurance is an important type of coverage that can protect you from the financial impact of an unexpected illness or injury.

We’ve analyzed several disability insurance companies, comparing their benefits, cost, elimination period, and definition of disability.

Read on to learn about the best disability insurance companies and determine which one is the right fit for your needs.

Best Disability Insurance Companies

We’ve identified the best disability insurance providers, prioritizing the ones that provide the greatest value for the largest number of users.

1. Breeze Financial & Insurance Services Group: Best Overall

  • AM Best Rating: N/A
  • Maximum Benefits: Up to 60% of income
  • Online Quotes: Yes

Breeze is the best overall disability insurance provider because it’s affordable, flexible, and free from the red tape for which the insurance industry is famous.

Breeze offers a mix of short and long-term disability solutions with an application process you can do 100% online. Its premiums start at $9 for young, healthy workers, and they have a transparent underwriting process so you know what’s happening every step of the way. They also offer a large number of policies covering less common situations, such as small business owners or entrepreneurs with complex insurance needs.

Breeze also offers low-risk applicants an instant approval option that waives the usual medical underwriting requirement. This means no invasive medical exams or time-consuming labs are required.


  • Low premiums
  • Large variety of coverage options
  • Opportunities for individuals or employers to set up disability insurance


  • Medical exam may be required
  • Underwriting can take a couple of weeks in some cases

Sign Up With Breeze

2. MassMutual: Best for Salary and Retirement Income Protection

  • AM Best Rating: A++
  • Maximum Benefits: 65% of income
  • Online Quotes: No

MassMutual’s customizable disability insurance products have optional riders you won’t find everywhere else.

One of the best features is their retirement savings protection rider that earmarks some income for your retirement plan, keeping your long-term investment strategy on track when you’re temporarily unable to work.

With MassMutual, you can customize your policy to cover 45% to 65% of your pre-disability income. However, the downside is you must work with an agent to secure a policy. This means you may be subject to sales tactics versus purchasing a policy online. Overall, MassMutual has competitive premiums compared to others on this list while providing comprehensive coverage.


  • Competitive premiums
  • Wide selection of riders
  • Retirement savings protection so you can save even while disabled


  • Must work with insurance agent
  • Only healthcare professionals eligible for higher maximum benefits

Sign Up With MassMutual

3. Ameritas: Best Built-In Benefits

  • AM Best Rating: A
  • Maximum Benefits: Varies
  • Online Quotes: No

Ameritas offers two types of disability insurance: one that pays a monthly benefit if you’re disabled and another that pays a one-time settlement. DInamic Cornerstone Income Protection® provides traditional income replacement if you become disabled with a variety of terms. You can also add riders to customize your coverage, such as student loan repayment coverage or cost of living adjustments.

DInamic Fundamental® pays a lump-sum benefit if you become disabled and will be disabled for at least 12 months. In this case, you won’t receive a monthly paycheck; instead, you’ll receive your entire benefit at once.

Ameritas also offers dental and vision coverage and began as Old Line Bankers Life Insurance Company in 1887, so they have an extensive history behind them. They have a strong financial rating and an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, with fewer than average complaints for a company of its size.


  • Affordable premiums
  • Lump-sum benefit option
  • Financially strong company


  • Only two policy options
  • No option to apply online

Sign Up With Ameritas

4. Guardian Life Insurance Company of America: Best for Self-Employed Coverage

  • AM Best Rating: A++
  • Maximum Benefits: 60% of income
  • Online Quotes: Yes

Guardian Life Insurance Company of America offers short- and long-term disability insurance for self-employed individuals, group plans for employers, and supplemental policies for workers looking to add to their employer-sponsored coverage.

Because its policies are only available through licensed insurance brokers or employers themselves, Guardian requires all would-be policyholders to go through a middleman. They cater to small-business owners and executives looking to retain employees with attractive disability coverage, but supplemental policies are also available.

Guardian offers a solid choice for self-employed workers with variable income, a group that tends to be perceived as high-risk (and is therefore underserved) by most disability insurance providers. They have an “A” rating with the Better Business Bureau and fewer than average complaints for a company of its size.


  • Offers partial disability benefits
  • Offers short and long-term policies
  • Offers several definitions of disability


  • The premiums can be high

Sign up With Guardian Life

5. Principal Financial Group: Best for Portable Coverage

  • AM Best Rating: A+
  • Maximum Benefits: Up to $20,000/month
  • Online Quotes: Yes

Like Guardian Life, Principal Financial Group’s disability insurance offering is gated. In this case, it’s available only to clients of Principal Financial Group advisors and those willing to establish an advisory relationship (even if temporary) to obtain disability coverage.

On the bright side, Principal has a key selling point: All of its policies are written for individuals, not employers, and are, therefore, portable, meaning they remain in force when you change jobs.

Because Principal clients’ relationships extend well beyond disability insurance, they can sometimes qualify for lower premiums than those available through one-off individual policy transactions. Of course, the most critical factor in any pricing decision is the perceived risk of disability.


  • Offers many riders
  • Offers a user-friendly disability insurance calculator to see your costs
  • Automatic benefit increases for the first six years to keep pace with inflation


  • Their simplified underwriting policy (no medical exam) limits monthly benefits to $6,000
  • To get residual benefits if you return to work part-time, you must pay for an additional rider

Sign Up With Principal

6. Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company: Best for Coverage After Age 65

  • AM Best Rating: A+
  • Maximum Benefits: $12,000
  • Online Quotes: No

Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company offers the potential — though not the guarantee — of coverage up to age 75, as long as you continue to work full-time and pay premiums.

Premiums remain level until age 67, but afterward, they can increase annually. All policies include a proportionate disability, terminal illness, rehabilitation, and survivor benefit. You can also add riders, such as a COLA, critical illness, or hospital confinement benefit for an additional cost.

Mutual of Omaha does reserve the right to cancel your policy after age 67. But its golden-years coverage is still unusual — and welcome.


  • Great customer service
  • Offers coverage up to age 75
  • Includes many benefits without additional cost


  • Must go through an agent
  • Premiums increase after age 67

Sign Up With Mutual of Omaha

7. Assurity: Best for “Any Occupation” Coverage

  • AM Best Rating: A-
  • Maximum Benefits: $8,000 – $20,000
  • Online Quotes: No

Assurity is a flexible option for workers with longer-term disability income insurance needs.

It really stands out for its commitment to “any occupation” coverage. What this means is that even if you’re able to perform some duties in a role or profession other than the one you held before your disability, you can remain out of the workforce (and earn benefits) until you’re once more able to do the job you were trained for.

That’s a much more generous standard than “own occupation,” which many insurers prefer for understandable reasons.

Assurity offers coverage options of 1, 2, 5, 10, or up to retirement age. If you earn $4,000 or less per month, you may not have to undergo a medical exam, and the policy is guaranteed renewable until age 65.


  • Offers a large number of add-ons
  • Offers a wide range of elimination periods
  • Includes many features in its standard policy


  • No online quote option
  • May require a medical exam

Sign Up With Assurity

How Does Disability Insurance Work?

Disability insurance protects your income. If you cannot work due to an accident or illness, you can file a disability insurance claim. The insurance company will review the claim to determine your level of disability and to ensure it meets the company’s definition of disability.

If they approve your claim, you’ll earn 50% – 70% of your pre-disability income for your chosen coverage period if you remain disabled for the entire time.

To earn these benefits, you must pay a monthly premium, like any insurance policy, and you must wait out your elimination period or waiting period. Most policies have waiting periods starting at 30 days and up to a year. The longer the elimination period, the lower your premiums, but the longer you must wait for a payout if you become disabled.

Factors That Affect The Cost Of Disability Insurance

Like any insurance policy, certain factors affect the cost of disability insurance, including:

  • Your age and overall health
  • Occupation
  • Elimination period
  • Amount of coverage
  • Amount of income
  • Type of coverage, such as own-occupation or any occupation


We use several key factors to evaluate insurance companies and choose the best disability insurance providers around. Each relates in some way to the overall cost, usefulness, benefits, or flexibility of coverage — all important considerations for people seeking dependable income replacement.

Policy Types Available

The term “disability insurance” is often used as shorthand for long-term disability insurance, which is important for people who can’t work for years. But short-term disability insurance is also important for people recovering from temporary illnesses or injuries — or managing life events like the birth of a child.

Policy Premiums

It’s not rocket science: insurance premiums are better when lower. While every insurer is different, and straight premium comparisons aren’t always apples-to-apples, we generally prefer disability insurers that charge less for comparable coverage.

Coverage Types and Limits

This factor covers two important questions about disability insurance:

  • How much coverage can you get, measured as a percentage of your pre-disability pay?
  • When can you file a disability insurance claim?

The most critical consideration here is whether your policy covers “own occupation” or “any occupation” disability. The former is more generous because you can file a claim when you cannot work in your own occupation. With “any occupation” disability, you can only file a claim if you’re unable to work in any productive capacity, which typically requires a more profound disability.

Waiting Periods

This relates to another critical question: how long must you wait before your benefits come? Long-term disability policies can have waiting policies as long as one to two years, which is a long time to go without income if you cannot replace it through other means. This is why an employer-sponsored short-term disability policy is a great complement to a privately sourced long-term policy.

How Long Policies Remain Effective

For long-term disability, “indefinitely” — meaning until an agreed-upon age at which you would have retired — is the best answer, though you’ll pay higher premiums in exchange. Short-term policies typically last no more than six months.

Financial Strength Ratings

How likely is your insurer to pay out on your claim? The best way to assess the likelihood of paid — or unpaid — claims is to use financial strength ratings from impartial third-party agencies.


You have questions about disability insurance and disability insurance providers. We have answers.

What’s the Difference Between Short-Term Disability and Long-Term Disability?

There are two main types of disability insurance coverage: short-term and long-term. All the companies on this list offer long-term disability coverage, and some offer short-term disability insurance.

The biggest difference between these two types of disability insurance is in the name. Short-term policies last for months, while long-term policies last for years or decades.

The typical maximum duration for short-term disability insurance is six months. That is, you receive benefit payments for no more than six months after filing a claim.

Long-term disability insurance policies last at least two years. Those with finite terms can last five or ten years. Those with indefinite terms typically pay benefits until you reach retirement age. The longer your long-term disability policy’s term, the higher its premium.

How Long Do You Have to Wait for Disability Insurance Benefits?

All disability insurance policies have a waiting period. This is the time between when your claim is approved and when you begin receiving benefits.

Waiting periods for short-term disability tend to be relatively short, typically no more than four weeks. Waiting periods for long-term disability are longer — up to a year is common. The shorter the waiting period, the higher your premium.

Does Disability Insurance Pay Out If You Die?

Disability insurance isn’t life insurance. It’s designed to pay benefits while the policyholder is alive but unable to work productively.

However, many disability insurance policies offer survivor benefits for policyholders’ spouses or other eligible survivors. These are short-term benefits, typically paid for no more than three months after the policyholder’s death.

To provide a longer-term or more robust payout for your survivors, consider a life insurance policy or annuity (or both). Many of the best life insurance companies also write disability insurance policies.

How Do You Know If You Can Trust a Disability Insurance Company?

Take anonymous online reviews with a grain of salt. Instead, look to trusted third parties — preferably those specializing in insurance company evaluations — to assess each insurer you’re considering working with.

In particular, consider:

  • The financial strength ratings put out by rating agencies like A.M. Best, which measure insurers’ financial stability and overall capacity to make promised benefit payouts
  • Customer satisfaction ratings from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), a leading evaluator of general business quality
  • Overall suitability based on each company’s product mix, strengths, weaknesses, and markets served

How to Choose the Best Disability Insurance Company

Data from LIMRA’s 2021 Insurance Barometer shows that 3 in 5 American households have life insurance. As such, you may have some experience choosing a life insurance policy that fits your financial needs and life goals.

It’s less likely you have experience searching for disability insurance. When evaluating disability insurance companies and policies, pay close attention to policy and firm specifics like:

  • The length of the elimination period (the waiting period before benefits kick in) for short-term policies and long-term policies (as they’re often different)
  • The length of the benefit period itself (which is usually longer for long-term policies)
  • The monthly benefit amount
  • Actual disability insurance costs (monthly premiums)
  • Whether the policy offers “any occupation” or “own occupation” coverage (or both)
  • Whether the policy offers annual cost of living adjustments to keep pace with inflation (and if so, how much)
  • Whether the company offers individual disability insurance policies, group disability policies, or both
  • The disability claim filing process and its complexity

The best disability company for your needs checks as many of these boxes as possible.

Keep in mind that the best provider for you might not be the best provider for your neighbor. Don’t give too much weight to anecdotal feedback that may or may not apply to your situation.

To find the policy that offers you the best coverage at the lowest cost possible, we recommend using a site like Policygenius to compare insurance companies for free.

Brian Martucci writes about credit cards, banking, insurance, travel, and more. When he's not investigating time- and money-saving strategies for Money Crashers readers, you can find him exploring his favorite trails or sampling a new cuisine. Reach him on Twitter @Brian_Martucci.

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