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Guardian Physician Disability Insurance (Updated 2022)

If totally disabled, you will receive benefits even if you can work another job.

What Is Guardian Insurance?

The Guardian Life Insurance Company is one of the largest mutual life insurance companies in the world. Originally called Germania Life Insurance, Guardian was founded by a German civil rights lawyer in 1860 who wanted to serve his fellow countrymen living in America (same origin story as The Standard). Less than two years later, Germania Life Insurance had branches all around the country.

Today Guardian Life Insurance is based in New York City, has over 9,000 employees and 29 million customers. They provide life insurance, disability insurance, dental insurance, and other benefits for individuals, at the workplace, and through government-sponsored programs. Although the company is not officially accredited by the Better Business Bureau, Guardian's Life Insurance page does have several negative reviews that are current and worth reading before considering them as your insurer.

Guardian Physician Disability Insurance Highlights

Guardian's physician disability insurance is called Guardian Provider Choice. The Provider Choice Premier Package is underwritten and issued by Berkshire Life, a wholly-owned stock subsidiary of Guardian Life. When purchasing disability insurance, it's important you understand the base policy as well as its features:

Own-Occupation

Own-occupation is whether an insurance company agrees if you are disabled and entitled to benefits, or not. For example, if you are a nurse but can no longer work as a nurse but can work in another role, some insurance companies will pay you disability benefits and some won't.

Guardian has one of the best definitions of own-occupation for physician disability insurance. At Guardian, if you are totally disabled, you will still receive full benefits even if you are gainfully employed in another occupation. In addition, you may be able to collect full benefits even if you can still practice your own specialty, but in a limited capacity due to a disability. Guardian considers you totally disabled if more than 50% of your income is from either hands-on patient care or surgical procedures and you can no longer perform those duties or procedures due to injury or illness.

Non-Cancellable & Guaranteed Renewable

A non-cancellable disability insurance policy means the insurance company can't cancel, increase your premiums or reduce your benefits as long as you pay the premiums. The policy at Guardian is non-cancellable and guaranteed renewable to either age 65 or 67.

Benefit Period

The benefit period determined what age the insurance company will stop paying your benefits. For example, if you become disabled at age 45, some insurers will pay out your benefits until age 65, some until age 70, some let you choose, etc. It all depends on the company you decide to buy your policy with. At Guardian, you can purchase benefit period coverage for up to ages 65, 67 and 70. You can also elect 10-year, 5-year, and 2-year benefit periods.

Elimination Period

The elimination period in a disability insurance contract is the length of time between your injury or illness began, and the time the insurance company starts making payments. Guardian's physician disability is available with the following elimination periods:

  • 30-day
  • 60-day
  • 90-day
  • 180-day
  • 360-day
  • 720-day

Mental Disorders

Guardian does not have any mental or nervous limitations for most medical specialties in states other than California and Florida. Certain specialties do have a 24-month limitation on benefits for mental disability claims, including anesthesiologists, anesthetists (MD, DO & CRNA), emergency room physicians, and pain management physicians.

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Guardian Physician Disability Insurance Riders

A rider is an optional provision within the disability insurance contract that provides extra benefits or flexibility depending on your situation. Most riders come with an added cost, but it depends on the insurer.

Cost-of-living Adjustment (COLA) Rider

A COLA rider is meant to match your benefits with the rate of inflation. Guardian's Provider Choice disability insurance has 3 cost-of-living adjustment riders available:

  • Increase benefits by a guaranteed 3% compounded annually
  • Increase benefits based on the Consumer Price Index, with a minimum 3% and a maximum of 6% annually
  • The last option delays COLA increases until the fourth anniversary of your disability, with benefits increases thereafter by 3% annually on a compound basis.

There is no cap on Guardian’s COLA Rider. Once disability benefits end, increases of $300 or more will be added to the policy’s monthly benefit without additional premium.

Residual Disability Rider

Guardian offers two types of residual disability riders:

Basic

  • A loss of earnings of at least 20%; AND
  • You are able to perform some, but not all, of the substantial and material duties of your occupation; OR
  • You cannot work full time
  • You'll be paid 100% of your policy’s monthly benefit for total disability if your loss of earnings exceeds 75%
  • An amount proportional to your loss of pre-disability income if it’s under 75%
  • A minimum of 50% of your policy’s monthly benefit for total disability for the first six months of residual disability

Enhanced

Under the enhanced rider, to be considered residually disabled, you must incur a loss of earnings of at least 15%. You will be paid the following benefits under the rider:

  • During the first 12 months of partial disability, the monthly benefit is equal to the loss of income not to exceed the maximum monthly benefit, with a minimum of 50% of the monthly benefit for total disability.
  • A loss of 75% or more of prior income will be considered a loss of 100%

Ready to go with Guardian? Click here to have our in-house specialist walk you through the purchase AND save you 30% on your premium!

Guardian Physician Disability Insurance Alternatives

Guardian Life isn't the only insurance company out there that specializes in physician mortgage insurance. Here are some alternatives that LeverageRx suggests you check out.

MassMutual

MassMutual has a great COLA rider which guarantees an increase to the benefit every year. By the 6th year, the MassMutual COLA rider increases the payout by 16%! That said, their own-occupation is weak. If you can work at all, then MassMutual pay not pay you full benefits.

Learn More: MassMutual Disability Insurance Review

Ohio National Disability Insurance

Ohio National has a stricter definition of own-occupation. The rider for their policy says the physician or dentist who got injured or ill must be under the care of a physician in order to receive total disability benefits.

Learn More: Ohio National Disability Insurance Review

The Standard

The Standard's disability insurance product for physicians and dentists is called Platinum Advantage. It offers a maximum benefit period is to age 67, and they have a generous definition of total disability. Overall, this is a middle-of-the-road option.

Learn More: The Standard Disability Insurance Review

Not sure which riders you need?

Click here to talk to a specialist TODAY about your options

Is Guardian Disability Insurance Right for you?

It's tough to read through insurance policies and understand what they mean, let alone which one you should buy. LeverageRx has an in-house specialist with over 10 years experience who will answer your questions for free. To schedule a call with him, fill out this form and he will be in touch. In the meantime, here is an overview of what is included in Guardian's base policy:

Automatic Benefit Enhancement. This rider provides an automatic 4% compounded increase in the base monthly benefit. It’s renewable every six years if you are not disabled. Refusal of two consecutive increases forfeits any future increases and the rider terminates.

Benefit Purchase Option. The insured must purchase at least 75 percent of eligible benefits at the time of policy issue for this no-cost rider to be added to the policy. With the rider, you have the option to purchase additional coverage every three years up to age 55 with evidence of financial eligibility.

Catastrophic Disability Rider. This rider provides additional benefits in the event you are unable to perform at least two of the six activities for daily living, or you require “substantial supervision due to severe cognitive impairment.”

Hospice Care Benefit. Waives the elimination period if you are under a physician-ordered plan of care for hospice services.

Serious Illness Supplemental Benefit. If you are totally disabled due to cancer, stroke, or heart attack an additional benefit, equal to 50 percent of the monthly benefit, will be payable for a maximum of 12 months during the life of the policy.

Student Loan Protection. The student loan rider provides reimbursement of student loan payments while the insured is totally disabled. Coverage is available for a period of 10 or 15 years from the policy date. When a qualifying total disability occurs, benefits are only payable for the remaining portion of the 10 or 15-year term that has not elapsed.

Which Banks Offer Physician
Mortgage Loans?

Compare rates, features, and more from the best physician mortgage loan programs of 2022.
Filter
14 companies match your search
CompanyLoan Amounts For
Residents & Fellows
Loan Amounts For
Practicing Physicians
Minimum
Credit Score
States available in
States AvailableAK, AZ, CO, FL, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, NV, NM, ND, OK, OR, SD, TN, UT, WA, WI, WY
About

BMO Harris offers doctor loans for primary residences, for purchase or refinance.

  • 100% financing up to $1MM for training or attending
  • 95% financing up to $1.5MM for training or attending
  • 90% financing up to $2MM
States AvailableFL, GA, IL, IN, KY, MI, NC, OH, SC, TN, WV
About

Fifth Third Bank offers residents and physicians a primary residence loan for either purchase or refinance:

  • 100% financing up to $750k (training or attending)
  • 95% financing up to $1MM (training or attending)
  • 95% financing up to $1.25MM (attending more than 1 year)
  • 90% financing up to $2MM (attending more than 2 years)
States AvailableVA, TX, TN, SC, NC, MS, LA, FL, GA, AR, AL
About

First Horizon's doctor loan program is available for primary residence, for purchase or refinance:

  • 100% financing up to $1.5MM (training or attending)
  • 95% financing up to $2MM (training or attending)
  • 90% financing up to $2.5MM (training or attending)
States AvailableDE, DC, GA, MD, NC, OH, PA, SC, TN, VA, WV
About

First National Bank offers residents and physicians financing on primary or secondary residences, for purchase or refinance:

  • 100% financing up to $1MM (training or attending)
  • 90% financing up to $1.5MM (training or attending)
States AvailableMN, WI
About

Frandsen Bank & Trust's doctor loan program is available for primary or secondary residences, for purchase, refinance or equity:

  • 95% financing up to $1.25MM (training or attending)
  • 90% financing up to $2MM (training or attending)
States AvailableDE, DC, NJ, PA
About

Fulton Mortgage Company has a doctor loan program available for home purchase only on primary residences:

  • 100% financing up to $1MM (training or attending)
  • 95% financing up to $1.25MM (training or attending)
States AvailableAZ, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, DC, FL, GA, ID, IA, IN, IL, KS, KY, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, UT, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY
About

Huntington Bank's doctor loan program is available for primary residences, for purchase or refinance:

  • 100% financing up to $1MM (training or attending)
  • 95% financing up to $1.25MM (training or attending)
  • 90% financing up to $2MM (attending)
States AvailableWY, TN, SC, RI, NM, NH, AZ, AK, NV, MT, HI, CO, CT, ID, IN, MA, ME, MI, NY, OH, OR, PA, UT, VT, WA
About

KeyBank's doctor loan program is available for primary or secondary residences, for purchase or refinance. For residents or attending physicians alike:

  • 100% financing up to $1MM
  • 95% financing up to $1.5MM
  • 85% financing up to $2MM

Geographic restrictions may apply.

States AvailableMI
About

Level One Bank's doctor loan program is available for primary residences, for purchase or refinance:

  • 100% financing up to $500k (training)
  • 100% financing up to $1MM (attending 1+ year)
  • 85% financing up to $2MM (training or attending)
States AvailableMI, IN, OH, KY
About

Mercantile Bank's doctor loan program is for primary residences, for purchase or refinance:

  • 100% financing options for residents & fellows
  • 100% financing options with loan amounts up to $2MM for practicing physicians

Equal Housing Lender

Member FDIC

States AvailableAL, AR, FL, GA, IL, IN, IA, KY, LA, MS, MO, NC, SC, TN, TX
About

Regions' doctor loan program is available for primary residences, for purchase or refinance:

  • 100% Financing up to $750k (training or attending)
  • 95% financing up to $1MM (training or attending)
States AvailableDE, IN, KY, MD, MI, NJ, OH, PA, VA, WV
About

S&T Bank's doctor loan program is available for primary residences, for purchase or refinance:

  • 95% financing up to $5MM (training or attending)
States AvailableVA, VT, SC, RI, PA, NC, NY, NJ, NH, MA, MD, ME, FL, DC, DE, CT
About

TD Bank's doctor loan program is available for primary residences, for home purchase only:

  • 100% financing up to $750k (training or attending)
  • 95% financing up to $1.25MM (training or attending)
  • 90% financing up to $1.5MM (training or attending)
States AvailableAL, AR, CA, CT, DE, DC, FL, GA, MS, TN, VA
About

Truist's doctor loan program is available for primary residences, for purchase or refinance.

For training or attending physicians with less than 10 years experience:

  • 100% financing up to $750k
  • 5% down up to $1MM
  • 10% down up to $1.5MM

**if you have been attending for more than 10 years but less than 15, Truist requires a 10% down payment

Elizabeth Shutty

Elizabeth is helping grow LeverageRx and occasionally writes articles. She has written in the past for Investor Junkie and StartupNation.

Disability InsurancePublished August 15, 2020
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