Spousal disability coverage is a great option for people who live busy lives and would struggle to manage all the additional household responsibilities if their spouse became disabled.

Homemakers are more than just the people who stay home, they’re the pillars that keep the home and family running smoothly every day. Protect your spouse today to help ensure that life continues running smoothly in the event of a disability.

How does disability insurance work for non-income-generating spouses such as stay-at-home moms, stay-at-home dads, and homemakers?

The Spousal Coverage Program gives existing individual disability policy holders the ability to cover a spouse who does not generate an income and who tends to all matters of the home. If your spouse becomes disabled and can no longer perform responsibilities as a homemaker, the benefits can be used to pay for resources to cover his or her regular responsibilities in maintaining the home and family.

Policy features

  • Eligible for individuals ages 18-45
  • The benefit term is between 5 and 10 years
  • The elimination period is 90 or 180 days; no benefits will be paid during the elimination period at the beginning of each period of total disability
  • The working spouse must have at least $4,000 of individual disability insurance coverage with Guardian or Berkshire Life, a Guardian company.
  • Traditional marriages, same-sex marriages and civil unions are eligible

The Spousal Coverage Program is a valuable form of coverage that can help you and your family.

How to obtain this important coverage through term disability insurance

Our term disability insurance, Payguard Plus, provides simple yet effective and affordable coverage, particularly for those professionals just starting out in their careers or who may be more cost-conscious.  Our Spousal Coverage Program is a feature obtained through PayGuard Plus.

Our PayGuard Plus disability policy provides reducing term coverage – which means that the length of time that the policy is in force is determined on the date of issue and ends on the termination date. This period of coverage reduces each year until the termination date is reached.

How does the definition of disability apply under this type of coverage?

Under the Spousal Coverage Program, the non-income-generating spouse (homemaker) will receive the total disability benefit when, because of sickness or injury, he or she is unable to perform all the substantial and material duties of their occupation or profession and are not actually at work in any occupation or profession – which is a “Modified Own-Occupation” definition of disability.  The homemaker must be totally disabled during the elimination period, and continuously remain so beyond the elimination period (the elimination period is the length of time that must elapse following the onset of disability before benefits become payable).

How does term disability insurance compare to short term and long term disability insurance?

While term disability coverage provides coverage for a defined or fixed period of time, there are other types of disability insurance to cover shorter disabilities (which are more common) and longer disabilities (which are rarer but more debilitating):

Short term disability insurance - Also called STD, this typically has a two-week elimination period and is designed to replace your income for a few months while you are unable to work, and almost never more than a year. It is most often obtained as a group policy through the workplace.

Long term disability insurance - Also called LTD, this type of insurance policy is designed to last for many years – through retirement if needed – replacing 50%-80% of your income if something happens and you are unable to work. It may be purchased through the workplace, but even more comprehensive coverage may be obtained in the form of an individual disability policy purchased through a broker or financial professional.

Talk to a professional to explore the right solutions

Disability coverage is one of the most important tools you can have to protect your family and livelihood – but that protection is only as good as the policy you purchase. Start by talking with your financial professional or a trusted insurance broker. They should be able to suggest possibilities and determine the coverage amount that is right for you.

If you don’t have a financial professional or broker, a Guardian financial professional can help craft financial strategies. You should be prepared to share as much as you can about your personal and business financial situation and goals so that he or she can tailor your policy and other financial plans to meet your overall protection needs.

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Individual disability insurance policy Form 18PG is underwritten and issued by Berkshire Life Insurance Company of America, Pittsfield, MA, a wholly owned stock subsidiary of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, New York, NY. Product provisions and availability may vary by state. In New York: These policies provide disability insurance only. They do not provide basic hospital, basic medical or major medical insurance as defined by the New York State Insurance Department. For policy form 18PG, the expected benefit ratio is 50%. For policy forms 18PG-F, the expected benefit ratio is 60%. The expected benefit ratio is the portion of future premiums that the company expects to return as benefits, when averaged over all people with these policy forms. Material discussed is meant for general informational purposes only and is not to be construed as tax, legal, or investment advice.

Guardian® is a registered trademark of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America.

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