If you’re shopping for disability insurance, Breeze is a new player that lets you buy a policy online without the hassle of filling out reams of paperwork.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the Breeze application process, the financial strength of the insurer underwriting the policies it sells, how Breeze quotes stack up against the competition and more.
What You Need to Know About Getting Disability Insurance Through Breeze
So, what is disability insurance and do you need it? Disability insurance provides you with monthly payments if you become ill, injured or otherwise unable to work and earn a living.
“I know that a lot of people find the idea of disability insurance to be distasteful,” money expert Clark Howard says, “because no one likes to consider that they might become disabled. But this could happen to you, and you need to be prepared if it does.”
The reality is most people get their disability insurance through work. It’s a solid employee benefit offered by a lot of employers these days. But there are a couple of drawbacks to employer-provided policies:
- You can’t take your employer-provided disability insurance with you when you change jobs.
- If your employer pays the monthly premium, your disability benefit is taxable.
So those are a couple of considerations that might push you toward buying disability coverage on your own.
The same is true for small business owners and entrepreneurs. If you’re self-employed, you’re the only disability insurance provider you’ve got, right? So you definitely need to buy a policy on your own. That’s where a site like Breeze can help out.
Here’s what you need to know about shopping with Breeze:
Table of Contents
- Application Process Walkthrough
- Getting Your Quote
- Optional Riders
- A.M. Best Rating
- Quote Comparison
1. Application Process Walkthrough
Breeze has radically simplified the process of applying for disability insurance online. In fact, they’ve gotten it down to where you can get a policy in place in about 15 minutes.
All you have to do to get started is input the following information on the site to begin:
- Employment status: W-2 employee, business owner or independent contractor
- Job category: Professional, technical, light labor or labor
- Net annual income
- Zip code
- Nicotine use
In case you’re wondering which jobs fit into each of the job categories above, Breeze lists the following examples:
- Professional: Accountant, pharmacist, software engineer
- Technical: Salesperson, dental hygienist, lab tech
- Light labor: Auto mechanic, carpenter, landscaper
- Labor: Ride share driver, roofer
Most of those definitions are exactly what you’d expect. But the biggest surprise is probably ride share driver.
This popular staple of the gig economy actually falls into the “Labor” category alongside traditional hazardous unskilled and manual labor jobs, according to Breeze.
2. Getting Your Quote
Once you enter all the info above into Breeze, you’ll immediately get quotes for three tiers of coverage with increasing monthly payouts:
The default option for all quotes is a 5-year benefit period with a 90-day waiting period. So that means your coverage won’t begin for three months after you’re declared disabled with the default option.
Meanwhile, you can elect to change either the benefit period, the waiting period or both by clicking the “More Coverage Options” button.
We pulled some sample quotes for several hypothetical workers:
Breeze Quotes for Disability Insurance
|Age||Gender||Employment Status||Job Category||Income||Zip Code||Nicotine Use||Quotes|
|44||Male||W-2 employee||Professional||$100,000||30039 (metro Atlanta)||No||
|56||Female||Business Owner||Technical||$200,000||64030 (metro Kansas City)||Yes||
|32||Male||Independent Contractor||Light labor||$38,000||97035 (metro Portland, Ore.)||No||
|18||Female||Independent Contractor||Labor||$29,000||85001 (metro Phoenix)||Yes||
* Requires a medical exam
Note that a medical exam is required for any policies that pay the following monthly benefit amounts:
- $4,001 and greater for issue ages 18-50
- $2,001 and greater for issue ages 51-55
- $1,501 and greater for issue ages 56-60
3. Optional Riders
In addition to receiving the basic monthly benefit, you can also choose to add a variety of optional riders on to your disability insurance policy through Breeze. Some of the most common include:
- Automatic benefit increase rider – Bumps up your monthly benefit by 5% once each year. Restrictions apply.
- Non-Cancelable Rider – Prevents the insurance company from canceling your policy. Also applies to riders.
- Residual Disability Rider – Allows you to be paid a partial benefit if you’re partially disabled. Restrictions apply.
- Guaranteed Insurability Rider – Grants you the future right to purchase more coverage to get a higher monthly benefit. However, you must do this before you become disabled or otherwise receive benefits.
4. A.M. Best Rating
All disability policies sold through Breeze are underwritten by Assurity Life Insurance Company or Assurity Life Insurance Company of NY (for residents of New York State only).
Both companies have an A.M. Best rating of A- for financial strength from this credit rating company that focuses on the insurance industry.
Whenever you’re buying any kind of insurance that you’re paying for today with the expectation that you will collect a benefit down the road, you want to be sure the company will still be around down the road to pay out!
An A- financial strength rating from A.M. Best is considered “excellent” and is “assigned to insurance companies that have, in our opinion, an excellent ability to meet their ongoing insurance obligations.” You can see the full ratings scale here.
5. Quote Comparison
Breeze isn’t the only company that makes it easy to buy long-term disability insurance online.
One competitor is PolicyGenius.com, which offers disability coverage and other policies underwritten by a variety of popular insurers like Assurity, Guardian, MassMutual, Principal, The Standard and more.
We decided to put both competitors head-to-head and compare them on price.
As with the table above, we examined quotes for four individuals of varying ages, incomes and geographic locations:
- 44 year old, male, employee, professional, $100,000, metro Atlanta (30152), no nicotine
- 56 year old, female, business owner, technical, $200,000, metro Kansas City (64030), nicotine user
- 32 year old male, independent contractor, light labor, $38,000, metro Portland (97035) Oregon, no nicotine
- 18 year old female, independent contractor, labor, $29,000, metro Phoenix (85001), nicotine user
(Editor’s note: The PolicyGenius quote tool only quoted in increments of $100, so we occasionally had to round up or down to get a comparable quote. Policy Genius also ask more questions about your status, so consider these ballpark quotes.)
Quote Comparison of PolicyGenius vs. Breeze*
|Quote number||Monthly benefit amount||PolicyGenius||Breeze|
|1.||$5,000 (PolicyGenius)/$5,040 (Breeze)||$188 – $255||$109|
|2.||$9,300 (PolicyGenius)/$9,350 (Breeze)||$320 – $433||$601|
|3.||$500||$12 – $16||$14|
|4.||$700||$31 – $42||$25|
* All quotes are for disability policies with 5-year benefit period and a 90-day waiting period.
As you can see, the quotes can vary based on age, income, your type of work and your tobacco use. That’s why it pays to shop around!
If you’re on the fence about buying disability insurance, try visiting WhatsMyPDQ.org to assess your “personal disability quotient” (PDQ).
This a free service of the Council for Disability Awareness. Your PDQ will predict the likelihood of you needing to use disability insurance during your working lifetime.
But the bottom-line is this: When you’re ready to buy disability insurance, Breeze make the process exceedingly simple.
“I love how easy it is to use Breeze,” Clark says. “My only concern is the premiums are sometimes higher than if you shop around. But the reality is most people won’t ever do that. So that’s what gives a nod to Breeze as an easy-to-use way to take out a disability insurance policy.”