Thinking of getting personal disability insurance but don’t know where to start? Here is our 2019 review of Breeze long term disability insurance.
Here are some quick facts regarding disability for employees in the US:
- 1 out 4 Americans will experience some form of disability before retirement
- Only 34 percent of the total working population have disability insurance
- Only 4 out of 10 employed Americans say they have group disability insurance through their employer
The numbers are clear: A large number of America’s workforce will need to figure out a way to get some income on their own in the event of a disability.
And those who do have employer-provided plans are not 100 percent guaranteed that their claim will be approved since group disability plans tend to have stricter guidelines when it comes to payouts.
And since most people are generally misinformed about how disability insurance works (about its types, benefits, conditions, etc.,), it creates some difficulty in finding out which individual disability policy to buy when they are ready to purchase.
So, what to do then?
Enter: Breeze Disability Insurance
What Breeze Offers
Breeze aims to make purchasing disability insurance a whole lot easier. Just like how other “insuretech” companies like Haven, Bestow, Ladder, and Ethos are changing the way term life insurance policies are underwritten and purchased, Breeze wants to do the same in the disability insurance niche.
Breeze offers long term disability insurance for individuals looking to protect their income beyond just a few months. Most disability policies that are bundled with employee benefits are short-term only, leaving you with no source of income if the injury or illness extends beyond three months.
For whom does this type of policy make sense? Well, pretty much everyone actually.
Breeze’s long term disability insurance is great for self-employed, small business owners, independent contractors, gig workers, and high-income earners. And even if you’re a regular employee, adding a more dependable individual disability insurance policy is a must as most work-sponsored disability policies follow an “any-occupation” only rule.
This means that the plan will only pay you benefits if you are completely unable to perform any type of work. An individual disability plan like Breeze LTDI follows an “own-occupation” provision that pays benefits when you are unable to work in a given occupation but well enough to earn an income doing other types of work.
You can use your disability income to cover certain expenses such as mortgage payments, car loans, monthly rent, utility bills, daily expenses, rehab, and medical treatment—basically anything that you’ll need money for.
How Breeze Works
Like other insuretech companies, Breeze is not an insurance company per se. Breeze’s long term disability policies are underwritten by Assurity and backed by reinsurer Munich RE. Assurity has been in the insurance business for more than 125 years and manages more than $2.6 billion in assets.
They are rated A- (Excellent) by A.M. Best. Munich RE boasts of an A+ (Superior) rating, also by A.M. Best. Partnering up with these two insurance industry giants gives Breeze a strong financial foundation for the policies they offer.
So, what makes Breeze different from conventional disability insurance providers?
Two words: Speed and convenience.
A Quick & Easy Process
One of the biggest barriers that prevent people from getting insurance policies is that it’s a lengthy (and inconvenient) process. It usually takes a couple of weeks to a month (sometimes more) to get everything done.
It covers the application process, medical exam, underwriting, and approval stage. During this time, multiple follow-ups between you and the agent are expected, as the underwriters will need to verify your personal and medical information to come up with a fair and accurate assessment.
As you can imagine, this is enough of a reason for some people (especially busy folks) to forego getting a policy as its simply too much of a hassle.
Breeze serves as a platform that allows anyone looking to get disability insurance to skip the arduous and time-consuming process mentioned above. Through the use of artificial intelligence and advanced databases, a process that traditionally takes a month to complete can be cut to just a few minutes.
That’s right—through Breeze, you can get income protection in as little as 15 minutes after you apply online. First, you simply complete their online application, and then wait for their underwriting algorithm program to complete. Then, in a few minutes, you can get a fully-active long-term disability insurance policy that protects your income (and your family) in case you become disabled.
There’s no paperwork required, no multiple follow-up phone calls, and most importantly—no medical exam!
Breeze Disability Insurance Features At a Glance:
- Advanced underwriting process allows you to get disability coverage in just a few minutes (100% online process)
- Offered to individuals aged between 18 to 60 years old
- Benefits start at $500/monthly up to $20,000 per month
- Choose from the following benefit periods: 1, 2, 5, or 10 years. Or get covered until the age of 65 or 67
- Choose from the following waiting periods: 30, 60, 90, 180, 365 days
- All policies are guaranteed renewable until age 65 or 67
- Currently offered in all states except NY
How to Get Breeze Long Term Disability Insurance (Steps)
Here’s a summary of the list of questions you’ll get asked with when you request for a quick quote.
- Enter Your Date Of Birth
- Male or Female?
- What’s Your Annual Income
- Select Your Occupation
- Your Zip Code
- Are you a Smoker?
- Initial Results & Recommendations
- Customization Options for your Breeze Policy
- Partial Disability – You’ll receive a benefit for 6 months if you become partially disabled and continued part-time work (after receiving payouts for total disability)
- Waiver of Premium – Premiums will be waived after you become totally disabled for the elimination period or 90 days (whichever is shorter)
- Presumptive Disability – In the event you lose your ability to see, move, hear, or speak a “no-waiting period” rule will apply. You will receive the benefits ASAP.
- Home Modification – If you need to make modifications at home to meet the needs of your condition, it will be paid for in the policy too
- Survivor Benefits – If the policyholder has been receiving disability benefits for at least 12 months—then dies—Breeze will pay a lump sum to beneficiaries equivalent to 6 times of your monthly disability benefit.
- Vocational Rehab – Policyholders who have been receiving benefit payouts for at least 6 consecutive months have the option to attend a vocational rehabilitation program at an accredited school/college/university for free.
- Organ Donor Benefit – Breeze will provide benefits if you become disabled as a result of donating a body organ or bone marrow (policy must be in effect for at least 6 months).
Breeze Optional Riders
Aside from its built-in benefits, there are several riders that you can opt to add to your policy.
Automatic Benefit Increase
If the policyholder has been receiving disability payouts for at least 1 year, for instance, this rider will boost the monthly benefit by 5% annually. However, this is as long as the benefits are continued to be paid or once the monthly payments have reached double the original amount.
Catastrophic Disability Benefit
Breeze will help you find the required assistance in the event you become cognitively disabled and need help performing daily living activities.
Critical Illness Benefit
A policyholder who will acquire (first time) any of the following illnesses/disabilities will receive additional coverage: Paralysis, organ transplant, kidney failure, stroke, heart attack, and cancer.
Allows you to increase your monthly benefit payouts by buying additional insurance (will have the same benefit period and elimination as the original policy). In other words, it won’t require proof of insurability as it’s based on current income and participation limits in effect. Note: only policyholders who are not yet disabled or receiving benefits already are entitled to this rider.
The insurance company won’t have the ability to cancel or change your policy (and added riders) through an increase in premiums or canceling prior to termination
Own Occupation Rider
Allows you to extend the “own occupation” policy period in the event you become totally disabled from two years up to X number of years you wish to add.
Residual Disability Rider
Residually disabled means being able to perform one or more of the tasks and duties—but not all—of your occupation. The same term is used if you are unable to work in your occupation for a certain percentage of time. This rider will pay you a benefit (based on your percentage loss of prior monthly income) if you become residually disabled and done with the elimination period. Benefits will continue to be paid as long as you remain in this condition. Or, until the end of the residual benefit period (whichever comes first).
Supplemental DI Rider
If you become totally disabled (and the elimination period has passed), this rider will pay a monthly benefit less any social insurance disability benefits received, dollar for dollar offset.
The following exclusions apply (the company will not pay a benefit) for illnesses or disabilities which results from:
- Self-inflicted acts
- Criminal activities
- Acts of War
- Rebellion or Civil Disobedience
- Drinking while driving (any type of motor vehicle).
How Much Does Breeze Long Term Disability Insurance Cost?
To give you an idea of how much Breeze’s LTDI policy will cost you, here are a couple of quotes taken straight from their website:
|Gender||Age||Occupation||Annual Income||Monthly Benefit||Monthly Premium||Benefit Period|
|Male||35||Light labor position||$50,000||$900||$21||5 years|
|Male (smoker)||55||Heavy Labor||$55000||$1000||$75||5 years|
|Female||60||Office job||$35000||$600||$26||5 years|
Pros & Cons of Breeze Long Term Disability Insurance
No review will be complete without knowing a product’s strengths and weaknesses. Here’s a quick overview of Breeze LTDI’s hits and misses.
- Quick – The entire process—from quote to coverage—can be completed in as little as 15 minutes.
- Convenient – Everything is done 100% online, no need to speak and transact with sales agents.
- Affordable – Plans start at as little as $9/month.
- An extensive list of built-in features – Comes with a strong selection of built-in bonuses to go along with your policy
- Plenty of optional riders to choose from – Gives you several rider options to choose from for boosting and making your coverage more flexible
- Not available in NY – As of this writing (2019), Breeze is not yet available to NY city residents
- No short term or group coverage -The company only offers long term disability insurance (for now.) Therefore, if you’re looking for short-term or group-provided income protection, better look elsewhere
Overall 2019 Review of Breeze Long Term Disability Insurance
There are plenty of good reasons to get individual long-term disability insurance: income protection that lasts for years, own-occupation provision, non-cancelability, flexibility, and tax-free income.
For the purposes of this review, however, the real question is: Is Breeze right for you?
If you’re currently employed and in relatively good health, I highly recommend that you give Breeze long-term disability insurance a try.
Who doesn’t want fast and hassle-free service? Similarly, why go the (usually) long and grueling process of conventional disability insurance when you can get covered in just a few minutes?
No more waiting in lines, no time-consuming follow-ups, and definitely, no medical exam required.
Starting right now, you can give yourself and your family the peace of mind of income protection in just a couple of clicks on the computer or a few taps on your phone.
Breeze offers commendable long-term disability coverage at competitive premium pricing. Plus, their plans are highly customizable. You can choose the amount of coverage you want based on how much in premiums you’re willing to pay. This is along with the various rider options.
And with backing from highly-rated insurance and financially-strong companies Assurity and Munich RE (both in operation for more than a century), you know you’re in stable hands.