The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian) is making a special offer to the Residents and Fellows training at Columbia University. You may obtain Individual disability insurance coverage through Guardian on a Guaranteed Standard Issue (GSI) basis. This is available anytime during your residency or fellowship and up to 90 days after you complete your training.

Guardian is an independent company. Guardian is not an official Columbia vendor or associated with, authorized, sponsored, or endorsed by Columbia University.

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  • A Definition of Disability - Just for Physicians!
    • Not Available Anywhere Else In The Industry.
  • This program gives you the opportunity to protect your income if you become disabled, even if you have pre-existing conditions that would normally prevent you from obtaining coverage. In addition, the policy is a personally owned individual disability insurance policy that is portable.

Why You Should Consider Applying With Guardian First

Should you apply with another company before Guardian, it could prevent you from being eligible for Guardian's Guaranteed Standard Issue (GSI) offer. Obtaining personal disability insurance without any pre-existing condition exclusion, or rating is not easy to do without a GSI offer. Should you apply with another company first, and that application results in an exclusion rider, extra rating, or decline, you would not be eligible for the Guardian GSI offer. Applying with another company when you know a GSI offer exists is gambling with your financial future, it is never a good idea.

Guardian requires you to apply with them first to make sure they do not become the company only getting people with serious medical conditions, while other companies get people in perfect health who may be less likely to go on claim. GSI offers only work long-term when an insurance company gets the majority of the business from that hospital, they know there is a good chance they will pay some claims so they need the law of large numbers to make it profitable.

Common Conditions That Result in Exclusions, Ratings, or Declines

  • Stress, Anxiety, or Depression
  • Build / BMI
  • Chiropractic History
  • Pregnancy
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer History


  • In addition to pre-existing medical conditions, Special GSI policies can be issued without consideration of potentially dangerous avocational activities such as rock climbing, motor sports, scuba diving, skydiving, and martial arts.
  • Height and Weight (build) are not taken into consideration.
  • Optional Catastrophic Disability Benefits (CAT) and Student Loan Riders (SLR) are available.
  • This unique benefit is available to individuals who have not been declined or given a modified offer of individual disability insurance through a carrier other than Guardian more than nine months after their hire date or in the past five years, whichever is shorter.


Some of the strongest, most flexible protection a physician can get — this is not available anywhere else in the industry!

Our enhanced definition starts with our strong True Own-Occupation Definition of Total Disability. If totally disabled, it provides a physician with the flexibility to be gainfully employed, in some instances even in their own practice, and still receive total disability benefits. Then we add a straightforward, easy-to-understand formula to qualify for benefits. It’s based on the source of your earnings and provides more ways to qualify for total disability benefits.

We’ll consider you totally disabled if more than 50% of your income is from:

  • Hands-on patient care and, solely because of injury or illness, you can no longer perform hands-on patient care; or
  • Performing surgical procedures and, solely because of injury or illness, you can no longer perform surgical procedures.

If you have limited your occupation to the performance of the material and substantial duties of a single medical specialty, we will deem that specialty to be your occupation. If you don’t qualify for benefits under the source-of-earnings formula above, then we’ll look at your key duties, including those you were performing in your medical specialty at the time your disability began, to assess whether you qualify.

Other Hospitals With Guardian GSI Disability Insurance Offers

Guardian is one of the premier disability insurance companies for physicians nationwide. There are Guardian GSI disability insurance offers for Residents and Fellows at New York Presbyterian and 50+ other premier hospitals across the country.

2023-164355 Exp: 1/1/26