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Disability Insurance > Articles > Disability Insurance 101 > Serious Illness Supplement Benefit

Serious Illness Supplement Benefit

The Serious Illness Supplement Benefit is an endorsement to your disability policy that pays an additional 50% of your monthly disability benefit if your total disability was solely due to cancer, stroke or heart attack. This added benefit is payable for up to 12 months during the life of your disability insurance policy.

You do not need to apply for this benefit. The Serious Illness Supplement Benefit endorsement is simply added to your policy if you do not have any health concerns at the time of your application. There are no added cost for this benefit either. You just need to be healthy in the eyes of the underwriters at the time you apply for your policy. This is another reason why you should apply for individual disability insurance while you are healthy. Since you don’t know when your next serious illness or injury will come, you want to apply as soon as you can.

Of all of the possible things that can disable you, about 90% of possible causes will arises from illness, the rest from accidents. Some of these sicknesses are due to cancer, stroke or heart attack. New cases of cancer is about 454 out of 100,000 people.1 Stroke is the leading cause of serious long-term disability2 and every year, about 790,000 Americans have a heart attack.3

Some of these serious illnesses happened to people that are already retired. However, the rest are still working and are very much so dependent on their income to raise children, maintain a standard of living and accumulate wealth for retirement. The cumulative effects of cancer, stroke or heart attack can really cripple your wealth building process.

If you suffer a disability due to cancer, stroke or heart attack, you will be eligible for your monthly disability benefits and an additional 50% of your total disability benefit for 12 months from the Serious Illness Supplement Benefit endorsement. This benefit is just another feature that can really help lessen the financial impact of a long-term disability.

If you are overall healthy, you would typically be optimistic about your own health and not so worried about disabilities due to stroke, cancer or heart attacks. The probability of stroke, cancer or heart attack during your working years may be small. Your risk has to be small in order to be approved for disability insurance with the Serious Illness Supplement Benefit endorsement. However, the financial consequences of lost income can be very large, unknown and unpredictable. You can mitigate the risk of lost income over to an insurance company for a small, known and predictable cost.

The Serious Illness Supplement Benefit endorsement is a relatively new and unique feature found in Guardian’s newest disability insurance offering, the Provider Choice4 disability insurance policy.

1. https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/understanding/statistics

2. https://www.cdc.gov/stroke/facts.htm

3. Benjamin EJ, Blaha MJ, Chiuve SE, Cushman M, Das SR, Deo R, et al. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2017 Update: A Report From the American Heart Association. 2017

4. Individual disability insurance policy Forms 18ID, 18UD, and 18GI 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 18ID, the expected benefit ratio is 50%. For policy forms 18UD, 18GI, 18UD-F, an 18GIF,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. Optional riders are available for an additional premium.


Jack Le, CLU® holds a Financial Representative contract with The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America based out of New York, NY.

2018-56762 Exp 03/20




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