More On The Controversy Over Definitions Of Disability

To The Editor:

This is a further comment to the July 29 article by James Foley of UnumProvident and Larry Schneiders comments in the Sept. 9 issue related to “Some Definitions of Disability.”

Mr. Schneider indicates that it is “completely erroneous” for Mr. Foley to believe that the “Loss of Earnings” definition blends in with the “own-occ” definitions. He goes on further to state: “It never has and probably never will be, unless, it is part of some unknown split!”

Not known to most individuals that have sold “Non-Can” individual disability policies is a company that did in fact have a “Your Occupation” definition that also related the definition of total disability to a loss of earnings, but in a way that could be more favorable from a claim standpoint.

The company, Minnesota Mutual, did issue contracts in the 80s and 90s that in some policies said if your earnings are reduced by 15% (in some policies it was 50%) we will pay you 100% of the monthly benefit.

Some of the contracts used these percentages with a “Your Occupation” definition for the full policy period and others provided the “Your Occupation” definition for the first 72 months (6 years). The contracts are not an easy read (from either a purchase or sales standpoint) but nevertheless enabled a claimant to collect full monthly benefits in addition to earnings from their practice/business.

Although Larry Schneider states…”why anyone would want a Loss of Earnings contract is beyond me”…here is a situation in which the extra earnings wording on top of the “Your Occupation” wording provided an added benefit that went beyond the conventional “Your Occupation” wording.

I dont believe this type of Minnesota Mutual Life contract is still being written perhaps because it was “too good.”

Art Fries, RHU
Disability Claim Consultant
Newport Beach, Calif.


He Agreed With The Tips In Tremblys Bugs Column

To The Editor:

Re: Ara Tremblys Aug. 12 column, “Why Do We Put Up With The Bugs In Software?”

Tip 1. A good tip, I have always subscribed to. Why be a pioneer? You will never get that great a business advantage from being the first with a software application, only finding the bugs.

Tip 5. Another good tip. Most users think they need that specific feature. In most cases they would be better off to adapt their business process to the software or buy another application.

The other tips were BS; bugs are part of the beast. Better software has fewer bugs and gets fixed faster. Perfection is demanded by lawyers and plaintiffs, but not practiced by either.

Harry Cooper
Cooper Insurance Agency
New Bedford, Mass.


Reproduced from National Underwriter Life & Health/Financial Services Edition, October 28, 2002. Copyright 2002 by The National Underwriter Company in the serial publication. All rights reserved.Copyright in this article as an independent work may be held by the author.