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Guardian Unit Updates Disability Policy

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Berkshire Life Insurance Company of America is rolling out a new version of the ProVider Plus individual disability insurance policy.

The new version offers the addition of 10-year and “to age 67″ benefit periods, price decreases for some doctors and dentists who choose a “to age 65″ benefit period, and a revised “residual rider” that can help support professionals rebuild their practices as they recover from conditions that are serious but allow them to do some work, according to Berkshire Life, Pittsfield, Mass., a unit of Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, New York.

Other new features include a provision that triggers benefits payments when a holder suffers a 15% loss of income, and a provision that can pay benefits “dollar for dollar” for the first 12 months of a residual policy.

Typical policies set a 20% loss-of-income threshold and pay only 50% of the income lost during the first 6 months that benefits are paid, Berkshire says.

The updated policy also pays a proportionate benefit during the benefit period after the insured individual returns to work, but continues to have at least a 15% loss of income.

New riders include a 4-year delayed 3% cost-of-living adjustment rider and a Future Increase Option rider.