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Disability market snapshots: DIonDemand, Unum and more

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Daniel Steenerson, one of the industry’s most visible disability insurance distribution specialists, has started a company that can make buying a simple individual disability insurance policy online about as quick as buying an airplane ticket from an online travel agency.

See also: Americans STILL underestimate the risk of disability

Steenerson’s company, DIonDemand, says it can quote, approve and issue a disability insurance policy through its site within about 20 minutes.

The premium for the policy costs about 1 percent of the insured’s income and protects about 60 percent of the applicant’s gross pay. The company says it will get the policies from a group of carriers with ratings of A+ or higher. 

To qualify for coverage, consumers have to fill out a nine-question screening questionnaire anonymously. The application intake system warns consumers before they start that applicants who are working as firefighters, police officers, long-haul truck drivers, chiropractors or active or reserve military personnel may not be eligible for a policy.

The system also warns consumers that having conditions such as HIV, insulin-dependent diabetes or multiple sclerosis might keep them from getting coverage.

Steenerson timed the announcement of the launch of the new site to coincide with Disability Insurance Awareness Month.

In other awareness month news:

  • ReWalk Robotics Ltd. says a customer in Cambridge, Minn., has received insurance reimbursement for the purchase of a ReWalk 6.0 Personal System exoskeleton. The customer, Jackson Larson, is paralyzed from the waist down. He is using the ReWalk exoskeleton to increase his ability to get around.

  • Unum Group Corp. (NYSE:UNM) has published a disability insurance claim trend update. The company says the number of long-term disability (LTD) insurance claims it gets that are linked to musculoskeletal disorders has increased 33 percent in the last decade, and that the percentage linked to joint disorders has increased 22 percent. Unum says an uptick in obesity rates seems to be responsible for much of the increase.

  • Hartford Financial Services Group (NYSE:HIG), which recently renewed its sponsorship agreement with U.S. Paralympics, an organization that works with athletes with physical disabilities, released a report based on a recent return-to-work perceptions survey. Hartford found that 26 percent of the 1,000 survey participants said they think of depression as a physical disability. Perhaps more surprising, only 77 percent said they think being a paraplegic or quadriplegic qualifies as having a physical disability. The survey team also found that about 10 percent of participants were reluctant to try to return to their existing jobs full time if they became disabled, and 5 percent of Millennials said they would not want to try to be physically fit if they became disabled.

  • The Ruderman Family Foundation is taking nominations for the Ruderman Best in Business Award program. The program honors businesses that show they employ people with disabilities, train and support the employees, and work to maximize the abilities of employees with disabilities. Nominations are due May 25.

See also: 

Disability Insurance Awareness Month starts Monday

7 time-tested disability insurance sales tips

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