COVID-19 Resources and Information

Carrier News

The COVID-19 virus is changing the way we do business. Social distancing is resulting in a temporary hiatus from face-to-face meetings, closing offices and working remotely. Luckily, tech advances such as video conferencing and cloud-based services are making business possible.

While our business is operating as usual, our physical office is temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All of our employees are working remotely from home and can be reached via our normal phone numbers and email addresses.

The insurance carriers we work with are changing the way they do business too — scurrying to answer questions about going on claim, determining earnings, conducting exams, etc. While many carriers typically do some of their DI business online, we anticipate more e-apps and more acceptance of electronic signatures in the future. COVID-19 is creating a financial hardship for many Americans. Fortunately, many of the carriers we work with understand the impact this is having and are offering premium grace periods for policyholders. These savings can really help clients through this difficult time. Below are some updates from each of the carriers we work with.

dibroker West is your one-stop for COVID-19 updates from disability income insurance carriers! We’ll continue to update this page as information becomes available so please check back often.

Please note, all carriers are experiencing delays due to employees working from home and a higher volume of questions, calls and emails. dibroker West team members are also working remotely during this time but you should not experience any delays. Also, we've found that most carriers are extending their Underwriting and Delivery Closeout Dates to accommodate delays in completing parameds, labs, etc. Most carriers are providing leniency with 2019 tax returns due to the extended deadline for filing taxes, but they still require documentation if the client does not qualify for the normal Simplified Underwriting limits.


Ameritas

Premium Grace Periods

Ameritas is extending their normal 30-day grace period by an additional 60-days – for a total of 90-days. Clients must contact Ameritas and request the extension.

Underwriting Updates

Ameritas has increased mini-exam and lab limits under the EZ App tele-underwriting process. Depending on the medical history of an applicant, Ameritas' underwriters may find it necessary to request a mini-exam or labs even if it is not indicated on the chart below. These limits are in effect for applications received by May 31, 2020. Ameritas is currently reviewing pending cases and will apply the new guidelines to those that are eligible.

Increased Benefit Amounts
While many insurance carriers are offering help to existing policyholders, Ameritas (among two other carriers listed below) has made temporary changes to simplified underwriting guidelines for exams and labs and increased limits. This is a great opportunity for clients who don’t currently have coverage. Ameritas is not requiring labs or exams for applications up to the amounts listed below. Amounts above those listed below may be considered.

  • Individual Disability Income (IDI)  - $10,000
  • Individual Disability Income (IDI)  - $10,000
  • Business Overhead Expense (BOE) - $15,000

**UPDATE 05.26.20**
Ameritas announced today, that they'll be extending the temporary COVID-19 underwriting accommodations listed above to applications received by June 30, 2020 (previously May 31, 2020). Additionally, they have increased mini-exam and lab limits for EZ Apps with underwriting requirements based on age groups. For full details, you can view the Ameritas flyer here (PDF).

  • Individual Disability Income (IDI) Ages 18-45 - up to $10,000
    Requires TUI only
  • Individual Disability Income (IDI) Ages 18-45 - $10,000+
    Requires TUI and mini-exam
  • Individual Disability Income (IDI) Ages 46-64 - up to $6,000
    Requires TUI only
  • Individual Disability Income (IDI) Ages 46-64 - $6,000+
    Requires TUI and mini-exam
  • Business Overhead Expense (BOE) - $15,000

Tele-Underwriting Interview (TUI) mini-exam includes blood, urine, height, weight, blood pressure and pulse readings.

**UPDATE: 06.26.20**

Ameritas has updated their temporary COVID-19 accommodations, effective 06.26.20. Below are the changes you should be aware of.

Increased Benefit Amounts

The deadline date (previously 06.30.20) for the EZ App tele-underwriting increased benefit amounts listed above have been removed. Ameritas will continue with the increased limits until further notice but will continue to monitor and adjust when it’s necessary.

Premium Grace Period

The Premium Payment Grace Periods have expired in all states. All premiums are due on their stated due date.

Future Increase Options

Ameritas will continue extending Future Increase Options for 90-days, to make it easier for insureds to increase coverage. For policies with anniversary dates between Mar. 1 and Aug. 31, Ameritas will accept applications up to 90-days past the policy anniversary date.

Conditional Renewal After 65

For policies with anniversary dates between Mar. 1 and Aug. 30, Ameritas is allowing an additional 60-days for insureds to apply to conditionally renew their disability income insurance policy.


Get more info...
Call: 800.745.1112
Email: Contact Page
Ameritas’ COVID-19 Resource Page

Ameritas' Coronavirus FAQ

Assurity

Premium Grace Periods

Assurity has extended normal 30-day premium grace period for all policies by an additional 30-days – for a total of 60-days. Assurity anticipates other state-specific mandates and they encourage clients to contact them directly for additional information.

Underwriting Updates

Applications & Travel
Applicants for life, disability income, or critical illness insurance who have traveled to COVID-19 related Warning Level 3 or Alert Level 2 countries outside of the United States in the past 30 days, or plan to travel to those areas in the next 6 months, will be subject to postponement of the underwriting decision until 30 consecutive days have passed since the applicant’s return to the United States.

Labs & Exams
All age and amount guidelines for examinations and labs continue to be applicable. If required paramedical examinations or lab testing is not currently available in the region, or the applicant is uncomfortable completing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the underwriting process will proceed as follows:

  • The underwriter will notify the agent of the maximum amount of coverage available for the applicant without examination or labs, if any
  • If the applicant wants to proceed with the reduced coverage amount, underwriting and issuance will continue accordingly
  • If the applicant wants to increase coverage in the future when paramedical examination services and lab testing are available, the agent will need to contact Assurity for scheduling, underwriting and reissue
Get more info…
Call: 800.869.0355 ext. 4279 (7:00 am - 630 pm CDT)
Email: clientservices@assurity.com
Assurity's COVID-19 Resource Page

Fidelity Security

Premium Grace Periods

Fidelity Security has extended grace periods for premiums due March 1, 2020. All states are granted an additional 30-days - for a total of 60-days. Additionally, DE, WV and GA have extended grace periods until further notice.

Get more info…
Call: 800.343.3548 (24/7)
Fidelity’s COVID-19 Resource Center

Illinois Mutual

Premium Grace Periods

Illinois Mutual is extending grace periods on all of their product lines. If clients are having problems making their premium payment, they should contact Illinois Mutual Policy Service for details.

Get more info…
Call: 800.380.6688 (7:45 am - 4:30 pm CDT)
Email: PSD@IllinoisMutual.com
Illinois Mutual’s COVID-19 Resource page

Mutual of Omaha

Premium Grace Periods

Mutual of Omaha is extending their grace period an additional 30-days - bringing the total grace period an additional 30 days on top of the original grace period of 31 days. Mutual of Omaha is closely monitoring the issues with C-19 and could possibly offer further extensions in the future.

Underwriting Updates

As COVID-19 cases increase within the United States and around the world, Mutual of Omaha is issuing the following underwriting guidance on new and pending applications for life and health products, effective immediately:
  • If the proposed insured or any member of his or her household has traveled or resided outside of the United States within the past 30 days, the application will be postponed until 30 days following their return.
  • If the proposed insured or any member of his or her household has come into close contact with anyone known to the insured to have tested positive for COVID-19, the application will be postponed until 30 days following their exposure.
  • In addition, anyone testing positive for the COVID-19 virus or those who have been hospitalized or quarantined for the virus will have their application postponed for a minimum of 90 days.
**UPDATE 04.09.20**
Effective immediately, Mutual of Omaha is making the following enhancement to new applications for simplified underwriting guidelines:
  • Increasing the amount from $3,000 to $6,000 of monthly benefit
Advantages of Simplified Underwriting:
  • Ages 18-45, no labs up to and including $6,000
  • Age 46+ blood urine, physical data
  • No financial requirements up to and including $6,000 monthly benefit, all benefit periods*
*If requesting the self-employed discount, two-year financial documentation will be required.

Underwriting reserves the right to request additional information if situations are more complex.

With the introduction of the higher simplified limits, Mutual of Omaha is implementing a minimum Elimination Period of 30 days on their Short-Term Disability product. New applications will not be accepted with an Elimination Period less than 30 days. This change does not impact the Accident Only Disability product.
Get more info…
Call: 800.775.1000 (7:00 am - 5:30 pm PDT)
Email: Contact Page
Mutual of Omaha’s COVID-19 Resource Page


Petersen International

Premium Grace Periods

Petersen International is adding an additional 30-day grace period for premium installments. They're unable to extend any policies beyond expiration dates.

Underwriting Updates

Petersen underwriters are offering those who wish not to be examined at this time with own-occupation “accident only” disability coverage. These clients have the option to add “sickness” coverage at a later date when the client becomes more comfortable with having a paramedical exam.

**UPDATE 04.13.20**

Petersen International underwriters continue to be as flexible as possible. In addition to their "accident only" coverage previously offered, they're now giving applicants needing medical exams and labs even more options.

Option 1 - Paramed Exam & Lab
Examiners are equipped with (PPE) Personal Protection Equipment:

  • Examiners are required to wear gloves.
  • Examiners are required to wear long sleeves, long pants, closed-toe shoes or scrubs.
  • Examiners are required to wear facial protection that protects eyes, nose and mouth.

Option 2 - Previously Completed Exam & Lab
Copies of a paramed exam and lab that were previously completed within the last 6 months.

Option 3 - MD Exam & Lab
Applicant's primary care physician may complete the exam and lab - contact Petersen for forms and reimbursement options for the exam and lab.

Option 4 - Conditional Binder Subject to Exam & Lab
Upon receipt of a fully completed application, a conditional binder for Accident & Sickness with a full pre-existing condition exclusion can be offered for coverage for up to 60 days. Should underwriting not be completed in that 60-day time period, including but not limited to exam, lab and medical records, the conditional binder will be canceled flat from inception.

Option 5 - Accident Only Coverage No Exam & Lab
Subject to satisfactory fully completed application.

Get more info…
Call: 800.345.8816 (7:00 am - 4:00 pm PDT)

Principal

Premium Grace Periods

Principal is extending their normal 30-day grace period by an additional 60-days – for a total of 90-days. This applies to monthly bills through June 1, 2020. In states where longer grace periods are mandated, Principal will extend the grace period for the duration mandated by the state.

Underwriting Updates

Increased Benefit Amounts

While many insurance carriers are offering help to existing policyholders, Principal has also made temporary changes to simplified underwriting guidelines for exams and labs and increased limits. This is a great opportunity for clients who don’t currently have coverage. Principal is not requiring labs or exams for applications up to the amounts listed below. Amounts above those listed below may be considered.

  • Individual Disability Income (IDI) - $10,000
  • Business Overhead Expense (BOE) - $25,000
  • Key Person - $750,000
  • Buy-Sell - $1,000,000

**UPDATE 04.13.20**
Starting 04.11.20, Principal will start mailing policies directly to clients to help limit exposure to the coronavirus.

**UPDATE 04.17.20**
Relaxed Benefit Update Rider Underwriting Requirements
Principal has temporarily relaxed new business underwriting requirements to purchase the Benefit Update Rider. Effective immediately and through June 30, customers will be able to get the Benefit Update Rider if they purchase at least 50% of eligible coverage. Principal is also extending flexibility for clients who have a triennial benefit update for existing policies with an anniversary date between March 11 and August 31.

Clients who lose their rider for any reason other than attaining maximum age during this time frame will have their rider restored. This includes the following:

  • Clients who receive an increase offer and are not able to accept the 50% minimum.
  • Clients who do not respond or submit their application.
Clients will receive a notification once the rider has been restored to their policy. Please note that advance benefit update requests will be subject to normal underwriting and contractual guidelines.

Paycheck Protection Program Webinar
Principal is hosting a webinar Thursday April, 23 at 12:00 PM CDT to discuss the latest on federal stimulus for business cash flow. Featured presenter Kimberly Weisul, editor-at-large for Inc. Magazine and Inc.com will help you learn what federal stimulus is available to businesses under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Lance Schoening, government relations director for Principal®, will moderate the event with panelists Weisul and Mark West, national vice president of business solutions for Principal. Find out more and reserve your spot here. If you're unable to attend live, you can register for access to replay the webinar.

**UPDATE 05.26.20**

Principal announced that they'll be extending their COVID-19 underwriting accommodations - outlined above - through July 31, 2020.

**UPDATE 07.28.20**

Principal announced last week that they're permanently extending the increased limits introduced in the beginning of the pandemic. Clients who are 50 years old and under, will not need physical measurements or labs for the following amounts:

  • Disability Income: up to $10,000/month
  • BOE and Business Loan Protection: up to $25,000/month
  • Disability Buy Out and Key Person: up to $750,000

These limit changes DON'T apply to applicants living in CA and NY. Beginning August 1st, applicants in CA and NY and multi-life cases ages 51-64 will return to the pre-COVID-19 benefit limit amounts listed below.

  • Disability Income: up to $6,000/month
  • BOE and Business Loan Protection rider: up to $10,000/month
  • Disability Buy-Out and Key Person: up to $360,000

Get more info…
Call: 800.986.3343
Email: Contact Page
Principal’s COVID-19 Resource Page

The Standard

Premium Grace Periods

Standard is extending their normal 30-day grace period by an additional 60-days – for a total of 90-days for all individual disability insurance. In states where longer grace periods are mandated, Standard will extend the grace period for the duration mandated by the state.

Standard’s extended grace periods will be effective through June 2020.

Underwriting Updates

Increased Benefit Amounts

The Standard has also made temporary changes to simplified underwriting guidelines for exams and labs and increased limits. Standard is not requiring labs or exams for applications up to the amounts listed below. Amounts above those listed below may be considered. For now, these temporary increases are in place for applications signed on or before May 31, 2020.

  • Individual Disability Income (IDI) - $10,000
  • Business Overhead Expense (BOE) - $25,000
  • Buy-Sell - $1,000,000

**UPDATE 04.27.20**

Temporary Benefit Increase Rider (BIR) Changes

To help clients keep the their BIR options, The Standard is temporarily easing their BIR rules.

New Applications - Acceptance Requirement for BIR Lowered to 50%
The Standard has lowered the requirement that applicants accept 75% or more of the maximum benefit amount they qualify for to receive the BIR. Now accepting as little as 50% will make them eligible for the BIR, if the application is signed by May 31, 2020. Existing eligibility requirements apply.
 
In Force Policies – Requirements to Renew BIR Temporarily Waived
The Standard will also automatically renew the BIR for policies with BIR option dates between March 1 and May 31, 2020, even if applicants haven’t applied for an increase or have accepted less than 50% of the maximum increase amount they qualify for. Get more details and transition rules here.

**UPDATE 05.18.20**

The Standard has extended their COVID-19 Underwriting and Administrative Changes - outlined above - through 07.31.20. Additionally, the 91-day grace period will begin expiring for policies with initial premium due dates on or after Feb. 15, 2020. These policies will terminate if premium hasn't been received by the grace period due date. Some state exceptions will apply. You can view and download The Standard's COVID-19 Underwriting and Administrative Changes flyer here (PDF).

**UPDATE 07.28.20**

The Standard announced last week they too will be rolling back their temp COVID-19 accommodations. On July 31, 2020, these temporary guidelines will expire and The Standard will return to their normal guidelines with one exception (listed below). Standard will continue to not require labs or exams for some applications through Sept. 30, 2020.

What's Not Changing

The Standard realizes that obtaining labs and exams can still be difficult. They won’t require labs or exams for the following applications through Sept. 30, 2020.

  • Platinum Advantage - $10,000 max benefit
  • Business Overhead Protector - $25,000 max benefit
  • Business Equity Protector - $1,000,000 max benefit

What's Changing

Grace Period Extension

The special grace period of 91-days will expire on July 31, 2020. Premiums due on Aug. 1 or later must be paid within the normal 31-day grace period. The Standard will continue to extend the grace period for policies affected by any individual state insurance directives requiring more time.

75% Acceptance Requirement for BIR on New Business

The Standard is restoring the requirement that the applicant must accept at least 75% of the maximum benefit amount qualified for to be eligible for the BIR. They temporarily lowered the required acceptance amount to 50%. To qualify for the BIR with only 50% acceptance, applications must be signed by July 31, 2020 and received in the home office by Aug. 31, 2020. The 75% requirement will be in effect for all applications signed Aug. 1, 2020 or later.

BIR Renewals

On Aug. 1, 2020, The Standard will reinstate their normal processes and rules for BIR renewals. Policy owners with option dates of Aug. 1, 2020 or later must submit increase option applications during the benefit increase application period. The Standard will no longer automatically renew BIRs or provide 90-days after option dates to submit applications.

Get more info…
Call: 888.937.4783
Email: Contact Page
Standard’s COVID-19 Resource Center

Stay tuned for additional updates as they become available. Please contact your local Sales Rep or our Administrative Office for any questions.