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Disability insurance is a critical, but sometimes overlooked, coverage for anyone who earns an income. Many employees secure disability insurance through employers, but not every employer offers the coverage. Sometimes employer coverage may not be enough to cover your needs in the event of a disability.
Shopping for disability coverage can be time-consuming. The application process can be lengthy and underwriting, the process insurers use to decide whether to approve an application, can be involved.
Breeze simplifies the disability insurance process by offering an online application, streamlined underwriting and educational information to ensure you understand your coverage. Breeze also offers critical illness insurance, which provides a cash benefit in the event of a serious illness like cancer or a heart attack.
Breeze’s policies are underwritten by Assurity Life, which has an “excellent” rating from AM Best, an insurance rating company. You can feel secure in knowing that your policy is issued by a reputable company.
Breeze is a good choice if you don’t have access to disability coverage through work, especially if you’re a business owner or self-employed. The downsides to Breeze include its limited product selection and lack of information around claims and customer service. If you need other types of coverage, you’ll need to shop for those separately, and some find it convenient to have all their insurance coverage with the same provider.
- Employees without disability insurance
- Business owners
- Easy to get quotes
- Fast application
- Online application
- No mobile app (but is mobile-friendly)
- Limited product selection
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While Breeze’s product offerings are limited, it does offer a range of options for those products. Here’s a closer look at the products Breeze offers: disability and critical illness insurance.
Disability insurance is insurance that provides a benefit if you’re no longer able to earn an income due to a disability. It’s a benefit offered by many employers, but not all. If your employer does offer disability insurance, learn whether it offers short-term disability, long-term disability or both.
Short-term disability typically offers benefits for up to 2 years. Long-term disability offers benefits for a few years to the rest of your life, depending on the terms of the policy. Breeze offers long-term disability insurance with a range of benefit options.
Even if you have workers’ compensation benefits through your employer, it’s a good idea to have disability insurance. Workers’ compensation only provides a benefit if you have a work-related illness or injury. Disability insurance pays a benefit if you meet the policy’s requirements regardless of where the disability occurred. In other words, if you’re disabled from an accident or an illness not related to work, a disability policy may pay benefits but workers’ compensation won’t.
Why Disability Insurance is Important
Many people will be faced with a disabling event at some point in their working life. That could mean months of not being able to work. While you may have sick leave, that may be exhausted quickly. If you work for yourself, you won’t have access to sick leave.
Disability insurance makes up for the loss of income. It typically pays 60% to 70% of your taxable income. The lower benefit is because disability benefits that you pay for aren’t taxed, so it’s meant to reflect your income after taxes.
How Disability Insurance Works
Disability insurance has several factors that impact the premium and the benefits you receive. Breeze allows you to adjust some of these so you can purchase an affordable policy that meets your needs.
Policy factors to consider include:
- The benefit period: This is how long your policy pays benefits. You can typically choose from 5 or 10 years to lifetime benefits. Most people will qualify for Social Security retirement benefits at age 65 as long as they’ve worked at least 10 years, so you may want to choose a benefit period that will cover you until then.
- The waiting period: This is how long you have to wait until your benefits start. If you have access to a short-term disability policy, you could opt for a longer waiting period. A waiting period of 60 to 90 days is standard.
- The benefit amount: Opt for a benefit amount that’s 60% to 70% of your pre-tax income. If that’s not affordable, consider a lower benefit amount or a longer waiting period to bring down your costs.
- Cost of living increases: A disability policy may pay benefits for 10 years or more. Consider opting for a policy that includes cost of living increases to keep up with inflation.
Critical Illness Insurance
This insurance pays a one-time lump sum benefit if you experience a covered condition. Breeze’s policy covers several conditions, including:
- Major organ transplant
- Kidney failure
- Advanced Alzheimer’s disease
You can choose your benefit amount. Given how expensive hospital bills can be, consider a benefit amount that will cover your deductible plus potential coinsurance costs.
You want excellent customer service while you buy a policy and after you have one in place. Breeze makes it easy to get a quote and apply for a policy.
To get a quote, you enter basic information like your birthdate and gender. You also select the type of work you do and enter your annual income. Once you do, you’re given a few quotes with the option to review more coverage options.
If you decide to move forward with an application, you start with a few screening questions and set up an account. At that point, you also can see the customer service number (402-256-5230) at the bottom of your screen. The customer service hours are somewhat limited: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST.
Once you have your account set up, you answer questions about your health and lifestyle to find out whether you qualify for a policy.
While Breeze makes it easy to get started with a policy, your options for getting in touch are limited, especially if you’re applying or need assistance outside normal business hours.
Breeze doesn’t have any information about claims publicly available on its website. You can use the same number as customer service (402-256-5230) to file a claim by phone. Breeze is underwritten by a reputable company, so it should have the financial ability to pay claims in the future. You may receive more information about the claims process when you purchase a policy.
Breeze offers competitive rates and multiple plan options. You can choose a benefit amount, benefit period and waiting period that make sense for you and your budget. It’s easy to compare plans and make an informed decision.
Breeze doesn’t have a mobile app. The website is optimized for mobile browsing, and you can complete an application via your phone’s web browser. However, it doesn’t have an app or the features that may come with an app, like access to chat.
Breeze’s strength is in its focused product offerings and easy application process. Finding and applying for disability can be an involved process, and Breeze makes it easy. You can complete the application in less than 20 minutes and in most cases, know whether you’re approved for a policy right away.
Breeze also provides extensive resources about how disability and critical illness insurance work. Good insurance providers want their policyholders to understand what they’re buying and how it works.
Breeze doesn’t provide much insight into how it handles claims or its customer service options. Its customer service hours are also limited, which can make it challenging for someone to get in touch if they aren’t available during business hours.
This provider also has limited product offerings. If you prefer to have all your policies with 1 provider, that isn’t possible with Breeze. It also focuses on individual policies, so if you’re looking for group coverage for your business, you’ll need to work with another provider.
Breeze is best for those who prefer an easy, seamless application process without any pushy salespeople.
To make the most of what the Breeze has to offer, compare its quotes to other disability insurance providers. Choose your coverage based on service, policy options and price.