Who is eligible to Apply?
In order to apply for coverage in the plan, you must be an active member of The Florida Bar, Registered Paralegal, or employee of a law firm, actively engaged in the practice of your regular occupation, and working at least 30 hours per week in that occupation. Your eligibility is also subject to review based on the information and the medical history provided on your application and, if necessary, by your attending physician or other medical sources. Other evidence of insurability may also be required.
Competitive Group Rates for Members
This plan offers very competitive group rates for members of The Florida Bar/Registered Paralegals/Legal Staff. You are also protected from individual rate increases. Your premium will only increase when you enter a new age-rating category or if rates increase for all participants in the group.
How to Apply
We strive to make the application process as painless as possible.
Click here to Apply online, or you can Download Printable Enrollment Kit
No physical/paramed exam is typically required by Guardian to apply. If neccesary, you may be required to provide more detailed information about specific medical conditions and/or medical records may be ordered from your attending physicians at no cost to you. For monthly benefit amounts greater than $100, acceptance into the plan is not guaranteed and is subject to evidence of insurability as determined by Guardian.
How much should I apply for?
The monthly disability benefit amount that you choose in this plan cannot be more than 60% of your monthly insured earnings. To estimate this amount, divide your estimated annual earned income by 12 and multiply by .60. Current additional underwriting limits may apply. At the time of claim, your combined group disability coverage cannot exceed 60% of your monthly insured earnings.
This plan works very well as a supplement to Individual Disability insurance. If you already own an Individual Disability insurance policy, your combined individual and group monthly disability benefits cannot exeed 100% of your monthly insured earnings.
What are my chances for becoming disabled?
Most people don't realize their chances of becoming disabled are greater than they realize.
The Council for Disability Awareness provides a useful website to assist the America public. The CDA is a non-profit organization committed to informing and educating the American public about the widespread and growing frequency of disability, and the financial impact it can have, provides.
CDA Disability Statistics and Probability Tools >
Paying the premium applicable for your particular age automatically renews this coverage. Coverage will end only if (1) you do not pay this premium: (2) you retire: (3) you cease to be actively engaged full time in your profession: (4) you cease to be a member of The Florida Bar, Registered Paralegal, or employed by a member of The Florida Bar: (5) the group policy ends. Otherwise, coverage is renewable to any age.
Own Occupation Definition of Disability
This plans definition of disability is specific to your own occupation.
A member is considered disabled if he or she has physical, mental or emotional limits caused by a current sickness or injury and, due to these limits, he or she is: (a) not able to perform, on a full- time basis, the major duties of his or her Own occupation: and (b) not able to earn more than this plan's maximum allowed income earned during disability, This own occupation definition remains in effect for your full benefit period.
Customize Your Benefits
You may choose the maximum payment period, elimination period, and monthly benefit amount that best meets your needs. These features help you manage and control the cost of your benefit plan.
The maximum payment period (also commonly referred to as the "benefit period") is the maximum period of time for which benefits are paid by this plan.
The elimination period (also commonly referred to as the "waiting period") is the period of time you must be disabled, due to a covered disability, before this plan's benefits are payable.
The monthly disability benefit amount is the amount that you choose and Guardian approves as your maximum monthly disability benefit in this plan. This amount cannot be more than 60% of your monthly insured earnings. Current additional underwriting limits may apply. At the time of claim, your combined group monthly disability benefits cannot exceed 60% of your monthly insured earnings. If you already own an Individual Disability policy, your combined individual and group monthly disability benefits cannot exceed 100% of your monthly insured earnings.
Available Monthly Disability Benefit Amounts: $100, $500, $750, $1000, $1250, $1500, $2000, $2500, $3000, $3500, $4000, $4500, $5000, $5500, $6000, $6500, $7000, $7500, $8000, $8500, $9000, $9500, $10000.
Available Maximum Payment Periods: To age 65, 5 Years, 2 Years
Available Elimination Periods: 90 Days, 180 Days, 360 Days
Optional COLA and Critical Disability Benefits
You may choose to add a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) and Critical Disability Supplement (CDS) benefits to your plan. The cost for adding these optional benefits are 14% of your base premium.
COLA - We apply a cost of living adjustment to your monthly benefit each year while you are disabled. This allows your monthly benefit to change with inflation. The cost of living factor equals the lesser of: (a) one-half of the CPI-W from the prior December; and (b) 3%.
CDS - Critical Disability Supplement pays an additional benefit if you have a functional disability, meaning that, due to sickness or injury, you are: (a) not able to perform two or more activities of daily living on a routine basis, without at least standby help; or (b) cognitively impaired and needs constant verbal cueing to protect himself or herself or others. If you meet the conditions of the policy, we pay 10% of your insured earnings up to a monthly maximum of $5,000.00. may be treated as a recurring disability. If the later disability is a recurring disability, you will not need to complete a new elimination period before becoming entitled to benefits.
Allows you to rebuild your income to its pre-disability level as you return to full-time work. During the first 12 months you return to work, your combined gross monthly benefit and current part-time earnings while disabled can be as much as 100% of your pre-disability earnings.
This coverage includes an elective rehabilitation program. While you participate in a rehabilitation program approved by Guardian, you are entided to receive 110% of the monthly benefit otherwise payable to you. Additional consideration can be given to ancillary expenses, such as childcare costs, which are incurred to allow you to participate in the rehabilitation.
Waiver of Premium Benefit
If you become disabled and satisfy the elimination period, we will waive premiums which become due during any continuing period of disability for which you are receiving benefits.
Waiver of Elimination Period Benefit
Your benefits in this plan will end when you cease to be disabled. In the event that you suffer a later disability, the disability may be treated as a recurring disability. If the later disability is a recurring disability, you will not need to complete a new elimination period before becoming entitled to benefits.
Disabilities due to mental and nervous disorders, and alcohol or drug abuse, are covered under this plan for a lifetime maximum of two years.
Disabilities that are not covered
Your policy does not cover disabilities or losses caused by, contributed to, or resulting from:
- War, any act of war, or military service
- Suicide, attempted suicide, or intentionally self-inflicted injury
- Service in the armed forces
- Participation in a riot or other civil disorder
- Participation in an unlawful occupation
- Also, no benefits are payable for any period of disability during which you are not receiving the regular care and treatment of a doctor other than yourself.
No physical exam is typically required to apply, however, Guardian may request a completed physical exam and/or doctor's records to determine insurability. This will be at no cost to you. For monthly benefit amounts greater than $100, acceptance into the plan is not guaranteed and is subject to evidence of insurability as determined by Guardian.
30-Day Free Look
If your application is approved by Guardian, and have made your initial premium payment, you will receive your new certificate of coverage. Be sure that you understand all of your rights and benefits under the plan. If you are not completely satisfied, for any reason, return the certificate of coverage within 30 days of receipt and your premium will be fully refunded, no questions asked.
Founded In 1860. The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, New York, NY (Guardian) is one of the largest mutual life insurance companies in the United States. As of December 31, 2009, Guardian and its subsidiaries had $30.9 billion in assets (on a consolidated statutory basis). With more than 5,000 employees and 3,000 financial representatives, as well as more than 80 agencies nationwide, Guardian and its subsidiaries protect individuals, businesses and their employees with life, disability, health, long-term care, and dental insurance products, and offer 401(k), annuities and other financial products and trust services. More information about Guardian can be obtained at: www.GuardianLife.com.