Best Disability Insurance Companies

Northwestern Mutual is the best disability insurance company because of its size and A+ consumer rating

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When injury or illness prevents you from working, disability insurance provides much-needed financial security by replacing some or all of your earned income. The benefit amount you receive is usually a percentage of your working income. The coverage may extend for a certain number of months or years or until you reach a specified age.

To help those shopping around for disability insurance, we explored over a dozen policies and focused on factors like price, availability, coverage limits, and the time required before benefits are available. Keep reading to see what made the list of our best disability insurance companies.

5 Best Disability Insurance Companies of 2023

Best Overall : Northwestern Mutual

Northwestern Mutual

Northwestern Mutual

Key Specs
  • Sample monthly premium: Not available
  • Guaranteed renewability: Until age 50, 65, or 67
  • Elimination period: Until age 50, 65, or 67
Why We Chose It

We chose Northwestern Mutual for our overall disability insurance pick because the company is the largest seller in the United States. It is ranked A+ or higher on several consumer ranking websites.

Pros & Cons
  • Coverage for stay-at-home parents

  • Additional coverage for high-earners

  • Financially stable company

  • Achieved maximum score on the Disability Equality Index

  • Received high ranking in the J.D. Power customer satisfaction survey

  • Slightly higher average premiums for females

  • Can’t buy or get a quote online

  • Must use a local agent who earns a commission


Northwestern Mutual holds an A++ rating from AM Best and has been around since 1857, making it a sound choice for our number-one long-term disability insurance. It also holds the highest rating of A+ from the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

The company also received a perfect score on the Disability Equality Index administered by the American Association of People with Disabilities. Although the report assesses company performance for disability inclusion policies and practices rather than for their insurance offerings, it highlights Northwestern Mutual’s commitment to and understanding of disabilities.

Northwestern Mutual offers higher premium options with more generous benefits. It has four alternative definitions of total disability and has partial disability coverage options if someone can only work part-time.

The short-term policies cover illnesses, injuries, and pregnancy that a doctor confirms would prevent you from doing your normal work, like heart attacks, broken bones, bad sprains, or surgeries with a short recovery time.

Long-term benefits begin after 90 days and pay up to 65% of the salary, which maxes out at $12,000 per month for typical policies. Disability coverage has a maximum benefit period which you can customize when you choose your plan. Depending on the policy, it generally lasts until a certain age, usually 65, 67, or 70. Renewability depends on the policy, and you can purchase different renewable options.

Best Budget : Breeze



Key Specs
  • Sample monthly premium: $39 a month for $1,500 monthly benefit
  • Guaranteed renewability: Until age 65 or 67
  • Elimination period: Varies
Why We Chose It

Breeze is the best budget choice because plans begin at just $9 per month, which is extremely affordable compared to some other plans on our list.

Pros & Cons
  • Affordable

  • Online quote system

  • Write your policy in under 15 minutes

  • Newcomer to the market

  • Only sells long-term disability insurance

  • Unavailable in New York state


Breeze is our budget top pick because of its economical price tag. Policies begin at just $9 per month. It is underwritten by Assurity Life Insurance Company which has an A- rating with AM Best and an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

Buying a policy is a breeze. You can get a quote and complete the online application process in less than 20 minutes; no insurance agent is necessary. 

Breeze offers policies countrywide, except for the state of New York. Elimination or waiting periods vary, and policies are guaranteed renewable through age 65 or 67.

Most people under 50 don’t need a medical exam unless they earn more than $4,000 per month. Coverage maxes out at $20,000 per month, with benefit periods varying by the policy.

Breeze sells long-term disability insurance with supplemental options for critical illnesses, catastrophic disability, and more. The company won’t cover pre-existing conditions or certain occupations, including the armed forces, pilots, and students.

Best Short-Term Disability Insurance : Mutual of Omaha

Mutual of Omaha

Mutual of Omaha

Key Specs
  • Sample monthly premium: $40 a month for $1,000 monthly coverage
  • Guaranteed renewability: Until age 67
  • Elimination period: 30, 60, 90, 180, 365, or 730 days
Why We Chose It

Mutual of Omaha offers flexibility, and shorter waiting times, making it the ideal choice for our short-term disability insurance choice.

Pros & Cons
  • Online quotes available

  • Waiting periods from 0 days

  • Policies can be customized

  • Must use an agent to buy policies

  • High monthly premiums up to $124 for $1,000 a monthly


With an A+ rating from AM Best, Mutual of Omaha is our top short-term disability insurance because it covers from day one of a disability and has a benefit period of up to 70 years of age. 

Coverage extends to $20,000 per month, depending on your salary, and plans have an elimination period of 30 to 730 days. Plans are guaranteed renewable until age 67.

Besides short-term disability insurance, Mutual of Omaha provides long-term disability and accident-only insurance. It offers plans across the entire United States, but people must buy plans from an agent, even though they can quote their plan online.

Mutual of Omaha’s short-term disability policies dominate the competition with valuable included benefits, such as partial disability benefits, waiver of premiums for people disabled for 90 days or more, and guaranteed renewable status.

Best Long-Term Disability Insurance : Guardian



Key Specs
  • Sample monthly premium: $128 a month for $3000 monthly coverage
  • Guaranteed renewability: Until age 65 or 70
  • Elimination period: 90 days
Why We Chose It

Guardian is our top pick for long-term disability insurance as it offers a range of optional riders for genuinely personalized coverage.

Pros & Cons
  • Online quotes widely available

  • Choose from several riders, including student loan payment protection

  • Supplemental disability insurance available with no medical exam

  • Can be expensive for some manual occupations

  • Must use an agent to finalize and purchase policies

  • Group disability insurance coverage maxes out at 60%


Guardian Life provides countrywide coverage and is underwritten through the Berkshire Life Insurance Company of America, which has an A++ rating from AM Best. It’s named our top long-term disability insurance as it offers its own occupation coverage. This means it covers a portion of your income if you can’t do your regular job but would be deemed able to do other work forms. 

It offers long- and short-term disability policies plus supplemental coverage, with some form of coverage available countrywide.

The premiums are not the cheapest. For example, a female 30-year-old teacher in California earning $50,000 would pay $128 monthly for $3000 of benefits, with an elimination period of 90 days. Plans are guaranteed renewable until age 65 or 70 under specific policies and conditions. You must contact an agent to purchase.

Best For Risky Occupation Fields : Assurity



Key Specs
  • Sample monthly premium: $87.81 a month for $2,480 monthly coverage
  • Guaranteed renewability: Until age 67
  • Elimination period: 30, 60, 90, or 180 days
Why We Chose It

Assurity is best for risky occupations as it offers affordable cover for professionals, from electricians to machine operators, both full-time and self-employed.

Pros & Cons
  • Reputable company

  • Online quotes available

  • Cover for most high-risk occupations

  • Must use an agent or employer to purchase policies

  • Uses traditional underwriting, which can be slow

  • Non-cancelable rider available, but not available in Florida or Massachusetts


People working in high-risk occupations can find it challenging to buy disability insurance. However, Assurity, with its A- financial rating from AM Best, is our top choice for those with risky occupations. It extends affordable cover to those working with construction, heavy machinery, bricklaying, and electrical installations, along with self-employed individuals.

Using their online quotation system, we found that a 40-year-old male in Texas who works in the labor occupation class earning $3,400 a month would pay $87.81 a month for $2,480 monthly coverage for a five-year benefit period. You’ll need an insurance agent to purchase.

Policies have elimination periods of 30, 60, 90, 180, or 365 days and include up to $20,000 in total benefits, making their plans ideal for higher earners. Plans are guaranteed renewable until age 67. 

Assurity offers short and long-term disability insurance options, although access to all features may be limited in some states.

Compare the Best Disability Insurance Companies


These sample monthly premium costs are meant to estimate what you could be paying month to month. Disability insurance rates are influenced by various factors, including your own individual income and occupation. The below rates may look different for you depending on these factors.

Insurance Provider Sample Monthly Premium Guaranteed Renewability Elimination Period
Northwestern Mutual
Best Overall
Not available Until age 50, 65, or 67 Until age 50, 65, or 67
Best Budget
$39 for $1,500 benefit Until age 65 or 67 Varies
Mutual of Omaha
Best Short-Term Disability Insurance
$40 for $1,000 coverage Until age 67 30, 60, 90, 180, 365, or 730 days
Best Long-Term Disability Insurance
$128 for $3000 coverage Until age 65 or 70 90 days
Best For Risky Occupation 
$87.81 for $2,480 coverage Until age 67 30, 60, 90, 180, or 365 days

Guide to Choosing the Best Disability Insurance

What you need in a disability insurance policy will depend on several factors, including income, age, cost of living, and the type of work you perform. You want a policy that you can afford to pay the premiums for but will also pay enough money for you to live on in the event of disability.

Other factors you need to consider include how long you have to wait until benefits kick in and whether you can continue renewing your policy as you age. In addition to personal factors, consider industry rankings and an insurer's reputation.

Final Verdict

Our top pick is Northwestern Mutual for best overall disability insurance, as it is consistently placed first in industry rankings. A company's size is an important factor in disability insurance. You want to know that the company has enough cash flow if you need to file a claim. The high level of consumer satisfaction and rankings of Northwestern Mutual makes it a top pick.

For those working in risky occupations, choices are limited, but Assurity is an excellent option. If the expense is an overriding concern, newcomer Breeze provides excellent coverage for the price. 

With its zero wait time policies, Mutual of Omaha makes a sound investment for short-term disability cover. In contrast, Guardian rules the long-term disability insurance category because of its range of additional options. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Disability Insurance?

Disability insurance covers a portion of an employed person’s income if they can’t work because of an illness or injury. It doesn’t just cover accidents that leave someone unable to walk but also issues like heart attacks, musculoskeletal disorders, cancer, and even pregnancies. In other words, these are common health concerns that could happen to anyone, anytime.

Do You Need Short-Term Or Long-Term Disability Insurance?

Short-term disability insurance is designed to cover you immediately after a serious illness or injury. Long-term disability insurance replaces up to 70% of gross income if someone’s condition prevents them from working longer-term or beyond the end of their short-term disability insurance benefit period.

Ideally, you should have both short-term and long-term disability insurance. With both policies in place, you’re financially protected almost immediately in the event of an unexpected health problem and for several years or more into the future. 

Should You Get Disability Insurance?

If you can afford it, and especially if you’re the family’s primary income earner, it’s worthwhile to have the peace of mind that some of your income is protected.

However, you should also think about your specific occupation. If you’re someone who works standing, even a sprained ankle could prevent you from working. If, however, you’re someone who works from home at a computer, there’s a considerably smaller chance you could be disabled to the extent you couldn’t work at all.

How Much Does Disability Insurance Cost?

The monthly premium for disability insurance ranges from 1% to 4% of their gross annual income. If you make $30,000 a year, you could pay around $300 to $1,200 annually or $25 to $100 each month. 

Plans with strict qualifying criteria for disabilities typically cost less than more generous plans. Factors such as age, occupation, and if you smoke can also affect the cost of a policy. 

What Is Excluded From Coverage?

Pre-existing health conditions may exclude you from coverage. If you become ill or disabled and cannot work and earn an income, your insurance plan could deny coverage if an excluded health condition causes the disability.


We analyzed 12 insurance companies before deciding on our picks for each category. We considered factors that included the plans offered, options, premium costs, how quickly coverage would begin, how simple it was to get a quote, and the ease of purchasing a policy.

Because a solid history of client satisfaction and financial stability are essential, we also reviewed data from the NAIC, BBB, and AM Best before determining the best disability insurance providers.

Female nurse checking medical records while patient sitting at desk in doctor's office

 Maskot / Getty Image

Article Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. AM Best. AM Best affirms credit ratings of The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company and its subsidiary.

  2. Better Business Bureau. Northwestern Mutual.

  3. Disability Equality Index. 2020 DEI Report.

  4. AM Best. Assurity Life Insurance Company.

  5. Better Business Bureau. Assurity Life Insurance Company.

  6. AM Best. AM Best affirms credit ratings of Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company and its subsidiaries.

  7. AM Best. Guardian Life.

  8. Breeze. How much does disability insurance cost per month in 2023?