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What is the Own-Occupation Rider on a Disability Policy and Do I Need It?

2018 July 3
by zanderins

The own-occupation rider is a nice benefit to have, but not crucial depending on your line of work and budget. Many people who work in non-specialty fields overpay for this benefit since there are few disabilities (outside of the most severe) that would limit you from performing the principal duties of most occupations. This rider was primarily marketed to specialty physicians when it was introduced, and the experience has gone poorly for the insurance companies.

With Zander, the own-occupation rider is offered as an optional benefit; Dave typically only recommends it based on the room in your budget and where you are in the Baby Steps. However, Dave would not recommend spending money on it if you do not have your emergency fund established and are still struggling with debt – it is not a priority over those issues. With older policies, the own-occupation rider may already be included. If this is the case for you, unless you are finding a plan with similar coverage or your budget has gotten really tight and you need to remove the rider to fund other priorities, consider keeping what you have.