“Own Occupation” is a term used in the definitions of total and residual disability in disability insurance policies. In these definitions, own occupation means the specific occupation you are engaged in at the time you became disabled. Most policies provided to medical and dental professionals, and lawyers define “own occupation” as the specific specialty you practice within your field. Sometimes “specialty letters” specifically defining this explanation were provided with your policy when it was issued.
Many individuals who have own occupation coverage in their Individual Disability Insurance policies often believe it means the occupation they performed at the time their coverage was purchased or the general occupation for which they are trained. Many professionals also believe that in determining own occupation, the assessment will be limited to their professional occupation. However, the disability insurance company may argue they have multiple occupations such as administrator or executive in addition to their professional occupation, or those other occupations compromise some or all of the material and substantial duties of their occupation.
At Seltzer & Associates, we can assist you in reviewing and understanding how own occupation coverage in your policy applies to your unique situation. It is important to review your specific policy and understand the definition of own occupation as it appears in your policy. It is imperative that you have a full understanding of what your material and substantial duties are in your own occupation and how the company, in its assessment, will view your duties and your occupation. We will help you with an analysis of how your medical condition relates to the important components of your occupation in order to present your claim in the strongest possible way.