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We recently reviewed Erie Indemnity Insurance Company's long-term disability policy that is written by MetLife. MetLife writes many good individual and group insurance policies, but employees of Erie should understand that Erie has bought a substandard policy.

A warning for Erie Indemnity Insurance Company employees.Most group policies will pay you 60-66 percent of your predisability income if you become disabled. The Erie policy that it purchased from MetLife will pay 60 percent of your benefits, but only up to the first $33,333 of your earnings. Let's say for example that you worked for Erie, and you make $75,000.00 a year. If you become disabled, under most employer sponsored group disability policies you would be paid $45,000 a year for as long as long as you remain disabled. The policy that Erie bought will pay you only $20,000.

This means that most Erie employees who go out on disability will not be able to sustain any reasonable standard of living under this policy.

Erie, as an employer, is free to offer whatever types of employee benefits that it wishes. However, when it tells its employees that it has a "long-term disability insurance policy that will protect you" it really ought to have a bright red sticker warning people that this policy won't do that at all.

Erie Indemnity employees should be on the free market looking for an individual policy to supplement their Erie LTD policy, or they should be yelling, kicking, and screaming at human resources that they have no policy at all.

In my book, Robbery Without a Gun, I wrote that most group long-term disability insurance policies provided by employers are shams. This one is worse than most. Erie Indemnity employees should be forewarned.

Ben Glass
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Ben Glass is a nationally recognized ERISA disability & life insurance attorney in Fairfax, VA.
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