Close this search box.

Table of Contents

Own-Occupation Policy


An Own-Occupation Policy is a type of disability insurance which protects the policyholder in case they’re unable to perform the duties of their specific occupation due to an illness or injury. This policy allows them to receive benefits, even if they can work in a different field while disabled. It’s typically more expensive than other types of disability insurance policies due to its comprehensive coverage.


The phonetic transcription of “Own-Occupation Policy” is /oʊn ˌɑːkjʊˈpeɪʃən ˈpɑːləsi/.

Key Takeaways

  1. Definition: Own-Occupation Policy is a type of long-term disability insurance that covers a policyholder in the event they cannot perform the duties of their specific occupation due to injury or illness. This is in contrast to an “Any-Occupation” policy, where benefits are only provided if the policyholder is unable to perform the duties of any job suitable to their skill set.
  2. Benefits: This policy is particularly beneficial for individuals in specialized fields, like surgeons or musicians, where a physical disability could prevent them from practicing their specialty, even if they are capable of doing other work. The insurance policy would cover their income loss, allowing them to maintain their current standard of living.
  3. Cost: Own-Occupation Policies are typically more expensive than Any-Occupation Policies as they provide broader coverage. However, considering the benefits, many specialists choose Own-Occupation Policies to protect their significant investment in education and training which could be at risk in the event of a disabling incident.


An Own-Occupation Policy is an important term in business and finance because it refers to a type of disability insurance coverage. It is vital because it conditions that the insurer will pay benefits to policyholders if they become unable to perform the majority of the occupational duties that they have been trained and are qualified to perform. Even if the individual is able to work in another occupation, they will still receive their disability benefits. This is significant especially for professionals who have invested significantly in their skills and education, such as doctors, dentists, or lawyers. The policy ensures their financial security and provides a safety net in case they are unable to continue their profession due to a disability.


The purpose of an Own-Occupation Policy is to offer protection and financial stability to professionals in the event they can’t perform the primary duties of their specific occupation due to a disability. In essence, it provides an insurance cover that ensures that those insured will continue to receive a significant portion of their income if they become unable to work within their own field. This type of policy can be immensely beneficial specifically for highly skilled professionals like surgeons, doctors, lawyers, etc., whose livelihood greatly relies on the specialized skills and abilities that they have spent years honing. Own-Occupation Policy is mainly used for income protection and is an essential financial planning tool that safeguards professionals from a potential income loss when facing health obstacles. This policy is unique because, unlike other disability policies that cover individuals who are unable to work in any occupation, it recognizes the significant investment professionals made in their education and training for their specific occupation. Therefore, if a doctor or a lawyer, for instance, can’t practice their own profession but can still work in a different field, the policy will still compensate for the income loss relevant to their original occupation. This makes Own-Occupation Policy a critical risk management tool for high-earning professionals.


1. Medical Professionals: A specialist surgeon, after many years of acquiring expertise in their field, could secure an own-occupation policy. This would protect them financially if they become unable to perform their specific duties as a surgeon due to illness or injury. The policy would still consider them disabled (and thus eligible for benefits) even if they could still perform duties in another sector of medicine (like teaching or consulting).2. Trade Professionals: An electrician, who depends highly on their physical capability to perform their work, may opt for an own-occupation policy. If they suffer an injury that prevents them from performing electrical work, the policy would provide them with benefits, even if they are capable of doing other types of work like sales, clerical work, or running their own business.3. Pilots: Pilots require specific licenses and have certain health requirements to fly. An own-occupation disability insurance policy would protect them financially if they become unable to fly due to a vision impairment or other health issues. They would receive benefits even if they can perform another job in the aviation industry or elsewhere, such as a ground instructor or an air traffic controller.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is an Own-Occupation Policy?

An Own-Occupation Policy is a type of disability insurance that provides a financial benefit if the policyholder becomes unable to perform the duties of their specific occupation, even if they could still work in a different field.

Who needs an Own-Occupation Policy?

Professionals whose occupation requires a specialized skillset, such as physicians, dentists, surgeons, or lawyers, often benefit from Own-Occupation policies, as these individuals would likely suffer significant income loss if they were forced to change professions due to a disability.

How does an Own-Occupation policy differ from an Any-Occupation policy?

Unlike an Any-Occupation policy, which only pays benefits if the insured cannot work in any occupation, an Own-Occupation policy pays benefits if the insured can’t work in their specific occupation. This is a key difference as the latter provides coverage even if the policyholder can technically still perform some other kind of work.

What qualifies as a disability under an Own-Occupation policy?

Definition can vary by insurer, but typically a disability under an Own-Occupation policy is defined as an injury or illness that prevents the policyholder from carrying out the primary duties of their specific occupation.

When would a person receive benefits from an Own-Occupation policy?

The individual would begin receiving benefits after the elimination period (waiting period) specified in the policy, which often lasts for several months from the onset of disability. The benefits will continue until the individual can return to their own occupation or until the benefits period ends.

Are benefits from an Own-Occupation policy taxable?

If you paid the insurance premiums with after-tax dollars, the benefits received from the policy are generally income tax-free. However, if your employer paid for your policy and did not include the premiums as taxable income, you would have to pay income taxes on any benefits received. Always consult with a tax advisor for specific guidance.

Related Finance Terms

  • Disability Insurance
  • Residual Benefit
  • Benefit Period
  • Elimination Period
  • Underwriting

Sources for More Information

About Our Editorial Process

At Due, we are dedicated to providing simple money and retirement advice that can make a big impact in your life. Our team closely follows market shifts and deeply understands how to build REAL wealth. All of our articles undergo thorough editing and review by financial experts, ensuring you get reliable and credible money advice.

We partner with leading publications, such as Nasdaq, The Globe and Mail, Entrepreneur, and more, to provide insights on retirement, current markets, and more.

We also host a financial glossary of over 7000 money/investing terms to help you learn more about how to take control of your finances.

View our editorial process

About Our Journalists

Our journalists are not just trusted, certified financial advisers. They are experienced and leading influencers in the financial realm, trusted by millions to provide advice about money. We handpick the best of the best, so you get advice from real experts. Our goal is to educate and inform, NOT to be a ‘stock-picker’ or ‘market-caller.’ 

Why listen to what we have to say?

While Due does not know how to predict the market in the short-term, our team of experts DOES know how you can make smart financial decisions to plan for retirement in the long-term.

View our expert review board

About Due

Due makes it easier to retire on your terms. We give you a realistic view on exactly where you’re at financially so when you retire you know how much money you’ll get each month. Get started today.

Due Fact-Checking Standards and Processes

To ensure we’re putting out the highest content standards, we sought out the help of certified financial experts and accredited individuals to verify our advice. We also rely on them for the most up to date information and data to make sure our in-depth research has the facts right, for today… Not yesterday. Our financial expert review board allows our readers to not only trust the information they are reading but to act on it as well. Most of our authors are CFP (Certified Financial Planners) or CRPC (Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor) certified and all have college degrees. Learn more about annuities, retirement advice and take the correct steps towards financial freedom and knowing exactly where you stand today. Learn everything about our top-notch financial expert reviews below… Learn More