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About Reliance Standard
Reliance Standard was founded in 1906 and provides their products in all states including New York through a sister company. They also serve Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. They are a part of Japan’s largest insurance holding company, Tokio Marine.
Their products are not aimed at individuals directly, but rather as employee benefits offered both as paid benefits and as voluntary benefits to individuals through an employer. They offer benefits package options to companies of all sizes.
Reliance Standard has its headquarters in Philadelphia, PA and sells products through independent agents and brokers.
Reliance Standard Products
All of the products available from Reliance Standard can be selected as either employer paid at 100%, employer-subsidized in part, or employee-paid. The various plan options can be mixed in these various options to allow employers to create a benefits package made up of their choice of paid and voluntary coverage.
Disability insurance is offered in both short and long-term plans. The maximum benefit on a short-term plan is $1,250 a week, and $8,000 a month on a long-term plan. There are a variety of elimination period options ranging from 7 to 360 days, and benefits can be selected to last up to retirement age.
With the voluntary plan options, the employer will select the elimination period and the benefit duration, and the employee can select the amount of the benefit, up to 60% of their salary.
Group Term Life
These plans provide coverage ranging from $10,000 to $500,000, and the employee can also purchase coverage for a spouse and dependents. The plans include an accelerated death benefit, waiver of premium, and are portable as well as convertible.
The group plans have guaranteed issue as long as the benefits are elected within the required time period and the employee meets the age requirements for coverage.
Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D)
These plans provide coverage for serious injuries or death as a result of an accident. Benefits of up to $500,000 are available. Coverage for group members is guaranteed, and the plan can also be extended to spouses or dependents.
There are several options for supplementary medical insurance plans available. These include critical illness, accident insurance, and hospital indemnity. All of these plans help to pay for medical bills and other expenses that are not covered under major medical insurance, and each serves a specific need.
Dental and Vision
Dental and vision plans can be offered together or separately. There are several levels of dental plan ranging from basic preventative to comprehensive coverage for higher levels of treatment. Vision plans are also flexible, offering various levels of benefits that can be selected by the employer or by the employee.
Business Travel Accident
This coverage is available for groups of five or more people and provides coverage for accidents occurring during business travel. The coverage can even include company-owned aircraft and employed pilots.
Limited Benefit Medical
These plans are available as an alternative for those businesses that do not offer a major medical plan due to cost or other factors. The plans offer guaranteed acceptance, no deductibles, and a PPO network of providers. These plans do not replace major medical but offer some coverage at a reasonable price.
Reliance also offers annuities to save for retirement. They are available in two forms: traditional fixed annuity and fixed index products.
Rates are not offered on the Reliance Standard website, but that is common for an insurance company focused on employee benefits. Since each company will have various factors affecting rates, quotes are best handled on a detailed and direct basis.
One of the benefits of a group policy is that they are generally more affordable than purchasing coverage individually. The rate offered to employees will depend on what the company decides to cover and the options selected.
A toll-free number is available for claims, but the line is not open 24/7. The site states that it is available from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. This appears to be seven days a week as there are no days listed.
A fax number is also listed for filing new claims. There are several email addresses that can be used to file a claim; these differ depending on the type of insurance. Claims forms can be downloaded from the site to be sent in via either of these options.
We found the claims information to be somewhat buried in the site and not easy to locate. We prefer to see a direct link to claims information readily available and obviously located on the front page of the site. Claims are the main purpose of an insurance company, and it should not be difficult to find out how to file them.
There is a customer login are through which claims can be monitored and followed up on.
Ratings and Consumer Reviews
Reliance Standard has a D- rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) as a result of failure to respond to seven complaints. There have been total complaints against them closed in the past three years., and five closed in the past year. The six reviews are all negative and cite problems with claim payments and difficulties with customer service.
Pissed Consumer has 24 reviews, with a one-star rating for this company. The complaints are similar to those on the BBB page and cite unpaid claims and difficulty communicating with the company.
There are 77 similar complaints against this company on Consumer Affairs, and again they earn a one-star rating.
While the complaint volume is not particularly high overall, it is never encouraging when a company fails to respond to complaints. We saw no effort by this company to respond to complaints on any of the sites where they have been filed.
The Bottom Line
If this company has been selected by your employer to offer voluntary benefits, it’s not a bad idea to look at your options for coverage elsewhere to compare rates and products. While group benefits can be an affordable option, paying less isn’t worthwhile if there are issues when a claim is filed, and this company’s repeated complaints and lack of response does leave us less than confident in their reputation.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.