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About Combined Insurance
Combined Registry Company was founded in 1922 in Chicago and made it through the Great Depression with a lot of belt-tightenings. The founder formed Combined Mutual Casualty Company in 1939 through the acquisition of Texas-based American Casualty Company. In 1947 the name was changed to Combined Insurance Company of America.
The 1950s saw the company begin global expansion, first into Canada and then beyond. 1980 saw the formation of a holding company, Combined International Corporation, which in 1982 merged with Ryan Insurance Group and formed Aon. In 2008 Aon sold Combined Insurance Company to ACE Limited, which in turn acquired Chubb and adopted that name – a somewhat convoluted path to Combined’s status today as a part of Chubb.
Combined Insurance writes supplemental policies including accident, income protection, and critical illness policies on a global level. In the U.S. they sell policies both directly to individuals and to companies as employee benefits options. Products are sold through independent agents, and the company headquarters is still located in Chicago.
The company website states that they have more than 3 million policies in force in the United States alone.
Combined’s insurance products are divided into two categories: individual and employer.
For individuals, Combined offers a solid list of supplemental health products as well as income replacement products. They also have a life insurance option.
Accident and Sickness
There are two accident and sickness insurance policies available. The first is an accident-only plan, and the second combines accident and sickness coverage in one. Both of these plans will pay benefits directly to the insured and can be used to pay any out of pocket costs associated with an accident or illness. This includes hospital bills but also costs like child care, transportation, and other expenses.
Specified Illness Products
Combined has three specified illness policies, each of which will pay out benefits for the specific illness listed on the policy.
There are two Cancer policies. Cancer Protector is a lump sum policy that will pay out the benefit amount upon diagnosis with one of the types of cancers listed on the policy. The cash benefit can be used by the policyholder in any way they should choose.
Cancer Care Protector is designed to cover the cost of long-term treatment of cancer as well as with recovery from cancer. This operates slightly differently from the one-time lump sum benefit policy.
Critical Care Protector provides benefits for any of a list of covered conditions or illnesses. These include heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, blindness, severe burns, paralysis, and many cancers. This policy is also a lump sum benefit that can be used for any expense.
There is one life insurance plan offered by Combined. Family Life Protector is a basic whole life insurance policy that offers death benefit amounts of up to $50,000. An accidental death benefit rider can increase this coverage up to $100,000.
Combined offers two income replacement policies that operate much like short-term disability.
Income Protector is similar to most other short-term disability plans but is independent of an employer. It will pay monthly benefits to replace income for up to two years in the event of a total disability.
SickPay Plus is a more short-term plan that is designed for illness or injury rather than total disability. It provides income replacement for up to six months as long as the insured is under a doctor’s care for an illness or injury that prevents them from being able to work.
The Combined Worksite Solutions side is aimed at businesses seeking voluntary employee benefits packages. The site does not list which products are available; they are likely very similar to those offered to individuals, but they are written as group policies. This generally makes them more affordable, which is what makes them a benefit to employees.
All of the policies are portable, which means the employee will have the option to continue the policy even if they change jobs.
Online quoting is not offered by Combined Insurance. Instead, a contact form to request a reply from an agent is provided. The site states clearly that the company believes talking with an agent is the best way to determine what coverage you need and get accurate quotes.
Filling out the quote request form will result in an agent contacting you, which may mean some unwanted follow-up solicitation efforts even if you go with a different company. While this is common to this type of company as well as to this type of insurance, some potential customers may find it bothersome. Online quoting as an option would be a nice addition for those that prefer not to put personal contact information out there while shopping for insurance. As a large insurer, it is something we would like to see Combined Insurance offer.
Claims can be filed online through the Combined website, which the company states can mean benefits are paid up to ten days sooner.
Claims forms can also be downloaded and returned to the company either through the regular mail or via fax. There are also toll-free numbers provided to reach a representative; New York has its own number since Combined operates a separate branch in that state. These lines are only available during business hours.
Claim status information is also available online, and there is a customer login area where policyholders can view benefits and claims. While the site does not have a lot of claims detail, they do have a good FAQ section and offer all of the basic information needed to get a claim started and ensure it is successfully processing.
Ratings and Consumer Reviews
Combined Insurance has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and there are 67 complaints on file in the past three years. They have been accredited since 1954. The reviews are mainly negative and mainly center on claims, with a few positive as well. For the size of the company, the number of complaints is not high.
Pissed Consumer has a higher number of reviews with a total of 313. The company is rated 1.7-stars overall here. The complaints cite difficulty reaching a customer service representative and claims taking a long time to be paid, or not being paid at all. Although the number of reviews here is higher, it is still not a red flag number for a company of this size.
The Bottom Line
Combined has a long history and strong financial stability thanks to its status as part of Chubb. They offer a range of supplemental products, but since we do not have rates we are unable to comment on the value they offer. If you do not mind being contacted by an agent, they are worth pursuing comparison quotes when shopping for disability or other supplemental coverage.