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Friendly Society and the Self-Employed

Sep 25th, 2009

self-employedThe Independent Order of Foresters is what is called a friendly society.  A friendly society is a mutual society, or a fraternal organization.  The main purpose of these organizations is to provide life and health insurance. In earlier times before the modern insurance companies, it was the friendly societies that provided benefits to their communities.  The Ancient Order of Foresters was formed in 1834. In 1874, the Canadian and American members broke from the order to form the Independent Order of Foresters.

The Independent Order of Foresters can provide an interesting alternative to traditional health insurance companies for the self-employed.  The Independent Order of Foresters provides life and health policies and retirement pension plans.  In order to obtain the benefits, the self-employed individual and his or her family will become a member.  The members will also enjoy interesting social benefits such as Christmas parties for children etc.  The Independent Order of Foresters is quite unique.

Most self-employed individuals flock to large companies looking for a good health care plan and few even think about the benefits of being a part of a fraternal society devoted to financial security.  These fraternal societies and independent orders or lodges really create a small close-knit community even in big cities across America.

In terms of family concerns, the Independent Order of Foresters has children’s health insurance policies.  When the family is down and in need, the Foresters will provide scholarships for post secondary education or critically ill benefits. In times when life is hard, it is a great idea to have a social and financial network to help out with the stresses of life.

The Independent Order of Foresters also provides disability insurance, which is so crucial for the self-employed who are the key breadwinners for the family.  The Independent Order of Foresters has an A rating reputation for paying out claims and they have held that excellent rating for the last 9 years.  The Independent Order of Foresters is a stable financial insurance institution.  It is because of their conservative style of investing that has afforded them a surplus of $1.2 billion dollars. This means they are in a position to withstand the current dismal economic times. The Foresters are constantly growing with total assets amounting to over $6.2 billion dollars.  The Independent Order of Foresters currently operates in three different countries and surpasses the solvency regulations in all three countries.

When you are on the verge of losing your own business due to a serious illness, that has you out of work for an indefinite period of time, the last you need is a health insurance company who does not pay out, or pay out in a timely manner.  That is why it is important to choose a plan that is guaranteed to be there just when you need them.

Is a Fraternal Organization a good idea for a self-employed individual?

One of the financial institutions dedicated to providing policyholders with retirement pensions and life and health insurance is the Independent Order of Foresters.  This fraternal organization was providing benefits for their members long before the concept of modern day insurance.

There are several disadvantages to being self-employed and one of them is that insurance coverage is so expensive, yet it is a necessary expense for a small business owner.

On the job work accidents can happen quite frequently, especially if the self-employed individual works in the construction or contracting businesses.  Though workmen’s compensation is something all small businesses must have, this is sometimes not enough.  Workmen’s compensation was not designed to take on long-term disabilities, but what happens if the accident renders a long-term disability such that the self-employed person may not have the physical strength to do heavy labor for quite a long time? The previous example was just one of several possibilities. Of course there would be many other situations where long-term health care would be necessary.

A break down of the Independent Order of Foresters Disability policy:

  • Proof must be submitted that the disability has occurred
  • The disability happened while the coverage (rider) was in effect
  • The policyholder worked for at least 30 hours, (paid vacation time counts) the week before the injury occurred.
  • The disability must continue past the waiting period
  • The disability must be related to the injury, but begin within a 180 days after the accident and is not related to any illness or sickness that was not caused by the accident
  • The self-employed individual must remain employed and has not retired or loss his or her job or declared bankruptcy.
  • The insured is under the care of a doctor for his or her health care concerns regarding the total disability.
  • The waiting period is the period when the total disability started, not when the accident happened.

There are other terms and condition as with any health insurance policy and of course the self-employed individual must study the policy and even shop around for other insurance policies to see if this would be an appropriate coverage.

The self-employed must be very careful when taken out this type of disability health insurance, since certain occupations are excluded, such as avocations, hobbies, seasonal workers, or home workers unless half of their work is carried on outside of their homes. The Independent Order of Foresters disability rider will serve some self-employed individuals well but is not right for everyone and each person would have to judge for themselves.

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