Disability Insurance’s Best and Worst Occupations

Posted on September 12, 2013 and updated May 30, 2019 in Disability Insurance, Insurance Types, Life Insurance Canada News 3 min read


Disability insurance is often referred to as “the forgotten insurance.”

It’s crucial because your earning power is the engine that fuels your finances. If you were to become sick or injured and were unable to work, with no income coming in, this could create some serious financial problems.

Insurance companies also know that the risk of someone becoming disabled during their working years is greater than the risk of dying, so they underwrite disability insurance very carefully — in fact, much more carefully than life insurance.

The following is a list of some of the best occupations that will get you the best coverage definitions when obtaining disability insurance, along with the occupations you don’t want to have if you’re making a disability insurance claim and occupations that fall somewhere in the middle.

Best Disability Insurance Occupations

1. Physicians and Surgeons

2. Lawyers

3. Geologists

4. Nuclear Physicists

5. Chemists with a PhD

6. Podiatrists

7. Psychologists with a PhD

8. Economists (can usually obtain a top classification if they have an MBA or equivalent and work away from home)

9. Architects

10. Accountants

Middle-of-the-Road Occupations for Disability Insurance

1. Dietitians

2. Forest Rangers

3 Librarians

4. Registered Massage Therapists (Insurance companies don’t favour unregistered massage therapists)

5. Lab Technicians

6. Midwives

7. Herbologists

8. Plumbers

9. Police Chiefs

10. Antique Dealers (As long as there’s no restoring, truck driving, or delivering involved)

Worst Occupations for Disability Insurance

1. Cleaning Person

2. Construction Workers Involved in Hazardous Duties

3. Couriers (Especially bicycle couriers)

4. Dance Instructors (Those with a regular place of business are okay, but dance instructors working out of their home are a no-go

5. Disc Jockeys

6. Fishing and Hunting Guides

7. Lifeguards

8. Amusement Park Owners and Employees

9. Artists and Sculptors

10. Bartenders

This is only a partial list, and other factors come into play, such as the insured’s income, the stability of their income, and the length of time they worked at their current occupation.

Please feel free to leave a comment on your occupation and we’ll be happy to give you a free assessment. You can also get a no-obligation quote at Canada’s Best Disability Insurance Rates.


Why are Massage Therapists considered a middle of the road risk, and not a low risk like a physician or surgeon. Also, is there such thing as a class 1-6 rating: ie. class 6 being no risk and class 1 being high risk?

LSM Insurance
LSM Insurance

Hi Clarissa,

Thanks for the note. In determining the occupation class given the insurance company looks part at the risk associated with the occupation and part at the risk of the insured extending their claim. Physicians and Surgeons on average earn much more than Massage Therapists and thus have more incentive to get off claim quickly. There are generally 4 occupation classes some companies have 5.

Kevin H @ Growing Family Benefits
Kevin H @ Growing Family Benefits

It seems that people working from home have a more difficult time getting covered (economist and dance instructors).

My guess is that incomes are less stable, and a dip in business could make a claim more likely.

LSM Insurance
LSM Insurance

Hi Kevin,

That is a good assumption. Seasonal type occupations also have a difficult time getting coverage.

todd thornbury
todd thornbury

hi there i work as an tunal mining could i get insurance in that area

LSM Insurance
LSM Insurance

Depending on the nature of the duty you should qualify for coverage. We will send you a separate email to get more details

Just Repreat
Just Repreat

Would I be able to get disability insurance as an MMA fghter

LSM Insurance
LSM Insurance

Traditional plans would be out. You may be able to get coverage with a specialty carrier.


My husband is a courier. This seems really unfair. He is walking in an out and running around and getting more exercise than many other more sedentary occupations. Why should he pay a higher premium makes no sense – UGH

LSM Insurance
LSM Insurance

Jean, I understand your frustration. But insurance companies only deem the physical nature of the job as one component when measuring risk. Right or wrong higher income and non seasonal occupations tend to be on claim for sghorter durations of time than lower income and / or seasonal occupations.