“Own Occupation”

As the names suggest, ‘own occupation’ means that you are disabled from pursuing your own occupation. For example if you are a plumber and you are paralysed and can no longer stand, then you could not pursue this occupation. But you might be able to engage in some other occupation, such as working in a call centre. A standard definition of own occupation is as follows (definitions differ between insurers):

You are unable to follow your own occupation for a continuous period of three months because of an injury or sickness and in our opinion, based on medical or other evidence, because of that injury or sickness, you are unlikely ever to be able to follow your own occupation.


  • The insured needs only to be disabled such that they cannot undertake their own occupation in order for a benefit to be claimable.
  • The insured may need to prove a lesser degree of disablement in order to prove a claim.


  • The premiums for own occupation are higher.
  • This type of cover is not available for all employment types.
The Dover Group