Own-occupation disability insurance includes the most comprehensive definition of total disability available. This type of policy will have a definition that says something like:
If you are unable to perform the material and substantial duties of your regular occupation, the insurance company will consider your occupation to be the occupation you are engaged in at the time you become disabled. They will pay the claim even if you are working in some other capacity.
Own-occupation disability insurance is the only type of policy that does not penalize you for going back to work in a different occupation while you are considered disabled. Under this type of plan, if you cannot perform your occupation due to disability, you will be considered totally disabled, even if you choose to do something else.
Other types of disability insurance, such as specialty own-occupation disability insurance, have mistakenly been thought to pay a benefit and let you go back to work doing something other than practicing. However, a number of specialty own-occupation policies actually do not pay you any benefit at all if you go back to work in any capacity.