Medical Care Help Center.

Disability Insurance can Prove More Important than Life Insurance

Many times the bread winner of a family will view life insurance as an absolute necessity especially if they have children. Life insurance is great peace of mind to have so that they know the house will be paid for and the kids will be able to go to college should the unthinkable happen. But that same bread winner will give little thought to disability insurance and with the fact being that a worker is five times more likely to become disabled rather than die, this oversight could prove costly.

There is more life insurance sold in America then there is disability insurance but if you have a family that is dependent on your income then it really is a necessity. While a death may be more emotionally devastating, a disability can prove to be just as draining, if not more so, when it comes to a family’s finances.

The biggest asset that anyone has is the ability to earn money. If you get disabled and can no longer work you will still have all of your bills to pay only you will have no income to pay them with. Additionally you may have to modify your home or vehicle to suit the needs of your disability and there may be the added cost of physical therapy or training for a new job to consider. The point is you just never know what a disability will bring you in the way of additional costs.

Fortunately there are many national firms that sell disability insurance and having this type of insurance can save you from ending up in the poor house. While there is no set price a good rule of thumb is to expect to pay between one and three percent of your annual income.

Just as with many types of insurance, disability insurance can vary greatly on coverages and benefits. Here are some differences:

  • Waiting Period: This is the time after a disability has occurred before benefits kick in. These can range from three months to two years depending on the provider and the price of the policy.
  • Taxes: If your employer pays for your plan any benefits received would be fully taxable. If you pay for the plan then any benefits received would be tax-free.
  • Benefits: Group plans though your work will cover up to 60 percent of your salary where an individual plan will cover up to 80 percent.
  • Time: Plans can be obtained that will be good for two years, five years, age 65, and more. The longer the plan the more expensive it will be.
  • Renewability: Some plans offer a non-cancelable and guaranteed renewal which means that you are guaranteed to be renewed at the same rate and that your policy cannot be canceled. If the policy is only non-cancelable then that means the provider cannot drop your coverage but they can increase your rates.
  • Disability Definition: The best disability definition to get is own-occupation. This will pay you your benefits if your disability keeps you from working at the job that you held before the disability occurred and will not penalize you if you are working part time in another area unrelated to your previous job.

Many people feel that they have no need to obtain disability insurance because they think that Social Security will take care of them if they become disabled. This is a common misconception that is grossly overestimated. In fact, Social Security benefits are very hard to obtain and even if you do obtain them the benefits are typically far less than that of a good disability insurance plan. Additionally, Social Security is only given if you are expected to be disabled for the rest of your life meaning there are no short-term disability benefits available with Social Security.

While there is also Workman’s Comp that is also a possibility to obtain this again will pay out far less than a good disability insurance policy. However you should look into all possible routes of income production should you become disabled.

If you do decide that you want to look into obtaining disability insurance from a private provider you will need to look over the entire policy and you should do some comparative shopping. Here are some points to consider when shopping for disability insurance:

  • How is total disability defined?
  • What accidents and illness does the policy cover?
  • Will the policy cover partial or reoccurring disabilities?
  • Will the policy cover loss of limbs, loss of sight, loss of hearing, or loss of speech?
  • How long will you have to be disabled before your premiums are waived?
  • Can you add coverage at a later date without having to take another physical?
  • Will the policy adjust according to inflation?

Once you have satisfied your curiosity with these questions then choose the provider that you feel the most comfortable with.

Protecting your family and making sure that you can always provide them with enough money to live is of course your number one concern. Don’t take chances with possibly getting a disability that can not only hinder you but your entire family as well. For your sake and that of your family, take some time, do your homework, and obtain the best disability insurance policy for your specific situation.

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