Disability Insurance—An Ounce of Prevention is An Ounce of Strength
Just think for a minute. What would you do if you suddenly became ill or injured and lost your income-earning ability? How would you pay your bills and daily expenses? What would the impact be to your family? What if your wife or significant other becomes pregnant? What if the pregnancy has significant complications and your wife cannot work long before the pregnancy or long after?
For most of us, this is not an everyday concern. We get up in the morning, go to work, and rarely consider the possibility of becoming sick or getting in an accident. However, if a disability were to prevent you from working for an extended period of time, how would you maintain your standard of living?
If you’re employed by a large company, your employer may provide group disability income insurance. Typically, disability income insurance covers 60% -80% of your predisability earnings. If you receive bonuses, those may not be considered for income purposes if a disability occurs. It is very important to understand the details of your policy.
What happens if your company doesn’t provide disability benefits or you’re self-employed? In these cases, it’s up to you to make sure you’re covered.
One way of protecting yourself is by self-insuring, or keeping a large savings account. However, even if you save 10% of your salary each year, one year of disability could wipe out years of savings! You may qualify to receive Social Security disability insurance if disabled. However, the amount of Social Security benefits you would most likely be entitled to is, in many cases, less than the amount that would be required to help you meet your regular bills and living expenses.
One smart method of protecting yourself from the financial implications of a sudden disability is to own an individual disability income insurance policy. Such a policy would pay you a “paycheck” each month—after an initial waiting period—if you became sick and couldn’t work.