23 Apr Why You Need Disability Insurance
Meta Description: Learn what disability insurance is and how different disability insurance companies stack up against each other to make the right decision.
A Review of Disability Insurance and Companies
If you think your most valuable asset is your house, retirement account, or car, you’d better think again. Rather, it is your ability to make a living or your earning power. If you get injured or have an accident, your health insurance usually helps cover your medical expenses. However, in some cases, your injury may result in a total disability, preventing you from working. Also, you may contract a disabling illness that keeps you from working.
If you have disability insurance, you will not have to worry as this is where disability insurance comes into the picture. Disability insurance is different from Social Security disability coverage and is available to anybody and helps you prepare for life’s various what-ifs and uncertainties, such as a loss of income. For example, what would a loss of income mean for you?
Probably, it would be frustrating, stressful, and even a bit scary. You will be pleased to know that you can easily plug this hole in your overall financial safety net with the help of disability insurance.
Disability insurance is valuable as it provides a source of income to individuals who are not able to work because of an illness or accident.
What is Disability Insurance?
Note that disability insurance covers or replaces a portion of your income if something bad happens to you, such as an illness or accident, and you cannot work as a result. Disability insurance provides periodic payments if you are unable to work because of an accident or illness. It is worth noting that the healthier and younger you’re, the easier it’s to qualify for a disability insurance policy.
In most cases, this coverage can provide from 45% to 65% of your gross income. The best thing about disability insurance benefits is that they can help you stay on top of your various bills, such as housing costs, and car payments, while you are recovering.
However, keep in mind that disability insurance policies do not only cover freak accidents. And most insurance claims are actually for things that you might not think are considered disabilities. Some of them are physical injuries, cancer, or a heart attack.
Who Needs Disability Insurance?
You may think that your chances of missing months or even years of work due to an illness or injury are remote. This is especially true if you are healthy and young. However, according to the Social Security Administration, more than 25% of 20-year-old Americans will experience a disability for ninety days or more before reaching 67. Yet, a lack of disability insurance is one of the common financial errors. This is why having disability insurance is essential.
One reason many people in the US shrug off the risk is that they often think about worst-case scenarios, like spinal cord injuries that lead to quadriplegia or severe injuries that result in amputation.
However, keep in mind that cancer, back injuries, heart attacks, and diabetes lead to a majority of disability claims. This is why it makes sense to have disability insurance.
You can use the benefits you receive for anything you need, such as:
- Mortgage payments
- Auto loans
- Retirement contributions
- Personal loans
- Student loans
Note that having a long-term plan (beyond a three to six-month emergency fund) is crucial not just for you but also to all the people who depend on your income.
Types of Disability Insurance
Here are the two main types of disability insurance policies.
Short Term Disability Insurance
This is ideal for temporary disabilities and can replace up to 80 percent of your total income for a short period. Short-term disability insurance is usually provided by your employer, either as a voluntary or mandatory benefit.
Did you know that short-term disability has a 1 to 3 year benefit period? It can replace a portion of your income up to a maximum of about $3,000.
Long-Term Disability Insurance
This is designed for more severe or permanent disabilities. Sometimes, it is provided as a workplace benefit. However, usually, you have to purchase it as an individual insurance policy. The benefits can last for several years and replace up to 80% of your income, up to a maximum of about $20,000.
Comparison of the Best Disability Insurance Companies
Policy Zoom provides disability insurance coverage and leverages the latest online search tools and highly skilled and experienced professionals to help you source the best long-term disability insurance options. The company also offers health and life insurance coverage to meet your needs.
Keep in mind that disability insurance from Policygenius usually costs between $30 and $700 a month. The cost will depend on your personal situation and coverage needs. The provider is based in New York, and its structure allows you to easily access personalized and free insurance quotes. It also has an excellent reputation and remarkable customer service.
You may have heard of Guardian Life. It provides nationwide coverage, and the Berkshire Life Insurance Company of America underwrites its policies. It is one of the best providers of long-term disability insurance.
This is because it offers its unique occupation coverage, which you will like. This coverage replaces a portion of your income if you cannot perform your regular job but can do other forms of work.
Guardian Life was established way back in 1860, and the company has the best rating from the BBB and A.M. Best, which is excellent. Not only does the company have excellent ratings, but it is also a reputable Fortune 250 international financial services company.
Guardian Life offers long-term and short-term disability insurance policies and supplemental coverage, with some type of coverage available nationwide.
Does the idea of going through a cumbersome and extensive underwriting process feel stressful and overwhelming to you? If yes, you may want to consider Breeze. As the name suggests, purchasing a disability insurance policy is a breeze.
The best thing is that you can quickly get a quote and complete the entire online application process in only 20 minutes or less. And you don’t need any insurance agent. It is worth mentioning that Breeze provides policies countrywide, except in New York.
Waiting or elimination periods vary, and insurance policies are usually renewable through age 65 or age 67 if you write the policy before 62.
Did you know that Breeze is unique and the first of its kind in the disability insurance industry? This is because you can easily receive a quote online. You can also apply online and qualify online, which is convenient. You will be happy to know that Breeze’s rates are very competitive.
So, if you are in need of a simple and no-frills disability insurance option that can prepare you for a rainy day, Breeze may be the best option for you.
If you are a high-income earner, MassMutual may be the most suitable disability insurance company for you. Did you know that the company’s amazing Radius Executive Select Program provides portability, level premiums, and non-cancelable disability insurance protection for high-income executives?
Also, keep in mind that MassMutual offers you customizable disability insurance policies. These policies can help you cover many expenses should you ever suffer a disability.
The company has income requirements (minimum) of $800,000 as well as maximum benefit amounts (monthly) of up to $50,000 tax-free. This is why you have to consider MassMutual when researching the best disability insurance coverage for your company’s executives.
There is no doubt that Assurity is a great choice for people looking for an individual disability policy. This is especially true if you are self-employed. The company offers its Simplified Disability Income plan, and you can apply for it without going through an extensive or lengthy process.
Also, it is reassuring to know that the company has been in business for over 120 years, meaning it has a long and established history of fulfilling its obligation. As a customer, you will participate in a phone interview, and then Assurity will make the underwriting decision on the basis of information from various third-party sources.
Principal Financial Group
You will be happy to know that Principal’s history goes back to 1879. So, this insurance company has been around for quite a long time.
The company has received a number of prestigious awards in its long and proven history, such as the Adviser’s Choice Award for incredible advisor support. It is worth noting that long-term disability insurance is available up to $20,000 for partial as well as total disability.
And that is not all; Accelerated pay is also available if you’ve a terminal illness. Note that short-term and long-term insurance policies are also available to employee groups. One of the best things is that policy riders are available for survivor coverage, maternity coverage, and even non-work-related disabilities.
However, one unique feature of their insurance policies is that they are only available to employees who work a minimum of 20 hours.
This is another great option. Ameritas is based in Nebraska and was established in 1887. You will be pleased to know that Ameritas’s DInamic Foundation provides several different options. Some of them are own occupation and non-cancelable disability insurance policies.
You should know that the maximum benefit period on the company’s long-term disability insurance policies is age 70. Also, Ameritas is a convenient option as it offers a considerably longer elimination period that extends to 730 days if you desire. Lastly, Specialty Own Occupation language is also included for dentists and physicians.
Mutual of Omaha
It is no secret that Mutual of Omaha is one of the most well-known names in the insurance industry. The company is rated “A+ Superior” by A.M. Best. Like other providers, Mutual of Omaha also provides both short-term and long-term disability insurance.
Keep in mind that the short-term insurance policy is available for age 18 to age 61 with a reasonable $5,000 monthly maximum benefit.
The company’s long-term disability insurance policies come with a total disability income benefit. They also offer a waiver of premium rider and a proportionate disability benefit. Apart from reliable short-term and long-term disability insurance coverage, Mutual of Omaha provides accident-only coverage for individuals and groups.
Things to Consider when Buying Disability Insurance
This determines the “elimination period” —how many months you’d wait after becoming disabled or getting injured for the insurance policy to payout. Note that a standard elimination period is usually ninety days. However, you can also choose a shorter or longer period.
How Long You Want the Benefits to Last
Did you know that for some occupations, like carpenters and plumbers, benefits are restricted to five years on a majority of policies? On the other hand, for desk jobs, you may choose the benefit period to last a specific number of years.
Definition of Disability
If you are a highly skilled person, such as a neurosurgeon, and have invested plenty of money in training, you may prefer an insurance policy that pays out if you can’t work in your specialty.
So, if you are a neurosurgeon and lose the ability to operate, you may still be able to work as a general practitioner. However, that position would pay considerably less than a profitable career as a neurosurgeon.
When choosing a disability insurance provider, note that there is no single disability insurance company that is the best fit for everyone. First, it is important to consider how it fits into your financial picture. However, never make the mistake of going with a policy only because it is the cheapest. Always remember that your insurance needs and preferences dictate which provider is the most suitable for you.
For example, if you are working in a risky occupation, your choices are limited. However, Assurity is a great option. In contrast, if the expense is a primary concern, Breeze offers you excellent insurance coverage at a reasonable price. Also, do a little research before determining how good an insurance company is at meeting its obligations before you choose a product that meets all your needs.
You should also carefully discuss your occupation, income, and overall health, with an insurance agent in order to find the most suitable disability insurance policy.