Back in 2003, I went on vacation with some friends to beautiful Costa Rica. We had a wonderful time and came back relaxed and refreshed.
Five days later one of those friends had a stroke. He was 49 years old. He had a wife and three children. The good news was that he did not die. The bad news was that he did not recover. He has been in a nursing home for the last 15 years.
Bad things happen unexpectedly in life. Car accidents. Work accidents. Health conditions. These things happen quickly. If your family counts on you to help keep a roof over their head, feed them, clothe them, and help them through school, then you are going to need one of the most important insurance coverages: disability insurance.
Disability insurance helps replace your income while you cannot work due to accident, injury, or illness. There are two types of disability insurance: short-term and long-term. Short-term disability is for absences lasting typically 90 days or less. Examples of this are pregnancy, surgery, or a hospital stay lasting more than a few days. Long-term disability is for absences lasting typically longer than 90 days for a duration of one-year to even to age 65. Examples of this are a major car accident, major back or hip surgery, paralysis, and cancer treatment.
Statistics show that one out of four people will face a disability of some degree in their lifetime. Interestingly enough- statistics also show that 25% of all car drivers will get into a car accident within a 5 year period. Most people have car insurance because they know there is a decent chance they will need it- in fact, most states require some form of auto insurance by law. We don’t require disability insurance, but the chances of you needed it are the same.
You can frequently purchase disability insurance through your employer. Some larger employers typically offer both short-term and long-term disability plans and you can choose the levels of coverage. Hint: choose the highest level that you can get- it’s inexpensive!
Otherwise, you can also purchase disability insurance on your own through your insurance agent. Both short-term and long-term policies are available and there are many different options that your trusted advisor can walk you through.
We’ve all seen those commercials where the skier breaks his leg and his friends are laughing and telling him that he is going to have to move back in with his mother because he won’t be able to work and therefore won’t be able to pay the rent. While this is supposed to be a humorous example of disability insurance at work- because the actor is young and he had just moved out of his mom’s place to begin with- imagine how compounded the stress is when you can’t pay your mortgage because you can’t work- and you have four children with mouths to feed.
Oh- and they all want dance or hockey lessons.
Disability insurance is very important. I’ve seen it keep families afloat during very traumatic times. Managing the cause of the disability is hard enough. Knowing that you have some income coming in while you can’t work helps to remove an 800-pound gorilla off your shoulders!
If you need to talk to someone about disability insurance- let us know! We are happy to help.