Disability Income Insurance

What’s your most valuable possession? Your home? Its contents? For most working individuals, their ability to earn an income is worth far more than these physical assets. If you have a high school diploma, your lifetime earnings potential exceeds $1 million. As education increases, so do earnings.

For example, the “average” man with a professional degree will earn $4.03 million over his working life, while the “average” female professional will earn nearly $3 million. A disability can jeopardize this valuable asset.

Short-term disability (STD) insurance plans typically have a waiting period of 0 to 14 days before a covered individual will receive benefits, and they provide benefits for a maximum of six months to one year.

Long-term disability (LTD) policies usually begin paying benefits 30 to 180 days after the disability occurs, once the covered individual has exhausted sick leave and short-term disability benefits.

You can read more here about the features, trigger definitions and tax implications of disability policies.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) says that a male U.S. worker at age 35 faces a one-in-five chance of a disability taking him off his job for 90 days or more. For a 35-year-old woman, that risk increases to one in three.

Most working adults don’t have the savings needed to pay their expenses if they were unable to earn an income for 90 days or more. Disability income insurance replaces a portion of an insured’s pre-disability income when they cannot work or cannot work full-time due to a disability.

The most effective disability benefit plan designs coordinate sick leave, short-term disability (STD) and long-term disability (LTD) benefits, so that once the insured exhausts sick pay and STD benefits, LTD benefits begin immediately. Disability income insurance replaces only a portion of lost income to give disabled individuals some incentive to return to gainful em­ployment after a disability.

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