In essence, disability insurance is there if you suffer an injury or illness and can’t work for an extended period of time. It will replace a portion of your income until you’re able to return to work again. Most people who are working don’t have this basic protection for the long term, and often it’s because they self-talk themselves out of it and say they don’t need it. Here are four myths about disability insurance
and its importance in protecting your ability to earn an income.
Myth #1: You think you have enough disability coverage through work.
Reality Check: Most people don’t: "According to the U.S. Department of Labor, more than 70% of employers don’t offer long-term disability coverage. And short-term disability coverage or partial coverage wouldn’t be enough to meet your current and future financial obligations if you were unable to work for an extended period of time". Do yourself a favor and call your HR or benefits manager at work to find out if you have coverage and what type it is.
Myth #2: Low odds of you ever needing it because you don’t work in a hazardous profession, so you pass on coverage.
Reality Check: FACT: "1 in 4 of today’s 20-year-old will become disabled at some point in their career, according the Social Security Administration (Feb. 7, 2013)." Professions that require physical labor and manual dexterity face greater risks, like law enforcement, construction, farming, and in the medical profession. That is true, however, the odds of suffering a long-term disability are HIGH for ALL workers because "illness—not accidents—account for 90% of disabilities that keep people out of work (Council for Disability Awareness’ Long-Term Disability Claims Review, 2014)." Really, almost no one is spared unless you can predict when illness strikes.
Myth#3: Government will give you sufficient assistance if something happens.
Reality Check: It won’t be sufficient, it will be short and it will be limited. Definitely not for a long, long period of time. "According to the National Safety Council, 73% of long-term disabilities are a result of an injury or illness that isn’t work related and therefore wouldn’t qualify for state-based Workers’ Compensation programs".Now you say "but I do have Social Security disability benefits" - please know that about 45% of those who apply are initially denied, and those who are approved receive an average of around $1,100 a month. The wait? It could take several years before the benefits begin. I don't know about you but if my family depended on my income, I cannot wait several years receiving no paycheck—and then live off of $1,100 a month. Can you?
Myth#4: It's expensive
Reality Check: It costs nothing to get a quote. And you could get it fast, at least within 24 hours. An experienced and truly caring agent will assess your needs and fine tune the policy structure to your budget. If you took very good care of yourself, just like any insurance, you will likely pay a low cost premium. If you have health issues, it's best to get it while you are at a younger age. People insure their homes and cars, but how are they able to pay the premiums for those? From their paychecks, right? So why not invest in protecting the paycheck first?