Individual Disability Insurance From Lake Norman Benefits
If you became sick or hurt and couldn’t work, how would you pay your bills? How would you maintain your living standard? If you’re like most people, your ability to get up each day and earn an income is one of your most valuable assets. Furthermore, your chances of becoming disabled at some time during your working career are probably higher than you would expect.
Disability insurance can replace a portion of your income when you are unable to work because of injury or illness. There are two major types of disability coverage:
1. Short Term Disability
This coverage provides an income for the early part of a disability. A policy may pay benefits for two weeks up to two years. Short term disability is often included as part of an employee benefits package.
2. Long Term Disability
This type of coverage helps replace income for an extended period of time, usually ending after five years or when the disabled person turns 65. Some people have long term disability insurance provided by their employers; others purchase it individually.
There are two major types of individual long-term disability insurance: non-cancelable and guaranteed renewable. (Other less expensive policies with limited, if any, premium or renewability guarantees are also sometimes available.) In the case of non-cancelable or guaranteed renewable policies, the insurer cannot cancel or refuse to renew the policy as long as the required premiums are paid on time. The key difference between the two major types of policies is that under a non-cancelable contract, you have extra security that premiums can never be raised above those shown in the policy as long as the required premiums are paid. With a guaranteed renewable policy, the premiums can be raised, but only if the change affects an entire class of policyholders. For this reason, initial premiums for guaranteed renewable policies can be less expensive than non-cancelable policies.
When Are You Considered Disabled?
The definition of disability can vary depending on the policy you have. For example, some plans pay when you’re unable to engage in your own occupation while others pay when you’re unable to engage in any occupation for which you’re reasonably suited based on your training or experience. It’s common to use an own-occupation definition for two years, three years or even longer, with an any-occupation definition thereafter. Many disability plans require that you not be gainfully employed while you’re collecting benefits. In addition, some policies will pay you a portion of your monthly benefit if you have lost a part of your income due to a disability. (This is usually referred to as a residual or loss of earnings benefit.) Some policies include a rehabilitation benefit that pays some or all of the cost of a course of occupational rehabilitation approved by the insurer. Keep in mind that many policies will not cover disabilities caused by suicide attempts, drug abuse, war, or attempts to commit a crime. Pre-existing conditions are also frequently excluded.
When Will Benefits Start Accumulating?
Most long term disability plans have a waiting period before benefits begin accumulating. The most common waiting period is 90 days. However, you usually can get as low as a 60-day waiting period, as well as 180-, 365- and 730-day waiting periods. The length of your waiting period should be determined by asking yourself, ‘How long can I go without a paycheck?’ The longer the waiting period, the lower the premium.
How Long Will Benefits Be Paid?
In most disability income plans, you can elect the maximum time your benefits will be paid. The most frequently offered benefit periods are two years, five years and to age 65.
THE REALITY OF DISABILITY
Your income is doing a double job for you. It is providing today’s basic necessities and luxuries as well as serving as the foundation of your future plans. As long as you have the ability to earn an income, you are able to accumulate assets.
But what would happen if a disability should strike?
- Your need for the basic necessities of life would continue.
- Plans for retirement, children’s education, etc. would have to be put off, if not forgotten altogether.
- You would have to do without luxuries, yet would still be obligated to meet such fixed expenses as mortgage, car and credit card payments.
If you have trouble living within your income now, have you ever wondered how you would be able to live if your income suddenly stopped?
As with every line of coverage we implement, we represent many different carriers to assist us in providing this coverage. Our experience has shown that no one carrier is the perfect solution for everyone. Comparing plans from the top providers in the market place ensures that we get you the best coverage for the lowest cost. Please email or call us or request a quote.