What comes to mind when you think of protecting your assets with insurance? Most likely it’s your home, your cars, your business or maybe jewelry and other material possessions. And while it is certainly important to protect those things, there is another asset that’s more important than all of those put together – your income.
The biggest risk to your future income is a long-term disability. Many people think the odds of becoming disabled are small, but the truth is the odds of becoming disabled for 90 days or longer are greater than the odds of dying. For men, 1 in 4 will suffer a long term disability, while the odds for women are 1 in 3. And 1 in 7 workers will become disabled for longer than five years at some point before they retire. In many ways, that makes disability insurance just as important as term life insurance.
It’s also a common belief that most disabilities come from serious accidents. But that’s only the case in 9 percent of all disabilities. According to LifeHealthPro, the leading causes of long-term disabilities are:
#1: Cancer – 16%
#2: Back Disorders – 15%
#3: Injuries – 10%
How Much is at Stake?
A 45-yr old with an annual salary of $50,000 who suffers a permanent disability could lose as much as $1 million in future earnings, not including raises and promotions! And please don’t be fooled into thinking Social Security benefits will cover those losses. For starters, only 45% of those that apply will qualify. Search on Twitter for #disabilityinsurance, and you’ll see the average disability payment from the government is currently $1,111 per month. That’s a far cry from the $4,000+ our 25-yr old was bringing home when working.
Think of it as insurance for your paycheck.
This is where disability insurance comes in. But most people don’t give disability insurance a thought. Or if they do, they don’t act on the thought. According to the LIMRA 2013 Insurance Barometer Study, 68 percent of consumers believe most people should have disability insurance, yet only 30 percent have this critical coverage.
Disability Insurance Awareness
Enter The LIFE Foundation, sponsor of Disability Insurance Awareness Month. Throughout the month of May, the nonprofit organization will promote public education and raise awareness through consumer programs, tools, videos, and other information sources on its website. You can view a list of participating insurance companies such as MetLife and Prudential.
The LIFE Foundation’s message is clear: Disability insurance provides replacement income in the event you can’t work due to a disabling illness or injury. Think of it as insurance for your paycheck.
What Can You Do?
Talk with your insurance agent or contact one of the participating insurance companies directly. Disability insurance quotes are hard to come by online, so you will most likely need to speak to an agent or company by telephone to get quotes.
Sources: The LIFE Foundation, LIMRA