Why Devote a Month to Disability Insurance Awareness?
Many people have bought life insurance after giving serious thought to how their death might impact their families' living standards. Few, though, give the same level of consideration to disability insurance. Ironically, the typical worker faces a much higher risk of extended disability than of premature death. But for a variety of reasons, disability insurance remains one of the most overlooked and misunderstood forms of insurance.
Though disability is behind nearly half of all mortgage foreclosures and a significant number of personal bankruptcies, insuring against it has not been a high priority for most workers because many assume they're already covered through Social Security, state-mandated workers compensation or employer-provided group plans. However, there are numerous holes in this safety net of coverage.
Only about 39% of the 2.1 million workers who applied for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits in were approved. And those who were approved get an average benefit last year of just $938 monthly ‘ hardly enough to replace the average worker's income. Workers comp covers only work-related disabilities, while 90% of disabling accidents and illnesses aren't work related. And what about coverage through work? It‘s a great employee benefit, but it‘s not available to many workers. Only 36% of all full-time employees have access to long-term disability insurance through their employers.
So what‘s a worker to do? Explore his or her or options. If your employer offers disability coverage, take the time to find out if the coverage would be sufficient to meet your income replacement needs in the event of a disabling illness or accident. If it‘s insufficient, your employer may offer you the option to increase your disability benefit, often through a voluntary payroll deduction. Another option is to purchase coverage on your own. One of the big benefits of individual coverage is that it‘s 100% portable, meaning that it will follow you no matter how many times you changes jobs.
You may not realize it, but your home, your car and your jewelry are NOT your most valuable assets. Your ability to earn an income is your most valuable asset. Without it, you wouldn‘t be able to make your monthly mortgage or car loan payments.
May is Disability Insurance Awareness Month (DIAM), the perfect time for a disability insurance ‘reality check.‘ Take this opportunity to make sure you‘d be ok financially in the event of a disability that keeps you out of work for an extended period of time.
For more information about DIAM, click on the links below:
-LIFE's DIAM Plans