You work hard to build a life for yourself, and it's only natural that you want to protect that. Most likely you protect your home, car and family from the unexpected with the appropriate insurance plans. What about your income? If you were suddenly unable to work due to an injury or illness, could you maintain your current lifestyle? How long could you pay your mortgage and bills?
Short term and long term disability insurance can protect your financial wellbeing by replacing lost wages if an illness or injury prevents you from working. Some employers offer disability insurance plans. If your employer does not offer this coverage, or if you are self-employed, you can buy personal disability insurance. Contact an Insurance Station agent today to learn how to protect yourself and your family in the event that you are unable to provide for them due to an illness, injury or disability.
What Does Short Term Disability Insurance Cover?
Short term disability insurance provides coverage for a limited amount of time. You receive benefits after a short waiting period of up to 14 days. You are then covered for the length of time specified in your policy, which can be from several months up to one year.
Your policy will also indicate a maximum coverage amount. You will receive benefits until you exceed the policy’s specified time limit or maximum coverage amount, or until you recover. Short term disability insurance policies pay out benefits for reasons such as the following:
• A lengthy illness
• A disabling injury
• The birth of a child
What Does Long Term Disability Cover?
Long term disability insurance covers injuries and illnesses that prevent you from working. It does not cover child birth. It provides coverage over a longer time period than short term disability coverage.
The Council for Disability Awareness lists the most common long-term disability claims as:
• Musculoskeletal/connective tissue disorders (back pain, osteoarthritis)
• Cardiovascular/circulatory disorders (heart attack, coronary artery disease)
• Mental disorder
If you experience a debilitating injury, you may have a longer waiting period before receiving benefits. Long term disability claims normally take up to 90 days to process, sometimes longer. After your claim is settled, you can receive benefits for several years, until you reach age 65, or until you recover. Some policies pay benefits for the rest of your life, although this varies by policy and by insurer.
Which Type of Disability Insurance Is Right for You?
It is important to protect your income, but choosing the right policy can be tricky. Just as it is impossible to predict an illness or injury, it is also impossible to know how long it could keep you out of work, or if you will be able to return to work at all. Thus, it can be difficult to select the right policy, since you must make decisions based on hypothetical situations.
One notable difference between short and long term disability insurance is that short term disability insurance premiums are much cheaper than long term premiums, since the payout isn’t as large and the coverage does not last as long.
Long term illnesses and injuries can devastate your personal finances. You may have enough savings to weather a month’s reprieve from work, but a three year battle with cancer can drain resources quickly. If you must choose between long and short term disability insurance, you’d be smart to adopt a long term disability policy, which offers significantly greater financial protection. Ideally, the best choice for most consumers is a combination of both.
What Do Disability Insurance Companies Need to Know?
When you’re getting a disability insurance quote, you may need to provide information to your insurance company that you may not have had to provide for other types of policies. Your age and health status are the two primary factors that determine the cost of premiums. If you’re purchasing disability insurance services from a private company, you may even need to take a medical exam.
The insurance company may ask you to provide extensive information about your medical history in an effort to understand your risk factors. Your occupation and income are also factors the insurance company will request in order to determine the appropriate amount coverage for you.