Individual Short-Term Disability Insurance - Do You Really Need It?
(And what happens if you do)
Jessica Huneck|October 7, 2019
Your ability to work and do everyday tasks that your career involves shouldn't be taken for granted. You should have the best coverage for all life throws at you, literally.
An independent insurance agent is the answer and carries the superhero task of making sure you not only protect your things, but you also protect yourself. And part of that is short-term disability insurance.
What Does Individual Short-Term Disability Insurance Cover?
Individual short-term disability will pay a percentage of your salary to help with your monthly expenses while you are temporarily disabled or ill. It is a lot like disability income insurance, except that the main difference is the length of time, which is short and covers anywhere from 1 to 12 months in disability expenses.
Types of claims for individual short-term disability
Having a baby: Yep, that’s right folks. Having a baby qualifies as a short-term disability. It's not what most people think of as eligible for a short-term disability claim, but it is.
Complications from pregnancy: This can come into play if your doctor orders bed rest during your pregnancy and you’re not able to perform your job duties bedside. You thought I was going to say seaside, didn't you? We wish.
A severe or lengthy illness: Not all illness is long-term, and that’s where short-term disability can kick in. If you receive a cancer diagnosis, you may be able to go back to work in 6 to 12 weeks. That’s when short-term disability would be available.
An injury that causes temporary disability: Not to be confused with getting injured at work. That would fall under your employer’s workers' compensation policy. Instead, this is an injury you sustain outside the workplace that hinders your ability to perform your job duties, again for a short period.
Who Needs Individual Short-Term Disability Insurance and Why?
Everyone who has an income should carry some sort of short-term disability insurance. A lot of employers provide this coverage, but just like any other coverage, it’s not likely to be enough. Be sure to check with your independent insurance agent for needed additional benefits if this coverage is offered through your workplace.
Self-employed individuals: If you are self-employed, gone are the days of a boss looking over your shoulder. Also, gone like the wind is your employer offering benefits like short-term disability insurance. You may think, “Why would I need short-term disability insurance if I am self-employed?” Well, who would pay your monthly expenses if you had to take, oh, say a month off from your business? What about a year? These are very real possibilities. In fact, $143.66 billion in disability benefits were paid out in 2018 in the US. Billion with a “B." That’s a lot of dough, and something you should seriously consider.
The Best Time To Get Short-Term Disability Insurance
The best time to get short-term disability insurance is now. Just like most insurance policies, sooner is better, before it’s too late. Your independent insurance agent will be able to show you the best short-term disability insurance policies for the best price, because they’re good like that.
They have connections with all the cool carriers in town and they can advise you on your next step.
What Is the Best Individual Short-Term Disability Plan?
With so many carriers, you have many options when it comes to your short-term disability insurance. That can also bring a lot of confusion about which policy is right for you. Not to worry, independent insurance agents are here to guide you to safety.
They know the ins and outs of short-term disability insurance, have access to a multitude of insurance companies, and are knowledgeable about their offerings. An independent insurance agent will be able to present different options with a variety of price points.
How Long Will Individual Short-Term Disability Insurance Last?
Remember the phrase "gone like the wind" that was used earlier? That’s the best way to describe short-term disability insurance. It really is short-term, lasting only months and usually at the most 1 year.
If you have to use your short-term disability policy and the time limit is up, then there is good news. You can now start using the benefits of the long-term disability policy that you have in place.
Aren't you glad you bought both policies, as your wise independent insurance agent advised? If you haven’t purchased them yet, there is no time like the present.
How Much Will Individual Short-Term Disability Cost?
Everything seems to come down to money. Short-term disability insurance is no different. You have bills and budgets that you have to abide by, after all. An independent insurance agent is available to show you not only different coverage options, but also different price points.
You're in luck, because individual short-term disability insurance is usually a lower-cost policy. Prices depend on your age, the length of the policy term, how healthy you are, and how soon you want your benefits to be available.
Is Individual Short-Term Disability Coverage State-Specific?
Individual short-term disability insurance is just like most insurance policies where the insurance carrier is the one making the rules. This can't be said of all insurance policies, but for short-term disability insurance, the policy coverages are written by the insurance companies.
They may take into account state-specific laws, if they are applicable to the type of coverage, but that’s about it.
How Can an Independent Insurance Agent Help?
An independent insurance agent can only be helpful. There is no super-secret decoding to be done here, an independent insurance agent is on your side. They work for you.
Plain and simple, an independent insurance agent works with a large number of insurance companies and presents your case in the best possible light so you don’t have to.
They also know what the insurance companies are looking for and what their risk tolerance is, so you won’t be forced to spend hours or days researching for yourself.
Now that sounds like a good deal that shouldn’t be passed up. Jump on that bandwagon and call a local independent insurance agent today before you wish you had.