(And how are you supposed to know which is right for you?)
Jessica Huneck|October 11, 2019
If you or someone you know were to become seriously injured or ill, the very last thing you would want to worry about is paying those bills without work.
There are a number of disability insurance programs out there to help pay for day-to-day living should the need arise. It may be hard to know which ones you qualify for and that are right for you.
An independent insurance agent is a great source in guiding you toward the plans and programs you should look at. This article is full of background on all the different options out there. Once you've got a good understanding, an independent insurance agent can help you take it from there.
What Are Disability Insurance Programs?
Simply put, a disability insurance program can help protect you financially if you're unable to work due to serious injury or illness.
Disability Insurance, in all forms, supplements your monthly income anywhere from 40-70% in the case of a non-work-related injury or illness. Save those work injuries for your employer's workers' compensation policy.
What Is Social Security Disability Insurance?
It's pretty simple really. Social Security Disability Insurance is a payroll or worker-funded federal government program that provides supplemental income to citizens who are unable to work due to a disability. You’ll see this being taken out of your paychecks by good ole Uncle Sam.
What Is State Disability Insurance?
In a nutshell, state disability insurance is the same as social security disability insurance, only it's run through the states — and only a select few at that. This coverage, just like the rest, supplies the insured with funding to help supplement their income should they become ill or disabled.
If you live in California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, or Puerto Rico that have state disability insurance, talk to an independent agent about coverage. If you don't live in one of these states (or territory), don't worry, there are plenty of other options on the table.
What Are My Individual Disability Insurance Options?
An option which is purchased by employees, employers, and self-employed alike. It's short-term disability coverage that usually lasts from a month to a year and supplements between 40-70% of your income.
And there's long-term:
An option which is also purchased by employees, employers, and the self-employed. This coverage will last you years or even decades, supplementing anywhere from 40-70%.
What Are Group Disability Insurance Options?
An option which is member-based and offered by your employer to participating employees. As a member, you get a set premium and are offered income supplementation of 40-70%. Your employer usually fronts the bill for this plan in part or total.
And there's long-term:
An option which is another group plan that your employer provides and pays all or some of the premium. This plan will supplement 40-70% of your income and last years instead of months should you become ill or disabled and unable to work.
What Does Disability Insurance Cost?
As you know, price is important. You have a budget and you need to make sure your disability insurance stays within that budget. All disability insurance programs are different, and as such, they offer different things. Not to mention, each person who purchases a disability insurance policy is different than the last.
That’s a roundabout way of saying there isn’t one set price. There isn't even a ballpark figure because each plan, person, and carrier are too many to narrow down.
It's best to contact your independent insurance agent for pricing options. They can provide multiple disability insurance plans all with different price points to suit your needs.
How to Enroll in a Disability Insurance Program and Which One?
Now that you know all about disability plans, how do you take part in one? The best place to start is with an independent insurance agent. They can help narrow down which disability insurance program is right for you.
They will discuss how much you may need in coverage and how long you want that coverage to last. Your independent insurance agent should be going over your risk factors as an individual or as an employer, presenting your options and advising which one they would recommend.
Ultimately, the choice is yours. And depending on your age and health factors, you may only have certain options.
If you're an employer, then an independent insurance agent can help find which disability insurance program is right for your employees. Your group is unique, and they can assist in all your choices so you know what they are. They can also help with different contribution scenarios so you know how much you want to spend.
What's So Great about Independent Insurance Agents?
The independent insurance agent is the Robin to your Batman and they're ready for whatever gets thrown at them. Life can hit hard, but with a good agent in your corner and a plan of protection, there’s nothing you can’t handle.
An independent insurance agent is just the sidekick you need in your disability insurance planning. They can run the numbers with you and show you what coverages are worthwhile. Plus, they work with a variety of insurance companies, broadening your horizons and bringing better options straight to the table.