“But the chances of me needing disability insurance are low…”

Have you ever thought or said to yourself that you don’t NEED disability insurance? Think your job is low key enough that injury or illness couldn’t ever limit you from working? Do you feel like you’d be able to manage paying for your lifestyle and bills with no income, even just temporarily?

These are all valid questions and pretty important ones to spend some time on. Of course like all insurance, disability (or “income replacement†as some may refer to it as) is protection against the unknown and a bit of a gamble. But similar to life insurance, it’s peace of mind for your spouse or family – or even just yourself – that in the event you are sick or hurt in a way that you’re unable to work, you can still have some financial means to cover your obligations.

Before you can decide if you need this protection, you need to understand what your options are. There are two main types of disability insurance:

    • Covers 40-60% of your base salary
    • Can last from a few weeks to a year
    • Short waiting period for coverage to kick in
    • Covers 50-70% of your base salary
    • Benefits are much longer, typically to age 65-70
    • 90 day waiting period after onset of disability

We challenge you to check out these interesting stats on disability insurance and ask yourself honestly if you still believe you don’t need it:

  • 1 in 4 people will become disabled during their working career… 1 in 4!
  • Only 48% of Americans have enough saved to cover 3 months of living expenses with no income
  • 90% of disabilities come from unpredictable health conditions such as cancer, heart disease, arthritis, lupus and MS
  • 52% of disabled individuals without coverage took more than 2 years to recover financially

If insurance can be required to cover material things such as your home and car, you really should consider your paycheck something worth protecting too.

Benefits of Auto Pay for Your Insurance Premiums

We currently happen to be in a time of uncertainty with some businesses temporarily closing or being short staffed due to Covid-19 social distancing recommendations. One of the concerns that has developed is people still being able to pay their bills, such as insurance premiums.

Thankfully, most insurance carriers accept payment either online or via an automated phone system but Auto Pay could alleviate any worry or doubt you might have about these payments being processed correctly and on time. There are several benefits to Auto Pay, depending on what type of policy it is.

• When it comes to life or disability insurance, a lapse without timely reinstatement could mean that you will now require an underwriting review, sometimes involving medical evidence… or you could even have to secure new coverage at your current, older age and possibly lesser health.

• For a health insurance policy that cancels due to late or non-payment, it cannot be reinstated at all and you would be left without coverage until the next open enrollment period for the following year. Scary, right?!

• For auto or home insurance, it would depend on the company if they were willing to reinstate or rewrite the coverage. The biggest risk here is that something detrimental and very expensive could happen in that lapse period where you would have no coverage at all.

Auto Pay is convenient, yes. It saves paper and printing costs, yes. It’s peace of mind and one less thing to worry about, yes. But it’s also imperative for maintaining some pretty important coverage. This is coverage that you may not be able to get back if you elect to receive a paper bill that gets lost or doesn’t get paid. An Added bonus is cost savings as well… you can almost always save on installment fees by going this route.

If you’re able to arrange Auto Pay either through EFT (electronic funds transfer from a checking account), recurring credit card, online bill pay with your bank, or whatever options there are… it’s definitely the safest way to ensure that your coverage will not be interrupted or affected.

If you have questions about a specific policy or company that we work with, please let us know anytime at [email protected] or (352) 371-7977.

Disability Questions Every Doctor Should be Asking

Attention medical professionals! When was the last time you discussed disability insurance? Have you thought about the financial repercussions that could very easily become a reality for your family in the event that you are hurt or unable to work?

Here are a few questions every physician or professional in the medical field should be asking regarding disability insurance:

•    What if I can’t perform the typical duties of my occupation, but could do something different and still earn a lower income? Great question! There is something called “True Own-Occupation†for this situation, in which you could collect both the disability benefit as well as the new income.

•    What if I’m able to work just part-time or at a reduced income but not my usual full-time schedule? Glad you asked! There is “Partial Disability†which actually makes up the majority of claims industry-wide. This is when there is a partial or residual claim where the insured is working, but less than usual.  This rider makes sure it is not an “all or nothing†claim.

•    What if I want to change my coverage as my income increases over time? We like where you’re going with this! There is a “Future Increase Option†that gives you the ability to increase your monthly benefit typically every 3 years without future medical underwriting.

•    What about inflation between when I get my policy and claim time where I actually need the benefit? Another good one! You’re in luck. The “Indexing/Cost of Living Adjustment†rider is an option that keeps the monthly benefit current with inflation at claim time to avoid any gaps.

•    Are there exclusions for Mental/Nervous/Substance Abuse claims? Asking for a friend? Many carriers will limit these types of claims to 24 months but others will treat them like normal claims and pay out to the regular benefit period such as age 65, 70, etc.

•    Shouldn’t I get a discount for being a member of organizations like the Florida Medical Association? You deserve it! Some carriers offer up to a 10% discount to Florida Medical Association members.  Most carriers also offer a multi-life discount as well… typically when you have 3 or more people in the same practice, they will discount the rates from the unisex rates. This is usually about a 10-30% discount (higher discount for females since their premiums are already higher).

Your options with disability insurance are endless and vary on an individual basis. It may not be the most fun topic of conversation or you may think it won’t happen to you. But especially being in the medical field, it’s crucial to at least ask the questions. And it’s most important that you understand the value in this coverage and how serious protecting your family is.

Would your bills be covered if you were unable to work?

Often times, people underestimate the issues they may face if they’re out of work and their paycheck stops. Income Protection coverage could be a huge help… if you have it.

You probably have an insurance policy in place to cover your home, your car, your liability, even your life… but what about your income? Disability Insurance can help replace a portion of your paycheck if you are faced with an injury or illness that makes you unable to work. And unlike most insurance policies that pay the benefit directly to a provider or company, Disability Insurance is paid to YOU.

According to the Social Security Administration, one in four 20-year-olds will become disabled before age 67. One in five Americans (that’s over 60 million people!) live with a disability of some kind and one in ten of those disabilities is severe.

Speaking of Social Security, there are benefits there but tend to be rather modest. The average Social Security Disability Insurance payment is only about $1,165/month. Rest assured… You have options. Many employers that provide employee benefits offer short term and long term Disability coverage and typically at pretty competitive rates. However, there could be stricter guidelines or limitations when provided by an employer. You can also elect to purchase individual Income Protection coverage and protect a greater amount than you think.

You may not be able to predict the future but having a plan in place will make it much more pleasant for you and your family. As always, please reach out to us with any questions at (352)371-7977 or you can email Nick Deas at [email protected]. We are happy to help and want you to feel as comfortable and protected as possible.