Our income is one of the most important things we work for. Not only does it allow us to pay for the essentials such as homes, cars and food, it also allows us to do fun things like vacations, concerts, games or other activities.
It can take years to accumulate the wealth we need for the lifestyle we desire. However, becoming sick or injured can deplete that wealth in a matter of months.
Here are five tips so that an injury or illness doesn’t stop you.
1. Review what’s available through your employer.
The first step is knowing what you have. Review your employer benefits guide to see what type of disability income insurance is available. Typically, long-term disability insurance pays 40 to 60 percent of your base salary (pretax) for a certain period. It’s a one-size-fits-all type of a product that is not specifically designed to meet all of your expenses. In addition, it only pays if you are still employed with that company.
2. Catalog your expenses.
Understanding the total cost of your expenses needed to maintain your lifestyle each month is an important step in insurance planning. Once you know your living/household expenses, how long could you survive on 40 to 60 percent of your paycheck (if you are lucky enough to have long-term disability insurance through your employer)? How quickly would your savings be drained to cover the difference in your paycheck?
3. Consider a package of coverage.
Even if you have long-term disability income insurance through your employer, you can often get additional support through a supplemental disability insurance policy. The benefit to this policy is as long as you pay the premium, you own it. It’s not dependent on your employer and follows you even if you change jobs. Private insurance, coupled with your employer group insurance, can provide a better package of coverage in case of a disability.
4. Insurance rates are the lowest when you are younger.
Disability income insurance rates are based in part on your age. You can save on your premiums if you purchase disability insurance in your 20s and 30s. In addition, it may be easier to qualify in your younger years when you tend to be healthier.
5. Consider a company that is financially strong.
You want a company that is going to be around to pay your claim if you need it. When you are evaluating policies, be sure that the policy is from a financially strong company with financial strength ratings higher than an “A.” A.M. Best, Standard & Poor’s, and Moody’s are rating agencies and all offer company ratings on their websites.
If you become disabled, God forbid, standard-unemployment benefits will likely not provide what it takes to replace your income. Disability insurance gives you the ultimate safeguard. Cosmo Insurance Agency in New Jersey will shop for the ideal plan, from the superior carrier, based on your individual situation.
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