Disability is a significant risk
Most people never doubt the importance of life insurance†. Yet many overlook disability coverage – even though they are more likely to become disabled before retirement than they are to die.
According to insurance industry data, there is a one-in-three chance of being disabled for a period of at least 90 days before age 65. That's eight times the risk of premature death.
Full or partial recovery from an injury is common. But without adequate insurance, even those temporarily disabled can exhaust their savings.
Fortunately, most people who work are covered by their employer's group disability insurance. If this is the case for you, take the time to find out exactly what medical conditions your plan does and doesn't cover.
For example, are you covered for illnesses affecting your mental health? According to Health Canada, one in five Canadians will experience a mental illness during his or her lifetime. One in 12 adults will suffer from major depression at some point, and one in eight will experience an anxiety disorder causing mild to severe impairment.
Stress, burnout, and depression account for a growing number of disability claims, yet some policies may pay benefits for only a limited time, such as one year.
Most policies pay benefits if you are disabled because of an injury, but what if you develop chronic pain? It is important to know whether you are covered for back pain, or other incapacitating illnesses that are difficult to diagnose, such as fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome.
A plan that works for you
Even if you are covered by a group plan at work, you can't assume it's adequate to meet your needs. Benefits might run for just two years and be capped well below your income level. And coverage usually ends if you leave your job.
For complete protection, you may want to get a bare bones individual policy now that will let you boost coverage if you need it in the future, without a new medical screening. A top-quality individual disability insurance plan can be used on its own, or in combination with a group plan, to provide secure, lasting protection in the event of a wide range of physical and mental conditions.
On your own
If you're self-employed, disability insurance is even more critical because you have no employee benefits to fall back on. As more insurers recognize the growing trend towards self-employment, new types of disability plans are helping to meet the special needs of home-based and part-time workers and business owners.
Professional advice can help make you aware of the strengths and limitations of your coverage, and fill any gaps. Talk to a BlueShore Financial insurance advisor about disability insurance that meets your needs.