There are a lot of questioning consumers out there wondering if disability insurance is truly worth their money or if they are being suckered into yet another unnecessary money-wasting scheme. The disability insurance world was a little rocky in past decades due to questionable dealings between the insurance provider and customers and many lawsuits in the news as a result of that. Now the market for disability insurance is recovering and building back a good reputation because of new checks and balances put in place to decrease fraud and broken trust. Right now, insurers are pretty flexible about who can get coverage, so it’s a really good time to be considering whether this is a good move for you. The following tips will help you get your bearings and figure out how to apply for disability insurance.
- Types of Plans to Consider
The type of plan you choose will tend to fall into one of the three following options for disability insurance plans: Group Disability Plans, Individual Disability Plans, and Supplemental Disability Plans. Learning to know the difference between these plans and how they work together can really help you when deciding what kind of disability insurance you need. Group Disability Plans usually are offered through your workplace and will generally be less flexible than either of the other plans. This is also the most common kind of plan that many people rely on although they rarely cover even half of your paycheck if and when you are unable to work. There will also be spending limits put on these plans. Individual Disability Plans are preferred by many people because they cater to you and only you. These plans are the most flexible, and you have the most choice of how much of your paycheck you want covered if you are unable to work. You can also take these kinds of plans to whatever jobs you have instead of worrying about being dropped when you change jobs. Supplemental Disability Plans are a great idea if your employer supplies a plan already, but it does not cover everything you need. Your insurance provider can evaluate the type of group plan you have and find out where the weak spots are in order to strengthen the plan with a supplemental disability insurance plan.
- Providers to Consider
There are plenty of providers out there looking to help you find the right disability insurance for your lifestyle and plan. The Murphy Insurance Agency is one of the best agencies to go through because of their attention to detail when scoping out how well your plan works with your actual needs and potential risks. They are good at finding what risks you need to apprehend possibly and find you a plan that even works in with your current plan (if you have one). Aflac is a highly ranked insurer that boasts a wide range of services and plans that will guarantee what you need including renewable plans. They are known for being prompt, helpful and responsive to claims.
- Coverage Priorities and Options
Many variables go into the decision-making process for what disabilities plan you will need. One major thing you will need to decide is if you want yourself covered if you cannot work at your own career anymore or if you can’t work in any way. The two different options for this are called Own Occupation and Any Occupation. They will make a huge difference in cost between the plan, and payout so consider whether you want to insure your ability to work in your particular occupation or just your general ability to work. Another big decision you will need to make is how much of your paycheck you want to be covered. This will also make a difference in how much you pay for your plan and how much you get out of it if something happens. Some people like to choose higher than what is normally covered because they don’t want to worry about their paycheck being cut in half if they have to go on disability. Others will cut it down to a pretty small percentage in order to save money on month-to-month premiums and simply take a risk assuming they will have to adjust their lifestyle and spending if they end up having to take disability. Some people have emergency funds incase this happens and do not feel the need to buy a heftier disability plan. Inflation protection is also something to keep in mind even though it will increase your premium as the cost of living increases. Your payout will stay relevant over the long term if you make this selection.
- Things to Look For
Most disability insurers will give you quotes for 5 years or 10 years because those tend to appeal more to the general public due to the lower cost. However, if you want to be covered for long-term disability, these plans may not cover you for as long as you need. In order to make sure you are covered for long-term disability, ask for quotes on plans that last up until the age your retirement plan kicks in. Also, make sure that the disability insurance plan you decide upon is guaranteed to be renewable, so the insurance company has to lock in the premium and benefits you chose until termination. Another thing to check out before buying a plan is if it is portable. This is something that can be really handy if you find a policy you like and want to be able to keep it even if you switch jobs because it would be unfortunate for something to happen between jobs or before you can set up a new plan. One last but very important thing is the payout limit. Does your plan limit how much can be paid out per month or year?