Disability Insurance:

A lot of workers assume their income will keep notching up over time, that they’ll never take a pay cut. And they often don’t factor in a long-term illness or disability.

In a nationwide telephone survey of 647 adults, 44 percent told the National Association of Insurance Commissioners that they had long-term disability coverage. Of those, nearly three quarters — 71 percent — said their coverage came from their employer. In other words, most people aren’t covered, and the ones who are could lose that coverage if they move to an employer who doesn’t offer it.

An experienced agent who specializes in disability insurance is very important when assessing policies. Too often, consumers try and become an expert on the subject of disability insurance, and they invariably overlook important provisions, which may be relevant to their situation. Many times, these provisions are not explained in detail in the quotes that a consumer will receive. An experienced agent who has read the specimen contracts of the insurance carriers would know which companies offer provisions that may be important to you, and which do not. This agent is also very important during the underwriting process, where frequent communication with the underwriter is necessary. It stands to reason that someone who specializes in the area of disability insurance will know how to better navigate the underwriting process, and get you the best offer, than someone who only writes a few policies a year.

It is important to find the best policy for your situation, and work with an experienced agent to get it, but the policy must be backed by an insurance company with very strong financials. The policy you’re buying is a promise – a promise to pay a benefit should you be disabled. That promise is only as strong as the insurance company making it. Furthermore, this promise is expected to be there many years into the future. That means that not only must the insurance company be able to honor it today, it must have the long term financial viability to honor it many years, perhaps decades, into the future.