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Back yourself up with disability insurance

Most Americans don’t think twice about insuring our vehicles, homes, health and life, but for many of us, purchasing disability insurance may cause hesitation. This can be a particular problem for young people who feel they have no significant risk of disability and plenty of energy to bounce back quickly when they do get injured. The truth, though, is that research shows Americans in their 20s are more likely to be injured before retirement than to die.

Still, many folks who purchase life insurance take a pass on the disability insurance. One reason for the disconnect—besides the incorrect assumption that only older people are at risk for disability—is that many believe they will be covered by workers’ compensation. Unfortunately, though, workers’ compensation only covers work-related injuries and most people are not, in fact injured on the job. 

Another reason for the decision to forego insurance is the belief that Social Security disability will kick in if one is injured. The reality here, though, is that only those who are seriously injured are able to qualify for Social Security disability, and those who do usually have to endure rather long wait times before they start receiving compensation. While Social Security disability income provides critical income to many seriously impaired Americans, it is not something the general population should rely on. Needless to say, having some form of disability insurance is important.

Some employees automatically have some disability coverage through their employer and are able to purchase additional coverage. Individual policies are more flexible but come at a higher price. Whatever form of disability insurance one purchases, it is important to understand the terms and make sure one has adequate coverage. 

Source: Nerdwallet.com, “Do You Need Disability Insurance,” Brian Frederick, April 15, 2014. 

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