FAQ

These are the most frequently asked questions we get asked about disability insurance.
If you don’t find an answer to your question here, check out our Disability Insurance
Education Center
or Contact Us with your questions. Also feel free to call us
at 866-691-0110 and ask for a disability insurance specialist.

Who needs disability insurance?

If you are dependent on your income and it would cease or decline if you were to become disabled, you are a good candidate for disability insurance.

When should I purchase disability insurance?

As soon as you can. There are several reasons not to “put it off until later.” The most obvious reason is the cost of coverage will increase as you get older. If you are earning an income, you need to protect it now. Also, if you are currently in good health, you should have no difficulty qualifying for a policy. However, if your health declines or if you experience a disability, you may no longer be insurable (if you are still insurable, it will certainly be at a higher premium).

How much will coverage cost?

You should expect to pay between 1-4 percent of your annual income. These percentages are a rough estimate, based on selection of certain benefits and options. Our representatives will assist you in purchasing the coverage that fits both your needs and your budget.

How much benefit should I have?

You should have enough coverage to maintain your current lifestyle until you are able to return to work, factoring in all other sources of income (group disability policy, investments, etc.).

How much benefit can I have?

Most insurance companies will cover up to 50-60% of your income. All companies have a maximum amount they will cover.

What options should I choose?

Each company will offer different riders, but most have the following options we typically recommend:

  • Residual disability provision: Under a residual disability provision (either in the policy or available by rider), an insured receives a percentage of his or her disability benefit based on the percentage of income loss the sickness or injury has caused.
  • Inflation protection: Individual disability income policies generally offer a cost of living rider that will adjust benefits for inflation during a long-term claim.
  • Future increase option: As long as your increased income qualifies for more coverage under the company’s issue limits, the future increase option guarantees your right to purchase additional coverage up to a stated age without evidence of
    insurability.

How do I determine the correct Elimination Period?

Individual disability insurance policies contain an elimination or “waiting period” during which no benefits are payable. Generally, you have a choice of waiting periods ranging from 30 days to one year. The longer the waiting period, the lower the cost of the plan. You should determine how long you can be without an income, based on your savings and other sources of income.

How do I compare policies from different companies?

It’s very difficult to “compare apples to apples” when comparing policies from different companies. Read the policy language and definitions carefully, as they vary greatly from company to company (e.g., what is the definition of Own Occupation; how do they value Residual Disability?; etc.). At ProtectYourIncome.com, one of our representatives will assist you in selecting a policy from a company that offers the appropriate coverage for your situation.

If I have a group disability insurance policy, do I also need an individual disability insurance policy?

If you have a group policy, you might still consider purchasing an individual disability insurance policy for several reasons: If you terminate employment, you probably won’t be able to take the policy with you; the benefits in group disability policies are limited; most group plan benefits are taxable because the employer pays the premiums; because of benefit caps, highly-compensated individuals are often under-insured. Also, group insurance policies usually “integrate”; i.e., they are lowered by other benefits you may receive such as social security disability or state disability plans.

Should I purchase disability insurance through my association?

You should definitely look at coverage through your association. However, you should compare the coverage offered by your association with individually owned policies offered by other reputable disability insurance carriers. Then, select the policy that offers the best coverage for your situation. At ProtectYourIncome.com we can help you compare association coverage with individual policies so you can choose intelligently.

The Application Process

Why do I have to provide proof of income?

Just as financial institutions require income verification for mortgages, loans, etc., income verification in the form of tax returns, W2’s and/or pay stubs is needed for disability insurance. After all, the insurance company is accepting a potentially large financial risk.

Will all my information be kept confidential?

Just as financial institutions require income verification for mortgages, loans, etc., income verification in the form of tax returns, W2’s and/or pay stubs is needed for disability insurance. After all, the insurance company is accepting a potentially large financial risk.

Will I need to take a medical exam?

In most cases, blood and urine samples are required. Depending on your health history, your age and the amount of insurance applied for, you may also be required to take a medical exam

If tests or exams are required, who will pay for them?

The insurance company you are applying with will pay the entire cost and arrange for any tests to be done (although we might arrange them on their behalf).

What if I have a health problem?

In some cases, coverage may still be issued. However, the coverage may be modified or a particular condition excluded from coverage, or an extra premium may be charged because of adverse health history.

If I am issued a modified policy, can it be reviewed later?

In some instances, yes, depending on your health history. Regardless of any exclusions, we recommend having coverage for any other potential disabilities.

How long will it be before I receive a decision on my application?

In some instances, yes, depending on your health history. Regardless of any exclusions, we recommend having coverage for any other potential disabilities.

When does my disability coverage begin?

Your coverage will begin after the company approves your coverage and when the insurance company receives your signed documents along with the first premium payment (upon completion of underwriting).

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