Living Proof – The Importance of Income Protection

We never think it will happen. We plan for the future, envision how life will play out and believe the unexpected will affect someone else. That won’t be me, we think.

It’s human nature.

And when an illness or injury occurs, people certainly don’t feel lucky. Like me, though, they could experience peace of mind. I was fortunate during an unfortunate time because I was enrolled in group disability coverage through my employer, plus I had my own individual disability insurance policy. The two together provided full earnings protection.

It’s Disability Insurance Awareness Month, a time when I feel especially compelled to do my part to help build understanding of the importance of income protection in the face of an injury or illness. Because the unthinkable can and does become real life, disability income can help replace one of the most valuable assets a person has – an income.

I lived it. More than 10 years ago, a health condition invaded my relatively serene life, and suddenly my family’s lifestyle was at risk. Everyone has expenses – education costs, health care, a mortgage, kids’ sports and hobbies – none of which were going away just because I couldn’t work.

It was a difficult time. But I was covered, my income was protected and we got through it.

The first message I want to share is the importance of disability income protection. Every worker should have it … and at a sufficient level. Second, don’t get a false sense of security that all disability coverage is the same … because it isn’t.

Carriers aren’t the same. Service isn’t the same. And, contracts are most definitely not the same. Whether group or individual, contract provisions can make a significant difference in the payment calculation. Check out this piece I wrote for about the different way carriers define disability in group disability contracts.

Finally, let me ask you: How long could you survive without an income? And are you covered? Are your clients? Are their employees?

Don’t ignore the importance of being covered and discussing disability insurance with your clients. I’m living proof that it matters.