Disability insurance is one of the most commonly misunderstood necessities of modern living. If you think that sounds dramatic, consider what else you cover with insurance. You cover your car, your home, your health – shouldn’t you also cover your paycheck?
That’s what disability insurance does. Also known as paycheck protection, this affordable coverage protects you from one of life’s real risks – becoming disabled so that you cannot work and cannot support yourself and family for a significant period of time.
Who needs disability insurance? Everyone who relies on earning an income to support ourselves and our loved ones. Your ability to earn a living is widely viewed as your most valuable financial asset.
Here are four of the most common myths about disability insurance (and their corresponding truths):
Myth 1: Worker’s Compensation will cover me if I become disabled. According to the Council for Disability Awareness, less than five percent of disabling accidents and illnesses are work related. The 95 percent that are not work related are not covered by Worker’s Compensation.
Myth 2: I’m too young – I don’t need to worry about disabilities at this age. Most working Americans tend to underestimate their chances of experiencing a long-term disability. Statistics from the Social Security Administration show that just over one in four of today’s 20-year-olds are projected to become disabled before they retire.
Myth 3: I don’t need it – I work at a computer all day, how likely am I to get into an accident? Many people believe that most disabilities result from an accident. However, according to the Council for Disability Awareness, 90 percent of disabilities are the result of an illness.
Myth 4: I’ll rely on savings if I can’t work for a while. Consider this, the average disability claim lasts almost three years, according to the Gen Re U.S. Group Disability & Risk Management Survey. How would you and your family survive without your income for three years or longer?
Your income most likely allows you to pay bills (such as your mortgage or rent), take vacations, fund your child’s education, and save for your retirement. If you are like most working individuals, you think the chances of becoming disabled for an extended period of time due to an injury or illness won’t happen to you. No one can predict the future. But we can (and should) plan for it and the surprises it may bring.
Greg Klingler is Director of Products and Member Services, Government Employees’ Benefit Association (GEBA) Wealth Management. GEBA was founded in 1957 by NSA employees to offer group insurance plan access to NSA employees. From the beginning, GEBA has been a nonprofit employee benefit association committed to its members’ best interests. Over the past 60 years, the list of Federal agencies that GEBA supports has increased tremendously and now serves the entire federal government. In addition, GEBA’s product line has increased to include a growing set of insurance and investment options for members.