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Long-term disability insurance is essentially insurance for your income. If you become sick or injured, you may be forced to miss work. Health insurance will only cover the cost of some of your medical procedures and recovery, but can’t help pay other bills. If you’re unable to work and can’t receive a paycheck, you run the risk of missing payments on your mortgage, utilities, or other bills.
There are several things to consider when deciding on which is the best long-term disability insurance policy for you. Some important terms to know are:
While researching long-term disability insurance, you may have come across short-term disability insurance. What’s the difference between short-term and long-term disability insurance?
The main difference between the two products is how long they last. Short-term disability insurance lasts for a shorter period of time, usually starting at a few months and no longer than a year. Your long-term disability insurance will not begin until any short-term disability benefits have been exhausted. Long-term disability insurance, on the other hand, can last until your retirement.
Private Short-term disability insurance policies are available, but short-term disability insurance is usually only cost effect through an employer.
Other alternatives to short-term and long-term disability insurance are Social Security disability insurance (SSDI), self-funding via an emergency fund, workers comp, or relying on friends and family for financial support. However, these are imperfect options that may not be feasible for covering the cost of a multi-year disability; for example, Social Security disability insurance is difficult to qualify for and may be limited compared to your coverage needs.
Average long-term disability insurance rates cost between 1-3% of your annual salary, but the exact cost will depend on a number of factors about the applicant and the policy chosen.
Consider the following scenarios to determine if you think long-term disability insurance is worth the cost. Which position would you rather be in?
|Company||BBB Rating||A.M. Best Rating|
|Mutual of Omaha||A+||A+|
|Principal Financial Group||A+||A+|
Most disabilities are caused by illness rather than injury, which means that disability insurance can provide a financial safety net for everyone. But what is the best disability insurance company for you? It largely depends on the policy cost and features that work for your individual situation. However, some insurance companies are best for certain professions, offering the best prices or most flexible options. Learn more about the best disability insurance companies for your profession:
Our quoting tool walks you through the important features of a long-term disability policy so you can shop with confidence
Getting disability insurance is a confusing process if you try to do it yourself. Our licensed experts and CFPs manage the application process, at no cost to you, so you get the best coverage
Disability insurers will offer discounts of up to 25% if you find other people to apply with you.
As the independent broker, we help you apply for the right disability insurance policy and manage the underwriting process through approval. If you accept and pay for the approved policy, the insurance company pays us a commission. Commissions are already priced into the cost of disability insurance - so you're not paying any extra to work with us (or any disability insurance agent or broker). Our commissions are similar across the disability insurers we work with, so we don't favor one company over another in the recommendations to you.
They are as accurate as disability insurance quotes can get, based on the accuracy and completeness of information provided. Pricing disability insurance is complicated - as it depends on the applicant's health history and occupational details. Quotes are an estimate and the final rate is determined by the insurance company through a process called underwriting (which is the process of reviewing all the applicant's detailed information and assigning a risk class and rate). If the final rate comes back higher after underwriting, our experts can work with you to modify the coverage to fit within your budget.
There's no discount or price difference when you buy directly from a disability insurance company. By law, the price you get from a given disability insurance company is the same through them, or through an agent or broker.
Also, the rate you get quoted initially may not be the rate you're approved at, after the underwriting process (in which the insurer reviews your medical history and occupational details). If you apply with the disability insurance company directly, and you're approved at a different rate, you're stuck with that offer. They won't help you figure out if you can get a better offer from a different disability insurance company. If you apply through PolicyGenius, we can review that offer to see if another disability insurance company we work with can provide a better alternative. That's the advantage of working with an independent broker: extra service for no extra cost.
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