Women already experience a disadvantage in the workplace, thanks to the gender pay gap. But some female workers may also be less prepared financially than men when it comes to disability insurance.
One in four American female workers will experience a disability before reaching retirement, according to a survey by the Council for Disability Awareness. Disability insurance is a way to replace your income if an illness or injury leaves you unable to work, and yet most women — especially single women — aren’t prepared.
According to the survey, one in three unmarried female workers are underinsured for disabilities. More than half of single working women between the ages of 20 and 65 say they have no disability insurance at all.
“We were surprised to see how few single women have disability insurance or other forms of income protection, or thought to get it,” said Carol Harnett, president of the Council for Disability Awareness, in a statement. “If you’re a single woman and don’t have disability insurance through your employer or private insurance, you need to put an income protection plan in place.”
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Americans don’t have enough saved for a disability emergency
More than half of working Americans who responded to an American Council of Life Insurers survey don’t have disability insurance, other than the basic coverage via Social Security. What’s more, 40% of Americans say they can’t cover an unexpected $400 bill, according to the Federal Reserve. The financial cost of a disability is typically much more than that because it can stop you from earning an income.
Getting disability insurance is an important step in protecting your financial future. Here are some easy steps to finding affordable coverage:
- Shop around. Compare prices across different carriers to find the best rate for you.
- Don’t always buy the maximum. Consider how much coverage you’ll actually need. You may not have to pay the maximum benefit amount or maximum benefit period. (We have a primer.)
- Lengthen the elimination period. The elimination period is how long you have to wait before the insurer pays out benefits. A 90-day period is most common, but extending it can lower your overall premium.
We can help you compare and buy disability insurance.
Image: Priscilla De Preena