Disability insurance can be thought of as insurance for your income. When you become disabled, the disability insurance company will pay you a monthly benefit for the remainder of your disability or until your predetermined benefit period ends. If you’re a teacher, long-term disability insurance may help keep food on your table and pay your medical bills while you’re unable to return to the classroom because of an injury or illness. Read on to learn more about disability insurance for teachers.
Why teachers need disability insurance
Many states require you to get a master’s degree in education before you become a teacher. Even in states that don’t require it, having a master’s degree can significantly raise your income over someone who only has a bachelor’s degree. If you’re a professor, you likely had to get even higher degrees, which means more student loans to pay off.
However, paying off your student loans can be a challenge on an educator’s salary, and missing too much work because of an illness or injury could mean going further into debt. Since every new degree may add tens of thousands of dollars to your student loan debt, disability insurance can help you keep making your payments if you lose your income.
Although disability insurance premiums can be pricey, Policygenius makes it easy to find an insurer who works within your budget to provide you the coverage you need.
Best disability insurance companies for teachers
$97.47/mo or $1,126.84/yr
$155.43/mo or $1,800.76/yr
$238.46/mo or $2,766.28/yr
$64.23/mo or $$738.16/yr
$109.52/mo or $1,258.73/yr
$153.87/mo or $1,768.70/yr
$78.80/mo or $918.08/yr
$119.22/mo or $1389.00/yr
$178.59/mo or $2,080.66/yr
$96.08/mo or $1,098.00/yr
$144.77/mo or $1,654.50/yr
$213.89/mo or $2,444.40/yr
$93.08/mo or $1,063.71/yr
$131.56/mo or $1,503.44/yr
$198.53/mo or $2,268.93/yr
$115.21/mo or $1,353.01/yr
$182.64/mo or $2,132.53/yr
$312.10/mo or $3,629.12/yr
Mutual of Omaha**
$108.09/mo or $1,235.38/yr
$162.08/mo or $1,852.33/yr
$247.76/mo or $2,831.50/yr
*Non-cancelable policies not available †To age 67; non-cancelable policies not available
These rates assume the applicant is a male, nonsmoking teacher in New York with a degree and an income of $60,000.
The plans offer a $3,000 benefit with a 90-day waiting period and benefits to age 65, as well as the following features:
Own-occupation: Will receive the disability benefit if you can’t work in your own profession, even if you can work other jobs.
Partial or residual disability: If you’re able to work but not to the extent you were able to before your disability (for example, because of reduced hours) you still receive a partial benefit.
Future purchase option: A rider that provides the ability to get more coverage later in life without going through the underwriting process again.
Noncancelable: Your rates cannot go up.
Automatic increase benefit: Will raise the benefit automatically for the first four to five years of the policy.
Your exact policy and rates will depend on your specific needs, so while this is a good guideline for what to expect, be sure to talk to a licensed expert about your situation. Your maximum amount will be determined by your gross income and any other group or individual plans you have in place.
You may need a smaller benefit amount if you don’t have as much income to replace when you become disabled. Premium pricing is proportionate, so if you only need a $2,000 monthly benefit, your premiums may be roughly two-thirds of the price as someone who needs a $3,000 benefit.
→ Learn more about the best disability insurance companies
What teachers need to know about disability insurance
While disability insurance may seem expensive if you’re already an underpaid educator, knowing how to purchase the coverage you need can help you find rates that don’t break the bank.
Having a master’s degree can lower your rates
Not only can a master’s degree net you a better salary; it can also get you lower premiums. Having a doctorate may lower your premiums even further.
You may already have coverage, but it might not be enough
Depending on where you teach, you may already have some time of coverage. Public-school teachers may have coverage similar to that of government employees, which is generally less expensive than private, long-term disability insurance, but it may not offer enough coverage.
Private-school teachers and professors may be offered coverage through a group plan, but coverage amounts are typically lower than those of private plans.
If you need more coverage, a long-term disability insurance plan can supplement coverage offered by the government, your employer, or your union.
Where you teach can affect your premiums
Every insurer has different rules for how they price your premiums. Usually, they will quote professors a lower premium than high school or primary school teachers for the same amount of coverage with all else being equal. If you think you deserve a lower premium, it pays to shop around and get quotes from multiple insurers.