Long-term disability insurance generally costs 1% to 3% of your annual salary. According to our Policygenius experts, the average rate for a long-term disability insurance policy is around $2,200 a year, but what you pay will depend on details like your income, age, and other factors.
How much does long-term disability insurance cost?
A long-term disability insurance policy generally costs 1% to 3% of your annual salary. Since disability insurance rates are tied to income, the more money you make, the more it will cost to protect it.
Cost of long-term disability insurance
$63 to $188 per month
$83 to $250 per month
$104 to $313 per month
$125 to $375 per month
$146 to $438 per month
$167 to $500 per month
$188 to $563 per month
$208 to $625 per month
$229 to $688 per month
$250 to $750 per month
Is long-term disability insurance worth the cost?
Yes — long-term disability insurance can cost thousands of dollars a year, especially for high-earners, but we think it’s worth it. A disability insurance policy is still one of the most affordable ways to fully protect your future income.
Disability insurance pays out if you’re sick or hurt and can’t work — which is more likely to happen than you might think. More than 1 in 4 20-year-olds will become disabled before they retire. 
A long-term disability insurance policy can pay you a significant portion of your income while you can’t work, even if it’s for years, which is especially worth it for people who invested years of training or education in their careers.
What affects long-term disability insurance costs?
There are lots of factors that affect the cost of a long-term disability insurance policy, like:
Age: The older you are when you get a policy, the more you’ll pay.
Benefit period: Your benefit period (which means how long you’ll receive disability insurance payments) can be two, five, or 10 years, up to age 65, or for life. The longer the benefit period, the higher your rates.
Coverage amount: You’ll pay more for disability insurance if you’re a higher earner since you’re protecting more money than someone with a lower income.
Health: If you’re a smoker, or have asthma, diabetes, hypertension, or another condition that makes you more likely to become disabled later on, you’ll probably pay more for disability insurance.
Hobbies: If you have any risky hobbies, like skydiving, mountain climbing, or extreme sports, your rates will be higher to reflect the increased risk.
Occupation: Your disability insurance rates can depend on your job — if you have a dangerous job your rates will be higher or you may have limited coverage options.
Waiting period: Your policy’s waiting, or elimination period, is the time between when you become disabled and when you start receiving benefits. A shorter waiting period means higher premiums.
Since these factors are different for everyone, we recommend comparing disability insurance quotes to get a better idea of what you want in a policy and how much it will cost you.
Riders and disability insurance costs
The cost of long-term disability insurance also depends on your riders, or the coverages that make up your policy. Adding more riders means your disability insurance will be more expensive.
Some of the most popular disability insurance riders include:
Cost of living adjustment: This increases your benefit amount as inflation goes up.
Future increase option: If your income goes up in the future, this lets you increase your benefits without needing a medical exam.
Own-occupation rider: Allows you to keep your benefits even if you can still do another job, like if a hand injury means you can’t continue being a surgeon but you can still hold a teaching position.
Sample disability insurance policy with riders
Let’s take a look at a sample disability insurance policy for a 31-year-old, and how different riders affect their monthly rate.
Cost of long-term vs. short-term disability insurance
Like long-term disability insurance, an individual short-term disability insurance policy usually costs about 1% to 3% of your annual income. However a short-term policy gives you much less protection than long-term disability insurance, since it’s only meant to replace your income for a few months.
Lots of people get short-term disability insurance through work, often for free. But if you don’t already have it as an employer benefit, getting an individual short-term disability policy might not be worth the cost.
How to lower disability insurance costs
Here are some general rules for making sure you get the cheapest long-term disability insurance rates:
Avoid risky activities: People without risky habits or hobbies, like smoking or skydiving, will be able to find cheaper long-term disability insurance.
Buy disability insurance early in life: Buying a non-cancellable long-term disability insurance policy early in life, when rates are lower, is cheaper than buying one later in life when you’re at a greater risk of becoming disabled.
Choose a longer elimination period: Disability insurance costs go down if you choose a longer waiting period between the time you become disabled and when you start to get benefits.
Compare rates: Compare disability insurance quotes from multiple companies so you can be sure you get the best rate for your coverage needs (Policygenius can help with this).