It’s worth getting disability insurance if you’re a software engineer, especially if you’ve invested time and money in a computer science degree or bootcamp. The right long-term policy can provide you with disability benefits for years after an illness or injury, even if you can never work as an engineer again.
The best way to find affordable disability insurance for software engineers is by shopping around and comparing quotes before buying coverage.
Why do software engineers need disability insurance?
The right disability insurance policy can protect the time you’ve invested in your career as a software engineer by keeping up your salary while you’re unable to work.
Disability insurance means you don’t have to worry about getting back to work right away or eating up your savings while you’re hurt or sick. You can use your disability insurance just like your regular income, on anything from rent to groceries to childcare.
Disability insurance usually comes in two forms:
Short-term disability coverage lasts for a few weeks or months, but typically no more than a year.
Long-term disability coverage lasts anywhere from a year to multiple decades — you can even set your policy to cover you until retirement age.
What software engineers need to know about disability insurance
As a software engineer, you’ll get the best coverage from an own-occupation disability policy. Own-occupation coverage means you can collect disability insurance benefits even if you get another, non-software engineer job, as long as you’re not doing the job you were doing before your disabling injury or illness.
Say, for example, that an injury from a car accident prevents you from ever working as a software engineer again, but that you’re able to hold another job in a related field. An own-occupation policy means you can still collect benefits even with your new job, since you’re unable to do your “own” occupation.
What if you already have disability insurance through work?
Your employer may offer disability insurance coverage as a benefit — many tech companies do. It’s worth having this type of insurance, calledgroup disability, since it’s usually free or relatively cheap, but you shouldn’t rely on group disability coverage alone.
That’s because you don’t have much, if any, control over your group disability benefits — they’re set by your employer. They’re also attached to your job, so when you leave the company, you lose the coverage. And employer-provided plans are usually short-term policies, so you may only have benefits for a few months.
That’s why it’s still worth getting your own long-term disability coverage or a separate supplemental policy even if you have disability insurance through work.
Disability insurance riders for software engineers
Disability insurance riders are coverage options that change or adjust your policy. Here are some useful disability insurance riders that are worth having as a software engineer:
Cost of living adjustment (COLA): Increases your monthly payments to keep pace with inflation.
Future increase rider: Allows you to add more disability insurance coverage for a set period of time without having to go through another medical exam.
Non-cancelable/guaranteed premiums: Keeps your rates the same and your policy active as long as you pay your premiums on time.
Partial disability benefit: Pays out benefits if you lose part of your income due to an injury or illness.
Retirement protection: Replaces the retirement contributions that you made to your 401(k) or IRA while you were working.
Student loan rider: Continues your student loan repayments while you’re out of work.
How much does disability insurance cost for software engineers?
Disability insurance rates are usually about 1% to 3% of your income. Since the median annual income for software developers is $127,260 a year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, you could pay between $106 and $318 a month for disability insurance with that salary. 
Disability insurance rates also depend on age, medical history, health, and lifestyle, so it’s hard to predict exactly what you’ll pay, but here’s how costs break down by salary range:
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
The best disability insurance companies for software engineers
The best disability insurance company for software engineers will offer helpful riders, reliable customer service, and will have experience working with high-earners.
Some of the best disability insurance companies for software engineers include:
What we like …
AM Best rating
Includes a survivor benefit for your beneficiary if you pass away.
Offers lifetime continuous benefits for total disabilities, even after the policy expires.
Offers a future insurability rider that's good until your 60th birthday.
Offers a lump-sum payment of $62,400 in addition to regular benefits if you're presumptively disabled.
Includes a family care benefit if you have to take time off to care for a sick loved one.
How to get disability insurance as a software engineer
You can find the best disability insurance for software engineers by following these steps: