Women are increasingly becoming the breadwinners for their families. It's important to understand how an individual disability insurance policy provides added financial protection.
February 05, 2014
According to the New York Times, more and more women are providing for their household. As this change occurs, the need for women to have individual disability insurance increases tenfold. While employer-provided policies could be beneficial as well, they often include few consumer safeguards and onerous limitations on benefits. The definition of disabled and the length of the benefit period can change from policy to policy, meaning employees may not receive the same benefits from job to job. (New York Times, U.S. Women on the Rise as Family Breadwinner, May 29, 2013)
Typical disability policies provide about 60 percent of the base salary, which can leave a policyholder trying to figure out how to cover monthly bills. Social security benefits are also not reliable in most cases since they don't cover short-term disability or any sickness or injury lasting less than 12 months.
"To determine how much disability insurance you need, the California Department of Insurance suggests you add up your necessary monthly expenses -- such as housing, car loans, food, utilities, and child care-- and then subtract any investment income. This is the amount you need to cover expenses in case of disability. Then add up whatever monthly long-term disability payments you would hope to get from your employer, and add to it your take-home pay. This is your income in case of disability," (Disability Insurance and Women: WebMD, February 3, 2014).
With individual disability polices, women can determine how much they will need to purchase in order to cover expenses without having to scramble to pay bills while being disabled. Policyholders will just need to decide how much they qualify for and how long the benefits would pay out.
"With the increased risk of disability as they grow older, women especially need to take a good, long look at an individual disability insurance policy," says Frank N. Darras, America's top disability insurance lawyer. "With the increase in women working and providing for their families, a debilitating injury or extended illness could be a financial blow for a household. With the current economy, all families should discuss purchasing a disability policy for the very real chance of becoming disabled and unable to work."
The likelihood of women suffering from chronic and debilitating conditions is higher than men meaning insurance premiums tend to be more expensive for women since they historically make more disability claims. According to the Centers for Disease Control, women have a significantly higher chance of reporting disabilities, especially arthritis (Women and Disability Risks: Journal of Financial Planning, February 3, 2014).
"There are many insurance experts throughout the country that women can work with to find the right individual disability policy that's right for them," says Darras. "These experts can work to figure out how much coverage someone needs while also saving them premium dollars. As disability risks increase the older they get, women need to look at disability insurance as another necessary insurance like health and auto. They may not see the importance of it right away, but there will come a time when their disability insurance policy will save their family from financial difficulties."