The Woman’s Guide to Life, Disability and Long-Term Care Insurance

May 7, 2007

Unfortunately, many women are too busy attending to everyone else in their world and their own insurance needs are the last thing that get attention, says Frank N. Darras, the nation's leading disability and long-term care insurance lawyer.

According to Darras, comparing the features, advantages and benefits of different policies can be time consuming and cumbersome. Often, making a decision that can affect the rest of your life gets pushed aside in the wake of job responsibilities and caring for a family.

"It is important to pay close attention to the fine print in any policy and fully understand what you are buying. Make sure the representations in the sales brochures match the language in the policy and have any legalese translated into simple English so you're sure you get what you are promised," says Darras.

Darras offers these key points: LIFE INSURANCE — If you're young, single and no one depends on you for income or financial support and you have enough money for burial and funeral expenses, life insurance may be unnecessary. — For the rest of us, the monetary pain of making life insurance premium payments should be alleviated by the peace of mind and security of knowing we are leaving our loved ones financially secure. DISABILITY INSURANCE — Get your disability coverage when you're young, fun and hope to make a ton! The premiums are cheaper because you have no adverse health history to report and you can lock in early. Decide how much individual coverage you can afford and to save a few bucks on the premium extend your waiting period before benefits kick in from 90 to 180 days. — Always obtain the longest benefit period possible that protects you in your "own occupation". Look very closely at policies that only protect "your own occupation" for 24 months then require you be disabled from every occupation based on your training, education and experience. — "Most importantly, take a hard look at the 'limitation on benefits' section," says Darras. "Many carriers limit mental/nervous claims to 24 months, offer no benefits for pregnancy and cap self-reported claims like chronic fatigue syndrome, headaches and fibromyalgia to 12 months." — Don't be fooled into believing the group disability coverage from work is going to protect you. It's taxable, the benefits offset dollar for dollar. Look closely at your group policies; they are nothing to depend on. LONG-TERM CARE — "Understand what services the long-term care policies cover and who can provide the care" says Darras. "Find a good, reliable, claims paying insurer and research the Company's commitment to Long-term care. Check the overall financial strength and size of the Company and ask how many times they have increased their rates in the last ten years. — If you need long-term care, ask if you can have the care provided: in your home, by a family member or friend, in the home of a family member, in an adult care service facility, in an assisted living facility, a hospice facility or in a nursing home. Understand the policy terms custodial, intermediate and skilled care and consider which type you may need and how soon" says Darras. — Never buy from a company you don't recognize. What good is a policy with really cheap premiums from a company that won't be in business 20 years from now? For more information see http://www.DarrasLaw.com/ or call 800-458-4577.