Many people live under the assumption that if they have medical and life insurance, they and their families are protected in the event of an injury, illness, or death. Medical insurance will cover treatments and surgeries while life insurance will help pay final expenses. These types of coverage are wonderful but do not provide any cash benefits when a short or long-term disability occurs
Paying the Bills
One reason to consider disability insurance is to have money every month to pay the bills while unable to work due to disability. No one plans to have an accident or be struck with an illness, but these events are life changing and devastating. Plans typically cover approximately sixty percent of monthly income when a claim is approved.
How to Obtain a Policy
Some employers still offer short or long-term disability insurance, or both, to full-time employees. Other ways to purchase a policy is to do so as an individual or participate in a supplemental group policy. Be careful to read the entire policy before signing it to understand what is covered and what is not.
A short-term policy will have a waiting period of two weeks before benefits begin after an injury, and up to two months after an illness. A long-term policy will have a longer waiting period of ninety days and will cost more in premiums. Long-term disability is the policy to select if both types cannot be afforded because it has the potential to protect income for decades if necessary.
Denial of Claims
It is vital to keep in mind that many claims are denied by insurance carriers. Companies are in the insurance business to turn a profit and that is not likely if all claims are approved. When filing a claim, it is wise to seek the assistance of a disability firm for legal representation.
Denials occur for a wide variety of reasons, most of which are simple. Making a mistake filling out claim forms, including medical documentation that is too general, and leaving a space blank are the causes of several denials. A lawyer can provide a free evaluation of the case and assist with filling out the paperwork.
If the claim is denied, the lawyer can begin to build a strong case to illustrate disability. The process is complicated and confusing. It can get frustrating as well, so getting an experienced lawyer from the beginning is recommended.
The Difference between Any and Own Occupation
Policies have very specific language included that allows denials that will surprise policyholders. The wording of the policy is critical, so you may want a lawyer to review it and explain it for better understanding. A policy that provides benefits if the disability extends to any occupation, holders will be more vulnerable to denials.
Any occupation means coverage takes effect if the person has no ability to work any type of job. A civil engineer making a six-figure salary before a disability will be denied benefits if it is possible to hold down a simple job even at considerably less pay. A policy with language that specifies own occupation will provide benefits at sixty percent of the income made before the disability for at least two years while searching for a similar job or being trained for another career.
Protecting yourself and your family against total devastation in the event of a disability can only be done through a disability insurance policy. Criteria for social security disability benefits are changing all the time to include less and fewer people so that safety net cannot be relied upon. Look into the cost of coverage and determine how premiums can fit into the budget.