How do I select the best disability insurance policy for me?

There are a lot of different options when it comes to disability insurance, so it’s important to take some time upfront to select the right policy for your needs. Here are the key things to consider:

Benefit amount — this is how much you’ll receive if you get disabled. Experts recommend starting with benefits equal to 60% of your income if you have no other coverage. This is usually enough for most people to cover their necessities if they become disabled. If you have some coverage at work or less expenses (e.g. your home is paid off), you might need less, so you can adjust your coverage down to save money.

Elimination or waiting period — this is how long you must be disabled before you can start receiving benefits. Most people find an elimination period of 90 to 180 days is the best balance of protection vs. cost. If you have a lot of savings, insurers will let you choose a waiting period of up to 360 days to get the lowest premium possible.

Benefit period — this is how long you’ll receive benefits for if you get disabled. It’s ideal to have benefits through age 65 but having a 5 or 10-year benefit period instead could save you 10–20% on your premium.

Definition of disability — the two main definition types are “own occupation” and “any occupation”. Own occupation is the strongest protection and is important if you are an executive or in a specialized line of work. Any occupation is a more general definition and provides less protection but can be more affordable and suitable if you are in a more general line of work. Our team of experts will help you navigate this decision during the quoting and application process.

Guaranteed premiums— some policies allow the insurer to raise rates or cancel the policy under certain circumstances. Experts recommend buying “non-cancellable” policies so your insurer can never change your rates or cancel your policy as long as you are paying your premium.

While this may seem like a lot of choices, it’s not much different from customizing your car or homeowner’s insurance. At Saturday, you can shop online at your own pace and our experts are here to help anytime you need us.

Have insurance coverage at work already? Click here to check out our next FAQ, “I have long-term disability insurance at work, am I covered?”

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Saturday Insurance Services, LLC (“Saturday” or “Saturday Insurance”) is a licensed, digital insurance advisor. All tools, quotes, and information provided by Saturday are for educational purposes only and based on the limited information, if any, provided by you. We urge you to consult with your financial and tax advisors before making any purchase decisions. All quotes and estimates are non-binding and are not to be construed as a guarantee you will be able to purchase insurance. Availability of insurance and final pricing is determined solely by our insurer partners and subject to their review and acceptance of a completed application. All product guarantees are subject to the claims-paying ability of your insurer.