Long-Term Disability Insurance: Essential Coverage for Singles


About 48% of all adult Americans are legally single. If you’re one of them, whether by choice, divorce or because you still haven’t found Ms. or Mr. Right, not having a date for special events is the least of your concerns. Along with gainful employment and retirement planning, you should considering looking for long-term disability insurance quotes. It’s an essential coverage for anyone on his or her own financially.

Disability insurance isn’t just for folks who are getting on in years. Anyone, including healthy young people in their 20s, 30s and 40s, can suddenly  find himself or herself unable to work due to illness or accident. In reality, about 31 million people experience come kind of disabling injury every year, according to the website for the Council of Disability Insurance, as reported in a NY Times “Your Money” column 2/5/10. The same column does point out that a disabling injury can be defined as anything that interferes with normal activity one day after the actual injury occurs. 

So maybe you’re a gambler and you’re wondering what the odds are that you’ll suffer a disability that does impact your ability to earn an income. According to the Health Insurance Association of America, sometime during their working lives about 30% of Americans 35 to 65 will incur a disability that lasts a minimum of 90 days.  Do you have enough money set aside to cover your expenses and bills for 90 days?

If have a job, your employer may offer some kind of disability coverage, although it may not be 100% of your income, and workers compensation insurance only kicks-in if you were injured on the job. But if you’re self-employed when disability sidelines you, you’re on your own. In either case, don’t count on Social Security to have your back. The rules for disability under Social Security are exacting and the actual compensation you receive can be pretty meager. 

Long-term disability insurance (also call long-term care insurance) will help you pay for in-home or in-facility care while you convalesce. It kicks in after any short-term disability coverage has been used up. Depending on your policy, disability insurance will usually cover 45% to 60% of your gross income. Policies typically are written to pay for 2 years, 5 years or until you turn 65.  The good news is that disability insurance payments are not considered taxable income if you’re the one who paid the premiums with after-tax dollars. However, if your employer pays for the coverage, benefits may indeed be considered taxable.

When looking for long-term disability insurance quotes, don’t decide on price alone. A dirt cheap disability insurance policy may not be a bargain in the long run. The best long-term disability insurance will be non-cancelable and guaranteed renewable. Your premiums may be higher, but you won’t have to worry about losing your coverage if you file a claim. Other considerations are cost-of-living adjustments, length of benefits, residual benefits (you can work a bit, but not full-time or at 100% capacity), waiver of premium while you’re disabled, the start date for any claim benefits,  and (as with every type of insurance coverage) limitations and exclusions.

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