May is Disability Insurance Awareness Month
The Council for Disability Awareness and others in the disability insurance industry spread some good information about Disability Insurance during May each year for Disability Insurance Awareness Month. I am not connected to the Council, and I routinely sue disability insurance companies for my clients. However, I always recommend that anyone who holds a private disability insurance policy or disability insurance through an employer’s ERISA disability plan should know as much about their coverage as possible.
According to the Council, “just over 1 in 4 of today’s 20 year-olds will become disabled before they retire.” Think about that…25% of people in the workforce will experience some type of disability that keeps them out of work for some time. Most people think of “permanent” disability when they think about insurance, but a permanent problem is rarely what disables someone. Very often, short term disabilities keep people out of work.
In fact, some insurance brokerages even caution their sales agents from selling “permanent disability” insurance. For example, a sales agent for a type of lump sum disability insurance policy once told its sales agents on its website: “Don’t allow your preferred clients to settle for a permanent total disability definition. That definition may prove to be too difficult and loose for your client’s disablement to fulfill.”
Know the facts when you buy disability insurance. If you are buying a private individual disability insurance policy, ask your agent questions. Some good ones include:
- How many of these policies have you sold?
- Is this the policy that you and your family bought? If not, talk about buying the one they got.
- How many of your clients have become disabled? Did you help them get paid? Do you have someone that you helped that would be willing to talk to me about the policy and this insurance company’s claim handling?
Ask the agent to show you a “specimen copy” of the whole disability insurance policy, not just the sales brochure.
If you are buying the coverage through work, do not assume it is good coverage. Employer group disability insurance is often cheap insurance with lots of holes (called “exclusions”). Ask for a copy of the employer’s group plan, and read it. Compare it to individual policies you are considering. Many people have both private disability insurance and group disability insurance to make sure the holes are filled.
I recommend that you check out the great infographic on the Council for Disability Awareness Website
Finally, if you read your disability insurance and it is all greek, consider paying a lawyer that handles disability insurance claims and lawsuits to review your coverage and tell you what you have. Do not just rely on an agent who has never litigated the coverage they are selling. A top notch Disability Insurance Attorneys know who the good and bad disability insurers are. A good ERISA Attorney knows the ins and outs of employer group disability benefits. Asking questions now can mean the difference between paying your bills and going into bankruptcy if you become disabled.
If you have questions about your disability coverage or a disability insurance claim? Call Disability Attorney John V. Tucker at (866) 282-5260.