Sandra ran her own successful insurance agency company for over a decade before it hit her like a ton of bricks – she was chronically depressed and something had to change.
Triggered by a combination of constant stress leading to severe burnout and her 12-year-old son’s recent diagnosis with Type 1 diabetes, Sandra needed some time away from the office to recover and receive treatment. Her depression was absolutely debilitating and could have been devastating to her business and income.
Luckily, Sandra, whose name has been changed to protect her privacy, had purchased two disability insurance policies eight years prior that would help her through such a turbulent time. Sandra worked in the insurance industry and had seen just how important it was to protect yourself from a loss of income in case of a debilitating illness or disease.
“We would see the financial devastation that a disability or an untimely death could cause,” Sandra said. “That had a strong impact on me and I wanted my income and my business to be protected.”
Sandra purchased two disability policies: An office overhead insurance policy in the amount of $10,000 per month that protected her business and covered office expenditures for a period of 18 months. The second policy, personal disability insurance, was an income replacement policy that covered her until age 65 or the length of the disability. It protected her personally by providing her with a $10,000 tax-free, monthly income that allowed her to take the time off work that she needed to receive treatment. Sandra was also happy to learn that she could still spend a small amount of time overseeing her business while continuing to receive the benefits.
“Purchasing the policy gave me peace of mind, knowing what could have happened and ultimately what did happen,” she said.
In general, disability insurance, or commonly referred to as DI, pays a claim due to sickness or accident if the insured is unable to work beyond the normal waiting period. As opposed to critical illness insurance, which is paid out in one lump sum, disability insurance is paid out in monthly installments while the insured remains disabled. The policy that Sandra purchased paid disability benefits until she reached age 65.
After months of treatment, Sandra decided to sell her business and start a new business with her husband: one that allowed her the flexibility to spend more time working on her own needs and the needs of her family. Having disability insurance allowed her to make that transition in her own time and without harming her financially – all while working with qualified medical professionals to get help for her depression.
Sandra’s story is not unique. While most working adults like to believe that they are immune to calamity or harm, unfortunately, that is not the case. According to Statistics Canada, 33% of workers between the ages of 30 and 64 will experience a disability for longer than three months. And most disability claims will come from major illnesses, not accidents.
Which disability insurance policy is best for me?
Working with a financial advisor will help you determine what type of living benefits best fits your needs. But we can outline the basics here to get you started.
Short-term disability insurance: Short-term disability insurance will cover the loss of income due to a temporary illness or accident. The tax-free coverage typically extends between six to 26 weeks, and payments begin after your workplace sick leave expires. Usually, but not always, these plans are provided by employers and typically cover up to 70% of your income.
Long-term disability insurance: As the name implies, long-term disability will cover for a longer period of time depending on your policy. Long-term disability insurance provides monthly payments that commence following the elimination period, which is usually 30 to 90 days after the onset of disability, and can continue up to age 65.
Office Overhead Insurance: Office overhead insurance covers your office expenses if you become disabled. Eligible expenses include rent, utilities and staff salaries.
Group Disability Insurance: This type of disability insurance is typically provided through an employer. If the premiums are paid by the employee, the disability benefit is received tax free.
Questions? Reach out if you are interested in exploring which type of disability insurance would best suit your needs.
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