What is Disability Insurance?

What is Disability Insurance?

by Leslie Freeland, September 21, 2016

Disability insurance is income protection.

With disability insurance, you and your family will still have a monthly income if you are too sick, or too injured, to work. And best of all, you get to decide how to use the money. You can use it to pay your mortgage, your car payments or even your credit card bills. It’s up to you.

Standing Up or Riding Along

You can buy disability insurance all by itself, as a stand-alone insurance policy. But that’s not the only way to get it.

You can also add it to your life insurance or mortgage protection policy. When you buy life insurance (or mortgage protection insurance), you can choose to add it to your policy at that time. This is called a ‘rider.’ The disability insurance ‘rides along’ with your other insurance policy!


Adding disability insurance coverage to your life insurance or mortgage protection policies can be an affordable way to get the income protection you need. Because they’re added on, insurance companies are able to offer lower premiums (monthly payments) than they usually can for stand-alone policies.

You’ll often find that a ‘disability insurance rider’ costs less than an identical disability insurance policy that’s a stand-alone policy.

Two years.

If you are unable to work because of an illness or injury, disability insurance will provide you with a monthly payment for up to two years. The first year, you would qualify for the payments if you can’t work in your chosen profession. You would continue to receive the same payments if you couldn’t work in ‘any’ profession after twelve months, until either the two-year mark passes or you become well.

Two years is often long enough to let you find an alternative income source if you become disabled, but it’s not so long that the insurance company takes on too much risk. You’re able to get the coverage you need, and your insurance company can keep your monthly payments low.

How much would you get?

The amount of disability income you would receive each month is different for each person. There are many different options to choose from. When signing up for disability insurance, you will work with an agent to select the plan that will provides you with the income you need and has a monthly payment you can afford.

To find out how much disability insurance will cost, you need to contact your trusted insurance agent for a custom quote.

Remember that the cost of disability insurance (stand-alone or riders) depends on your age, your job and your health status. Like life insurance or mortgage protection, you will often have to provide medical information when you apply for coverage.

No Monthly Payments.

Sometimes, if you get disability insurance as a rider, the insurance company will waive your monthly life insurance or mortgage protection payment while you are disabled.

Not only will you receive payments from your disability insurance policy as an income replacement, you also won’t have to worry about making your monthly payments. Every monthly payment you receive (and save) can go towards helping you manage your other living expenses.

What is a ‘Disability’?

Most insurance companies define ‘disability’ as not being able to work at your regular job (and after a year – ‘any’ job) due to illness or injury. For example, a ski instructor who breaks her leg would be classified as ‘disabled’ since it’s impossible to teach skiing with a cast on.

With disability insurance, the ski instructor would receive a monthly disability insurance payment from her insurance company for up to a year. After a year, she will continue to receive money from her insurance policy if she can’t work at ‘any’ job due to her disability.

A long-term illness that makes it impossible to work is also considered a disability.

It’s important to understand that under most policies, you must be disabled for a certain amount of weeks, or months, before you can start getting cash from your insurance company. You will need to keep paying your life insurance premiums while you wait for your benefits to begin, so don’t stop making those monthly insurance payments!

Never stop making payments on your insurance policies without checking with your agent first!

Note: Disability insurance will not cover pre-existing illnesses such as diabetes, cancer or arthritis. The exact definition ‘disability’ can vary between insurance companies –  and can change over time.

Coverage for the Uncoverable

People who work in dangerous jobs, such as firefighters, police officers and farmers, may not be able to buy disability insurance. Don’t worry though, if there is any coverage available for you, we will find it since we have access to so many different insurance companies.

Top Points to Keep in Mind

Disability Insurance

Gives you with cash every month to replace your lost income.

Allows you to decide how to use the money.

Provides you with monthly payments for up to two years.

Allows you to choose the amount of coverage you want.

Might even cover the cost of your life insurance policy payments while you are unable to work.

Do you need disability insurance?

Facts to Consider

  • 1 in 4 American adults will be classified as ‘disabled’ before age 65.
  • Do you have enough savings to survive without a paycheck for months, or years?
  • Could you keep paying your life insurance or mortgage protection monthly premiums if you could not work?

No one plans on becoming disabled, but an estimated 48.9 million people in the United States — about 15 percent of the population — are classified as disabled.

Protect Your Income

Make sure you’ll be able to afford your living expenses if you are unable to work. Let us help you find the disability insurance plan that will give you the monthly income you need so you can continue living life despite any disability.





Asurea offers Life Insurance, Mortgage Protection Life Insurance, Medicare Supplement Insurance, Final Expense Insurance, Disability Insurance, Long-term Care Insurance, Retirement Planning products and more. For additional information, click on the ‘Learn more’ button below. Want to have articles just like this delivered to your inbox? Just enter your email address in the box below and click ‘Subscribe.’

This information is provided for general consumer educational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal, tax or investment advice. Dollar amounts are for illustrative purposes, not actual.


Leslie Freeland

Leslie Freeland

Find her at LinkedIn
Leslie joined Asurea as the Marketing Communications Coordinator in February 2015. Since then, she has been working closely with insurance professionals to educate the public on the importance of life insurance and protect the public from common scams with informational articles.
Leslie Freeland