Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Covid-19 and Disability Insurance

As the pandemic continues to work its way across the country, there is a lot of uncertainty. But one thing is for sure and that is that people who have disability insurance (DI) in place, whether through their employer or bought as an individual plan, are grateful to have it right now. And I don't think any of our clients will be cancelling their coverage any time soon.

More than ever Americans are learning how valuable their DI plan is. In a recent conversation with a local business owner, she asked me if I would prefer short or long term disability during a time like this. Not trying to sound trite, I said it would be best to have both. This is because the Coronavirus can put you in the hospital for a few weeks, and short term DI is good for that, but other ailments may not be getting treated in the meantime. Elective surgeries can be postponed, leaving people out of work for longer amounts of time. 

One thing to be aware of is that if your employer is offering to pay for your DI coverage, that benefit can be subject to income tax. And if that benefit is around 60-65% of your income (which is close to your take home pay), expect to get another haircut from Uncle Sam. In the same vein, if your company offers a Section 125 plan, in which you can have the premiums deducted "pre-tax", again you may be subject to taxes. 

On the other side of things are the people who have to get their own individual policies. This makes up the vast majority of my clients, who are business owners, self-employed realtors or other contract employees. Generally speaking, the people who purchase their own DI are cognizant of why they need this protection. If they can't work, they can't pay their bills. For a affordable premium, these folk can shift the onus to an insurance company. 

Since these entrepreneurs are in different fields of work, from barbers to realtors to attorneys, they all have differing risk factors with their jobs. But the one thing they all have in common is that they have to work with other people who may or may not be contagious. 

As I watch our local news, I see that restaurants are closing temporarily as employees begin to test positive. I applaud them for being proactive and taking action. But if that is your co-worker, how confident or nervous does it make you knowing that you could be out of work due to the virus?

In the upper right of this page you can run your own quote (it's an estimate subject to underwriting) for disability insurance. It only takes a few minutes so check it out. You may be surprised as to how affordable it really is. 

If you have any questions about our DI plans, or any other plans we offer, feel free to drop us a confidential message from our website. We will respond promptly. And as always, please stay healthy. 

Chris Castanes is the president of Surf Financial Brokers, as well as a professional speaker helping sales people be more productive and efficient.

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