Disability Insurance Can Save Your Family

How Much Do I Already Have?

There are two ways to get disability insurance: through the workplace or by purchasing an individual policy.

Getting so-called "group" disability insurance through an employer is far cheaper, on the order of about $200 a year for long-term disability. Rene Neff's disability coverage was part of her job's compensation package, as it is for many employees.

Individual policies offer more options, and the policy follows the earner when they switch jobs. However, individual policies generally cost significantly more. The average annual premium for an individual disability insurance policy is between $1,300 and $1,400 per year, Harnett says. What's more, such policies cannot be cancelled.

So, experts say, the first step for income providers is to check employer benefits to see if they're already covered for a disability.

If an employer doesn't offer supplemental disability insurance -- and more than 60 percent don't -- it makes sense to prod the company's benefits department to consider offering long-term disability insurance. Even if employees end up paying the full premium themselves, it would be far cheaper than an individual policy because they'd have access to a group rate.

Continued on page 6:  How Do I Buy More?