The Department of Work and Pension in the UK has reported that people are 19 times more likely to be off work for more than six months due to illness or injury than they are to die before the age of 65.
In this area, women tend to be more frequent and early claimers than men and premium rates reflect this.
If you cannot live without an income, then protecting this income stream should be a definite priority.
Amongst professionals, most take a benefit period that goes through until age 65 (i.e. rather than for just 2 or 5 years) and choose a waiting period of 3 months. This means that once they have been disabled 3 months they can begin to receive income payments at perhaps 50-75% of their predisabilty earnings, up to a maximum of US$10,000 per month.
One of the most important aspects of disability insurance is, we feel, the question of definition as to what constitutes disability.
Most commonly you will be protected in your own occupation for 2 or possibly 5 years per disability and thereafter you will be judged to see if there is another occupation for which you are reasonably suited ‘by knowledge, training or ability’.
Note that this definition pays no heed to the economic circumstances of the time. It is purely based on your physical/mental ability.
With many policies, if you are disabled between jobs, say, there will be no cover; the argument being that at that time, you had no income to protect.