Christopher Smith, WNC Health Insurance / The Asheville Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina® Store, Asheville, NC. Agent for Disability Insurance, Health Insurance Marketplace, Life Insurance, Medicare Supplement Insurance, Medicare Advantage, Health Insurance, Employee Benefits and Group Health Insurance. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina® Authorized Agent for Blue Advantage®, Dental Blue for Individuals℠, Blue Medicare HMO℠, Blue Medicare PPO℠, Blue Medicare Supplement℠

Individual Disability Income Insurance

Disability income insurance is the cornerstone of a sound financial plan because it protects your ability to earn an income should you become disabled.  It is more important than any other type of insurance because without it, you would not be able to pay your bills should you become sick or hurt and can't work.  

Your most important asset is not your home, your car, your jewelry or other possessions; it’s your ability to earn a living.  You don’t hesitate to insure your home, car and other valuable possessions, so doesn't make sense to insure something that is much more valuable than all those things?  Think about it; all of your plans for the future, from buying a home to putting your kids through college to building a retirement nest egg, are based on the assumption you will continue to earn a paycheck until you retire.  What would happen if those paychecks stopped?  How would you pay for:

  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Transportation
  • Housing
  • Insurance premiums
  • Retirement or college education
  • Remaining medical expenses that health insurance doesn’t cover

You are 7 to 10 times more likely to suffer an incapacitating illness or injury than premature death. Think about how much you earn in a year and what that would be over a lifetime.  The financial consequences of a lengthy disability could literally cost you millions.  A twenty five year old individual who makes $50,000 a year and suffers a permanent disability could lose $3.8 million in future earnings.  What would you do if this happened to you?  To calculate your chances of becoming disabled, click here

I specialize in disability income insurance and can formulate a plan that is right for you.  All disability policies have two elements in common: the elimination period and the benefit period.   The elimination period is the length of time between the date you suffer a disability to when the benefits begin.  The benefit period is the length of time that benefits will be paid.  This can be a period of months, years or to when you are eligible for social security retirement benefits.  Plans are available with elimination periods as short as zero days and benefit periods from six months to age 70.  To learn more about the elements, terms and available riders of an individual disability income insurance  policy, please click here.

I can structure a plan that will keep up with the cost of living should you go into claim and allow you to add coverage as your income increases without evidence of insurability.

There are Four Types of Individual Disability Income Insurance Policies

1.  Short Term Individual Disability Income Insurance

Short term individual disability income insurance (STDI) can have an elimination period as short as zero days and a benefit period of up to two years.  An STDI policy will pay a benefit of up to 70% of your income at the time of your disability for the length of the benefit period after you have satisfied the elimination period.  You can pair a STDI plan with either a long term (LTDI) group or individual disability income insurance benefit.  If you have less than two months of living expenses in an emergency savings account, you may strongly consider an STDI plan.   A typical elimination period is 7 or 14 days with a benefit period of 3 to 6 months when paired with a LTDI plan.  Your employer may offer STDI as a voluntary benefit or as an employer paid benefit with shared funding.  Premiums for individual coverage vary according to occupation, age, gender, health, income, length of elimination period and length of benefit period. 

2.  Long Term Individual Disability Income Insurance

Long term individual disability income insurance (LTDI) is the true cornerstone of a sound financial plan.  The elimination period for an LTDI plan can be as short as 30 days, thus eliminating the need for short term individual disability income insurance for those with at least two months of living expenses in an emergency savings account.  The benefit period can be from two years to age 70.  Premiums for individual coverage vary according to occupation, age, gender, health, income, length of elimination period and length of benefit period.  Many companies offer plans that allow you to increase coverage as your income increases without evidence of medical insurability as much as 50% in a two year period.   A high quality policy, like those offered by the Principal Financial Group, will also include supplemental health benefits for major medical events (heart attack, stroke, cancer) for no additional cost.  

3.  Supplemental Individual Disability Income Insurance

If you have group long term disability income insurance through your employer, your benefit will be taxable income should you go into claim.  This can significantly reduce the amount of benefits you would receive.  Even worse, the group plan may limit the maximum amount of total benefits you would receive, and then those benefits are taxable.  A simple solution is a supplemental individual disability income insurance policy.  These policies can help bridge the tax gap and benefit limits of a group LTDI plan.  A supplemental plan will pay a tax free benefit should you go into claim and can be designed to work the same as your group benefits. 

4.  Disability Income Retirement Security

If you are disabled and have a long term disability policy, it will pay you 60% of your income for the length of the benefit period.   While this may be enough to cover your living expenses, what about your retirement plans?  How will you be able to keep funding your retirement should you become disabled? Disability Income Retirement Security from the Principal Financial Group will fund a retirement plan with a benefit of up to 15% of your income until you reach 67.  To learn more, please click here.

I represent several disability insurance carriers and can formulate an effective plan of income protection using short term and long term components from different carriers to help you save money.  

You may contact me by phone at 828-231-3047 or e-mail at christophersmithinsurance@gmail.com.