As an attorney, you work hard to build your career and establish your financial stability. However, you may not have considered the possibility of being unable to work due to an injury or illness. This is why disability insurance is essential for attorneys, as it protects your ability to earn an income and maintain your financial well-being in the event of an unexpected disability.
The fact is, your most valuable asset is your ability to earn an income, and if you become disabled and are unable to work, you could face serious financial hardship. Most student loans do not go away if you become disabled, and if you have not saved enough money to cover your expenses, you could find yourself in a difficult situation.
One of the advantages of being an attorney is that you are in the best occupational class, which offers the best available rates for disability insurance. However, it is important to understand the differences between group benefits and an individual policy.
If you work for a large firm or company, you may be offered a group policy. While this may seem like a good option, there are several limitations to consider. Group policies typically offer a limited monthly benefit, and if your income exceeds a certain amount, the percentage of benefits replaced may start to reduce. Additionally, your group policy may require you to be totally disabled and not able to work in any capacity before you can receive any benefit, and the benefit may be taxable income to you if the employer is paying the premiums. Your employer may also cancel your policy at any time, leaving you without coverage.
Even if you have a group policy, it is still important to consider supplementing it with an individual policy. An individual policy is portable and can be taken with you if/when you leave your employer. The policy definitions on an individual policy are usually superior, with an own-occupation definition and inflation protection. This means that if you can’t work due to sickness or injury, the policy will pay you a monthly benefit even if you are able to work in another occupation. Without this definition, you are at the discretion of the company to determine if you are able to work.
When looking for disability insurance as an attorney, it is important to ensure your individual policy has the following components: own occupation definition, noncancelable, guarantee renewable language, and riders such as residual rider, increase options, and cost of living rider. The amount of benefit you may purchase depends on your income and if you have a group disability policy through your employer.
While paying for disability insurance may seem like an added expense, there are several ways to reduce your premium as much as possible. You may choose to supplement what your group policy already offers and load up your policy with increase options. This will allow you to keep your premium low during residency and still reserve the right to increase it in the future without any medical underwriting. Additionally, some companies offer discounted rates for attorneys, so it is worth shopping around to find the best option for you.
Disability insurance is an important consideration for attorneys, as it protects your ability to earn an income and maintain your financial stability in the event of an unexpected disability. By understanding the differences between group benefits and individual policies, and by ensuring your policy has the necessary components and riders, you can secure your financial future and protect your ability to work as an attorney.
Please note that Set for Life Insurance has discounts available nationwide for attorneys. Please contact Set for Life Insurance for more information.