Most adults may have outgrown their fears of ghosts, goblins, and monsters, but there are plenty of other worries that keep us up at night. Unpaid bills, bankruptcy, foreclosure… these are the DI horror stories that chill us to the core. When a disability prevents someone from working, these nightmares can become reality … unless sufficient disability insurance protection is in place.
From Bad to Worse
The fear of hospitals is called nosocomephobia, and according to Very Well Mind, it’s surprisingly common. But perhaps it’s not that surprising. Unless you’re going to the hospital to have a baby, the event that brings you there is likely a very unpleasant one: a cancer diagnosis, a broken spine, a stroke, a heart attack… These are nightmare scenarios.
In the U.S., those who must go to the hospital are probably also afraid of the hospital bills they’re going to receive. Even with health insurance, many people face frightening out-of-pocket costs. Unfortunately, the financial horror doesn’t end there. While recovering from a serious illness or injury, many will not be able to work. As a result, they won’t be able to earn a paycheck. Instead of just dealing with a health nightmare, they’re also dealing with financial ruin. It’s a haunting double-feature horror show.
How Disability Horror Stories Begin
In the movies, horror stories often start with a family that moves into a haunted house, a group of teenagers who spend a weekend in the woods or someone who stumbles across a cursed object. Disability horror stories also tend to share common beginnings:
- An attorney doesn’t think she needs disability insurance because she’s young and healthy. When an injury strikes, she has no coverage and little in savings to cover the long period of missed paychecks.
- A business owner is worried about what would happen to his family if he were to die unexpectedly, so he purchases life insurance. He doesn’t know about disability insurance, and his broker doesn’t mention it. Then he experiences a debilitating illness and can’t work. Now his family has no income, and he’s not sure what to do.
- A doctor buys group disability insurance through the hospital where she’s employed. She thinks about buying individual disability insurance too, but decides it’s not worth the cost since she already has group LTD coverage. Years later, she decides to start her own practice and loses her group coverage. By this point, she’s developed health challenges that make it harder to find affordable coverage. She wishes she’d locked in individual disability insurance when she was younger and healthier.
Fortunately, some DI horror stories have happy endings. The “DI Haunted House of Horror Stories” handout shows how very scary disabilities impacted four people. Although they faced terrifying health circumstances, they didn’t have to worry about their finances, thanks to disability insurance protection.
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