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How Disability Insurance Can Help with Unexpected Life Events

Sometimes life throws you a curveball. Disability insurance can help people manage many unexpected life events – and not just disability. Of course, disability insurance helps people replace a portion of their income when they can’t work due to an illness or injury, but coverage can also help people navigate divorce, non-disabling injuries, caregiving responsibilities and other challenges that have a way of disrupting a person’s personal and professional life.

Here are seven times you’ll be happy you have the right disability insurance coverage.

1. You’re Going Through a Divorce

After a divorce, one spouse may owe another spouse alimony and child support. But what happens if that spouse becomes disabled and is no longer able to work? You can’t get blood from a stone, and you can’t get alimony or child support from someone who doesn’t have any money.

Disability insurance provides a solution. The spouse who owes payments can secure disability insurance to ensure that their financial responsibilities will still be covered in the case of disability. Coverage can help ease tense divorce negotiations, and it may be required as part of the divorce settlement.

If both parents work, both should consider having disability insurance even if it isn’t contractually covered by the divorce settlement, as it helps bolster self-sufficiency and resilience.

2. You Need Time to Care for a Loved One

If a worker needs to take time off because of a disability, paycheck protection can replace some of the income – but what if the worker needs to take time off to care for a family member? According to the National Alliance for Caregiving, there are 53 million unpaid caregivers in the U.S., and 45% have been financially impacted by their caregiving responsibilities.

The Standard Family Care Benefit rider addresses this issue. If you need to take time off to care for a family member with a serious health condition, such as a parent, spouse, domestic partner or child, you may be eligible to receive benefits.

3. You’re Hurt but Not Disabled

When an illness or injury prevents a breadwinner from working, the financial consequences can be dire, but in the U.S., even nondisabling injuries can lead to financial hardships.

A survey from Bankrate found that 56% of Americans don’t have enough savings to cover an unexpected bill of $1,000. So what happens if you break your arm while mountain biking and end up with uncovered out-of-pocket costs?

The Nondisabling Injury benefit from Ameritas addresses this concern. If the insured experiences an injury that is not disabling but does require medical or dental treatment, a benefit of up to $3,000 is available.

4. You’re Diagnosed with a Condition like Cancer

When most people think of disabilities, they think about visible disabilities – the kind that are easy to see from the outside. However, invisible disabilities can be just as serious.

Cancer is an example. You might not be able to tell that a person has cancer just by looking at them, but the disease can still prevent them from working and lead to mounting out-of-pocket medical costs.

The CDC says that 1.7 million people are diagnosed with cancer each year.

Disability insurance benefits don’t just apply to visible disabilities and injuries. Health conditions and chronic illnesses like cancer, stroke and heart disease can also qualify policyholders for benefits.

5. You Experience a Mental Health Crisis

The National Institute of Mental Health says that around one in five adults in the U.S. has a mental illness. If you’re dealing with severe anxiety, depression or another mental illness, you may not be able to keep up with work.

Although some policies restrict or limit benefits for mental health illnesses, it is possible to secure disability insurance coverage for this risk. These benefits help people focus on getting better instead of worrying about money on top of everything else.

6. You Lose a Business Partner to Disability

Disability insurance can help individuals take care of their personal finances and provide for their families, but it also has important business applications.

For example, let’s say you co-own a business. Your business partner experiences an unexpected disability and is no longer able to work. Now the business you’ve built together is in limbo. If you have buy-sell disability insurance, you can use the benefits to buy your partner out and keep the business going.

7. A Key Employee Retires Because of Disability

Another business scenario in which disability insurance can help involves key employees who become disabled and retire as a result. The unexpected departure of a key employee can throw a business into chaos. Finding and training a new worker will take time and resources, and in the meantime, the business may lose out on revenue. Key person disability insurance provides short-term benefits to help the business deal with these financial impacts.

When you’re looking for insurance solutions to help deal with unexpected life events, ask your agent for assistance. Need help? Find an agent.