A Disabling Injury or Illness—If it Can Happen to the Proverbial Someone Else, It Can Certainly Happen to You

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By Carol R. Hurley

You may ask yourself “Do I need disability insurance?” Before you come up with an answer, check out some of these alarming statistics. One out of every 106 people will have an illness or accident that results in death. One out of every 88 homes will have a fire. One out of every 70 automobiles will be involved in an accident. One out of every eight people will suffer a disability at some point in their lives.

Every day, unsuspecting individuals find themselves unable to work because of an illness or injury. As a matter of fact, the younger you are, the higher the likelihood that you will acquire a disability. Conversely, the older you are, the longer your disability is apt to prevent you from working and earning an income.

In many cases being unable to work also means being unable to pay the bills. A disability can have catastrophic effects on both individuals and families and these effects are oftentimes irreversible. Individual Disability Insurance providers offer unique options that offer peace of mind as well as some financial protection for you and your family in the event of a serious illness or injury.

“But wait…” you might say. “Isn’t my employer responsible for making sure I am compensated fairly if I am hurt on the job?” Well, the answer is yes. However according to the Council for Disability Awareness, 95% of the disability claims filed in 2008 were NOT work related.

Therefore, Worker’s Compensation did not apply.  Or, perhaps you believe that Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) will offer you financial relief if a disability occurs.  Truth is, SSDI will only cover a portion of your income and approval for SSDI is by no means guaranteed.  According to a 2010 study by the Social Security Administration around 75% of individuals applying for SSDI are turned down the first time and half get approved after going through an appeal process, which can take up to four years.

In today’s unstable economic conditions, living even a few months without a steady income can prove disastrous. Individual Disability Insurance is the absolute best way to ensure that your bills are paid and that your family is provided for. Many employers offer group disability policies; however there are oftentimes limitations placed on benefits.

If your employer offers affordable disability benefits, you may want to consider this offering. However, to truly safeguard the lifestyle you are accustomed to, look into an individual policy. Think of it as insurance for your paycheck.

Carol Hurley is Owner of Hurley Associates and President of Hurley Insurance Brokers. Hurley Associates is an insurance and financial services firm located in the Oakland area of Pittsburgh.  Although well known for their full financial services and insurance planning, they have earned a reputation for their knowledge and experience in disability income planning and are recognized among the nation’s top disability insurance specialists.  Established in 1988, Hurley Associates serves healthcare professionals nationwide.  To learn more about their services, call 412-682-6100 or visit them on the web at www.hurley2.com.