We know that shopping for short-term disability insurance isn’t an exciting task, but it’s important to understand that disabilities can come about at the least expected time and you need it most if you’re supporting someone – parents, a spouse, children, or otherwise.
Having disability insurance is one of the smartest and safest ways to protect both yourself and your loved ones financially. If you’re relying on a monthly paycheck to cover your bills, you probably should consider purchasing disability insurance.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Is Short Term Disability Insurance?
- 2 How To Get Short Term Disability Insurance?
- 3 What Does Short Term Disability Insurance Cover?
- 4 Costs of Short Term Disability Insurance
- 5 Best Short-Term Disability Insurance
- 6 How Do You Receive Short-Term Disability Insurance Benefits?
- 7 Is Individual Short-Term Disability Insurance Worth It?
- 8 Conclusion
What Is Short Term Disability Insurance?
To begin, there are two types of disability insurance – short-term and long-term. For maximum people, buying disability insurance isn’t an “either, or” circumstance. Both types of insurance can help replace your monthly income if you fall ill or get injured, and it hinders your ability to work.
Short-term disability insurance provides coverage for loss of income for a few months, whereas long term insurance lasts for many years, even up until your retirement.
There are employers out there who offer disability insurance, which is known as group disability insurance. You’re not required to take a medical examination in order to be eligible for employee disability insurance.
While employee disability insurance is a benefit to have, coverage is limited. It will pose difficulties for you if you’re supporting someone other than yourself. Which is why, you’ll need to purchase a private disability insurance policy alongside.
If you were to qualify for short-term disability benefits, you’ll technically be reimbursed for almost 60 percent of your lost income. However, the reimbursement percentage depends on the policy,
and be mindful that most policies will have a benefit cap on them.
How To Get Short Term Disability Insurance?
If your employer or if you’d rather not get short-term disability insurance from your employer, you can always purchase an individual insurance policy. You can pursue this through an insurance agent, or speak directly to an insurance company that offers short-term disability insurance.
As compared to employee group plans, short-term policies purchases privately may or may not be a guaranteed issue. When you’re opting for private short-term disability insurance, it’s mandatory for you to anse health related questions.
These questions typically revolve around the fact if you’re still or were treated in the past for any pre-existing conditions. This may become a reason for them to either disqualify or limit the benefits you were initially supposed to receive under the short-term disability insurance plan.
However, privately purchased short-term disability insurance may vary in prices. It ultimately depends on your age, and the level of benefits you’re going for.
What Does Short Term Disability Insurance Cover?
Individual short-term disability insurance benefits usually last for up to 12 months, in which it will help you with your monthly expenses.
Here are some claims that fall under the short-term disability insurance:
- Having a baby. Unlike what most people think, having a baby actually falls under the tab of a short-term disability. Most companies sdo give maternity leaves, but there’s no harm getting some extra help especially if you have a little more on your plate.
- Pregnancy complications. This usually qualifies as a short-term disability if the doctor orders bed rest during the course of your pregnancy, and it doesn’t allow you to work as per normal.
- Severe illness. Thankfully, not all illnesses are long-term, that’s where short-term disability insurance comes handy. If you were to be diagnosed with cancer, you’ll most likely not be able to return to work for up to 12 weeks – which is considered a short-term disability.
- Temporary disable due to an injury. Don’t confuse this with getting hurt while at work, because that’ll fall under your company’s compensation policy. Instead, if you’re injured outside of work and you’re unable to work for a short period, it’s considered as a short-term disability.
Costs of Short Term Disability Insurance
Short-term disability insurance policies require an underwriting, but it may not have to be fully underwritten. As mentioned earlier on, many of these short-term disability insurance are guaranteed issues, which requires no form of underwriting.
These are the main factors affecting the cost of short-term disability insurance:
- Short-term disability insurance policies generally provide you coverage of your 60 percent to 70 percent gross income. Which means, the higher you earn, the more benefits you’ll be eligible for.
However, this also means that you’ll be paying higher premiums per month. There will also be a cap on benefits regardless of how high or low your gross income is. This cap usually ranged from around $5000 to $6500 per month.
- Length of insurance benefit. When you’re purchasing a short-term disability insurance policy, you’ll likely be given the choice to choose how long you want to receive the benefits for.
The typical length varies from three months to almost two years. Do know that the longer you receive the benefits, the more you’ll have to pay for your monthly premiums.
- Elimination period. It’s important to know that all forms of disability insurance policies have a waiting period on them, known as the elimination period. Basically, this is the time when your short-term disability occurs and when the benefits of the policy are paid.
Similarly to the deductibles on your property insurance, the elimination period will require you to pay out-of-pocket until the policy benefits kick in. Hence, the longer the elimination period on your disability insurance, the loser you premiums will be.
Best Short-Term Disability Insurance
To make your search for a disability insurance simpler, we’ll be sharing some insurance companies that offer the best short-term disability insurance policies.
Mutual of Omaha
Mutual of Omaha provides short-term disability insurance coverage benefits for up to almost 24 months, perhaps much longer than other insurance companies. Moreover, some of their policies offer coverage from day one of your short-term disability.
Mutual of Omaha has been in the market for more than a 100 years, with them initially offering accident and health insurance coverage. They’re known to have an extremely strong financial rating and provide insurance coverage all across the United States.
Mutual of Omaha offers one of the more better benefits and comprehensive short-term disability coverage. Their short-term disability insurance coverage is a maximum of $5,000 each month. Moreover, their elimination period is much more reasonable as compared to other companies.
Their elimination periods range from 30 to 90 days, but Mutual of Omaha provides urgent coverage with a 0/7-day or 0/14-day short-term disability option. While you can get an immediate quote for Mutual of Omaha’s short-term disability insurance coverage on their website, it however doesn’t have much option for customization.
Hence, you should reach out to an insurance agent to further customise your choice of policy and purchase it as well.
If you’re looking to purchase a short-term disability insurance within the shortest period of time – Assurity is the perfect choice for you. Assurity has managed to differentiate itself from its competitors.
The best past is that Assurity offers guaranteed issues of four-days for applicants who qualify for their insurance and have very little and simplified underwriting requirements.
Assurity provides coverage from six to 24 months, despite the fact if you’re partially or totally disabled. Their coverage is offered from $300 to $3,000 – it maxes once it meets 60 percent of your monthly income. And Assurity’s elimination periods range from 30 to 180 days.
Your short-term disability insurance renewability is indefinitely guaranteed through the age of 67 till 71. Moreover, a waiver of premium is included at zero amount of additional charge. However, you’ll need to speak to a local Assurity agent, as their insurance coverage can’t be purchased online.
Assurity’s short-term disability insurance policy is known to be obtained quickly, which makes it a simple product.
Guardian offers several disability insurance policies that will one way or another meet your needs. They offer short-term disability insurance policies alongside other types of disability insurance in all 50 states. Moreover, it has a wide range of riders that you can include in your policy to customize it according to your needs.
Guardian started in 1860, and has since been writing policies to provide insurance coverage to individuals and employees. Apart from Guardian offering disability insurance to people through employers, they also offer individual and supplemental disability insurance to self-employed individuals or people in general looking to purchase insurance outside of the workplace.
Guardian offers its short-term disability insurance to laborers, professionals, and individuals in the dental or medical industry. Their insurance coverage prices and limitations differ from one another depending on the policy you are wanting to purchase.
You might be able to receive quotations online, depending on your location and occupation. However, you’ll still need to contact their representative to purchase the short term disability policy you’ve decided on.
Where several insurance companies offer limited periods of coverage for short-term disability plans, State Farm offers their short-term disability policies with a period of three-year benefit.
This is your fix if you’re looking for a longer short-term disability insurance coverage.
State Farm penetrated the market back in 1922, and has since been successfully expanding itself. They now offer a wide range of insurance policies inclusive of short-term disability plans, to people all over the United States.
They offer short-term disability insurance policies in 47 states. Moreover, they further boast their application process that’ll give you the insurance coverage at a much faster rate. State Farms short-term disability insurance ranges from a monthly coverage of $300 to $3,000.
The rate depends on your current income and occupation. Also, their elimination periods are from 30 to 90 days. It’s important for you to know that State Farm doesn’t consider childbirth and pregnancy as a short-term disability.
However, if you experience any pregnancy or childbirth complication which is further diagnosed by a physician, you might just be eligible for the short-term disability insurance coverage. Moreover, they don’t consider cosmetic procedures as a short-term disability.
In order for you to purchase State Farm’s short-term disability insurance, you won’t be able to purchase the policy, or get quotations for the coverage via their website. You’ll need to seek a local agent who can explain what your options are and customize a policy for you.
How Do You Receive Short-Term Disability Insurance Benefits?
In order for you to receive your short-term disability insurance benefits, you’ll need to submit your insurance claim to the relevant insurer. This involves the filling out a form that has to either be printed or filled online.
You’ll need to describe your medical condition and any other related information. After that your physician will have to complete their section of the form. Once the claim form has been submitted, the insurance company will review your medical records and evaluate if it can be considered as a short-term disability.
Remember to keep all evidence as you’ll be asked for all forms of documentation.
Is Individual Short-Term Disability Insurance Worth It?
It’s not uncommon for advisers to tell people to not purchase individual short-term disability insurance policies, as they might be as pricey as long-term coverage, with the only difference that it’s benefits are for a shorter period of time.
However, if your employer doesn’t over short-term disability insurance, you should consider getting it privately, despite its costs. Of course, if you already have a financial strain, perhaps you shouldn’t be considering purchasing it privately.
Moreover, if you do have pre-existing conditions, there’s no point purchasing it. On the other hand, if you’re a stay home mom who works remotely and your company doesn’t offer any disability insurance, it’s better if you purchase an individual short-term disability insurance.
It’s more important than you think to understand which short-term disability plan works best for you and know each and every aspect of the policy you’re choosing to go ahead with.
Ideally, you may never need to take advantage of the benefits your short-term disability insurance policy has. But, if something unexpected happens, you’ll thank yourself for taking time out to read your policy so you know what your benefits are.
We hope this provides you with all the information you needed to understand about short-term disability insurance plans, not offered by employers.