Why Disability Insurance?
Disability insurance provides you with a monthly income should you suffer either a short or long term disability.
Designed to cover your core monthly financial commitments such as your mortgage/rent, bills and food.
Income Protection is the one protection policy every working adult should consider. Which? Money 2013
Speak to our expert independent advisers or get an instant online quote to compare the UK’s leading insurers.
What does Disability Insurance cover?
Accident & Sickness
When the ‘Own Occupation’ definition of incapacity is used the policy can payout for any medical condition that prevents you from working in your own specific job role.
This means that the policy would cover a temporary disability (such as a slipped disc or a broken leg) or a permanent disability (such as paralysis or suffering a disease of the central nervous system).
As disability income protection policies do not use a set list of conditions they cover and many insurers do not have any standard exclusions, income protection is the most comprehensive form of incapacity insurance available.
How does Disability Insurance work?
You cease working due to any accident or sickness which prevents you from doing your job role.
You make a claim with the insurer. (You will need a letter from your doctor and may need to complete a claims form)
The insurer will start to pay a monthly tax free benefit after you have been unable to work for the length of your deferred period.
The policy pays out until you return to work or reach the maximum payout length.
Do I need Disability Insurance?
When deciding if disability protection is worthwhile it makes sense to weigh up the risk of something happening and the potential consequences:
The Incapacity Risk:
1 in 10 people have been unable to work due to illness or injury for +6 months (The Guardian/Unum Survey, 2011).
With government incapacity benefit of only £99.15 per week, someone with a salary of £30,000 would suffer a 77% fall in income.
If you lost your income how would you continue to meet your core outgoings if you didn’t have disability cover?
Your Key Options
Choose your level of cover
Depending on the insurer, it is possible to cover anywhere from 50% to 70% of your gross (pre-tax) income.
Choose your deferred period
This is the length of time you would need to be off work before the policy kicks-in and starts paying out. Deferred periods range from 7 days to 12 months.
Choose your payout length
Short-term plans can payout for a maximum of 24 months and long-term plans can continue paying out right up until the end of your working life should you be unable to return to work.
Sam was knowledgeable and attentive and spent a long time explaining and working out what Income Protection insurance would be best for me.Elizabeth Owen
What is disability insurance?
Disability insurance has been a popular means of financial protection against the risk of disability for over 100 years. Should you suffer sickness or injury that prevents you from working the policy would payout a monthly benefit either until you return to work or the policy term ends.
With ‘own occupation’ cover practically any medical condition that prevents you from working in your current position will be covered, including stress, backache, cancer and heart disease, not to mention more permanent disabilities such as paralysis.
Do I need it?
The risk of disability/incapacity is a very real financial risk that can be protected against with income insurance. In fact, figures from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) show that of the 374,000 people claiming government Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) for incapacity 103,000 had been claiming for over 6 months as of August 2009. With ESA standing at only £99.15 per week it makes sense to consider disability/incapacity insurance to protect your income.
What are my options?
You are able to insure up to 65% of your gross monthly earnings (the sum before income tax is deducted) and the policy can last all the up until your planned retirement.
The minimum policy term is usually 5 years and cover can normally be arranged up until the age of 70, although the length of cover should co-inside with your planned retirement age.
Setting the deferred period
With this type of disability insurance you are able to make multiple claims throughout the life of the policy. When you take out a policy you will need to set your deferred period which is the period of time you must wait before the policy will start to accumulate benefit. Deferred periods range from 4 weeks to 52 weeks and it usually makes sense to set this period equal to the length of time you receive full sick pay from your employer.
Guaranteeing your premiums
When taking out disability income insurance you are able to select a policy with ‘guaranteed premiums’. This means that the premiums you are quoted right at the start of the policy are the same as the premiums you pay right at the end, even if you have made claims during the policy term.
Although the premiums are a little higher at the start as compared to reviewable premiums it usually works out a little cheaper over the life of the plan, and you have the peace of mind knowing that the insurer cannot increase rates.
Short term disability insurance
Although long-term income insurance can provide earnings protection for both the short-term and the long-term there is another type of policy for those on a reduced budget. Accident and sickness insurance provides the same type of cover except that policies will only ever payout for a maximum period of either 12 or 24 months, depending on which option you decide.
With short-term policies there is also a restriction on the amount that can be insured. You are able to insure up to 65% of earnings provided that this figure does not exceed £1,850 per month, or £2,500 per month if cover is specifically to protect mortgage repayments. It should be noted that all short-term plans in the market come with reviewable premiums, so rates are likely to rise as you grow older.
Do I need advice?
If you would like to receive the most competitive disability insurance quotes from the UK’s leading insurers then please submit your details in the quote box above. We can also provide impartial advice should you wish to discuss your policy options, please don’t hesitate to call us on 0208 432 7333.
Please note that disability income insurance does not provide cover for pre-existing conditions so if you are currently unable to work due to disabilities please see the DirectGov website for information on the state Disability Living Allowance (if you need carer help) or Employment and Support Allowance (if you do not need carer help).
Actual Income Protection Claims
The table below details real life stories of how an income protection policy has saved someone financially following an illness which left them unable to work.
The information is from Liverpool Victoria's 2011 claims, it demonstrates how anyone can lose their income, regardless of age, gender or occupation, LV's youngest claimant in 2011 was just 22 years old.
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To help individuals and businesses throughout the UK to plan their financial future whilst protecting them against the financial risks they may face.
To provide quality financial advice in a transparent, friendly and professional manner.
Occupation Definition Calculator
Make sure your Income Protection covers you in your 'Own Occupation'!
Too often individuals take out income protection without being fully aware of the incapacity definition on which their plan would pay out.
Will the plan pay out if I am unable to do my current job role? Or will it only pay out if I am unable to do any occupation?
If you do not already have income protection this tool should provide you with guidance as to what to look out for and to ensure you do not fall foul of a lesser occupation definition.
Independent Protection Expert at Drewberry Insurance