I think that most people would agree that the we live in a state of insurance overload in this country. You need insurance to drive a car, you need it to buy a house (at least you do if you want to get a mortgage from a bank!), you need health insurance to cover medical costs… it seems like everywhere you turn there’s more insurance to buy!
It can become overwhelming for most people, but there’s one area of insurance that you don’t want to overlook and it’s an area that most people do overlook. I’m talking about disability and life insurance.
First of all, what are these two things?
Life insurance is simply insurance that pays your family a set amount of money in the case of your early death. If you get hit by a train or fall out of an airplane or laugh too hard during a funny movie and choke on a pretzel and suddenly die, life insurance makes sure that your family is provided for financially and that their standard of living does not decrease just because you’re not around to pay the bills anymore.
Disability insurance is very similar. The only real difference is that it isn’t focused on your death but merely on your disability. This is particularly important if you have a manual labor type job. So if you break your leg and can’t work for six months, that loss of income won’t affect you because your policy will pay out instead.
Your employer may already have disability insurance as part of your pay package but chances are they don’t. You’re going to need to find out for yourself whether they offer it or not and if they don’t you’ll need to go out and purchase it on your own.
In a perfect world you should have both of these types of insurance to cover your family in case you die or in case you get hurt and can’t work anymore. Of course, we don’t always live in a perfect world and many people choose one or the other… so which one is best?
That’s a question I can’t answer for you, everybody has to answer that themselves. But for myself I would choose disability insurance as the most important if I had a manual labor job that my family relied on for their sole source of income.
If I die, that’s really bad but my wife can either start working herself to make up for lost income, or marry somebody else as crass as that may seem. The point is, they have options.
If on the other hand I lose my eyesight or break a vertebrae in my spine that keeps me from working anymore, then we don’t have that many options. My wife may not be able work because she might have to take care of me full-time and alternatively she wouldn’t be able to marry somebody else because I’d still be around, barring divorce of course. The point is, we have less options and you should always insure the scenario with the fewest options.