It’s not something anyone likes to think about, but life-altering illnesses and injuries happen every day. We wouldn’t be able to get out of bed in the morning if we fixated on all the ways we could hurt ourselves.
In fact, just over one-in-four of today’s 20-year-olds will find themselves unable to work at some point during their career because of an illness or injury.1
On top of that, there are also lots of ways to die prematurely — many overlapping with ways to become injured or disabled. Any of these scenarios can have significant financial impacts on you or your family.
But there are ways to help protect against such circumstances.
To illustrate, consider the following hypothetical examples based on the experiences of real, everyday people. One illustrates how life insurance can help provide protection for your family should something unexpected happen to you. The other shows how disability income insurance can help with income needs should an illness or injury prevent you from working.
One ordinary day, Erica came home from work to find her husband Blake unconscious on the kitchen floor. She couldn’t wake him up. An autopsy would reveal that he’d had a brain aneurism that morning and died instantly. He was in his 40s with no health problems. He left behind two daughters and his wife — his high school sweetheart.
Fortunately, Blake had a life insurance policy to provide for his family.
Giving loved ones a way to cope with situations like Erica’s is a compelling reason to buy life insurance. Term policies are typically inexpensive, especially if you’re young and healthy.
Permanent life insurance policies are more expensive, but they provide coverage for as long as you live for a steady premium, whereas term policies typically are designed for shorter time frames. In addition, they build cash value over time, making them an option for funds in later years.
Long-term disability income insurance
A disability can affect your mind, body, or both. And it can affect your ability to earn a living: your most valuable financial asset.
Financially, a long-term disability or illness can have a greater financial impact than premature death. You still have living expenses, but you also have increased health care expenses—without any way to make money to pay for them.
Xavier was a young doctor when he learned he had a rare and aggressive form of cancer—and it was already in stage 4. He had to put his plans on hold and immediately enter treatment. Few people Xavier’s age have the foresight to purchase disability income insurance or even know it exists. But Xavier did, because a fellow doctor recommended it. Adding insult to injury, those benefits could be taxable, whereas a private policy’s benefits would not be, assuming Xavier had paid the premiums out of his take-home pay.
A financial professional can provide you with quotes and different policy options tailored to your circumstances. Both types of insurance are cheaper when you’re younger. You’ll be paying premiums for more years, but you’re more likely to be insurable and get coverage when it’s most affordable. We all like to think that serious illness, disability, and premature death won’t ever happen to us or to our loved ones. But one way to make the possibility less scary is to buy the right insurance. Knowing that you’ll have the financial support you need in a challenging time will make life’s uncertainties and misfortunes less difficult to endure.