Disability Insurance for Nurses – What Language Does Yours Speak?
Though your disability insurance plan may appear to be in a foreign language to you, chances are it’s still written in your native tongue.
Though I’m not asking in a literal sense when I pose the question: “What language does your disability insurance speak?”, I am referring to what the definition of disability is within your contract.
This will undoubtedly be the driest thing you read today but may prove to be the most important thing to read for your future.
You see, the language of any contract never really matters until someone decides that they want a particular situation to be upheld.
In this case, I’m talking about a sickness or disability that disallows someone to go to work because they are physically unable to do so, per their doctor’s orders.
When an event like that occurs, the language that your disability income contract contains means everything!
So many times, I find that consumers relate to having their “bases covered” by virtue of just owning a specific product that is intended to cover a certain need in the event of an unforeseen event taking place.
What’s often times not realized, is that they may not be made whole if coverage isn’t adequate, either monetarily or by definition.
An example would be car insurance.
You may have a nice, brand new, shiny sports car that goes from zero to 60mph lightning fast.
Most people would think it’s safe to assume that your vehicle is covered with full coverage – not just liability insurance.
That’s probably true, but what if you were to get in an at-fault, single-car accident, and your car insurance doesn’t cover damages of which were caused by you to a very expensive building?
Though your car may be insured and restored back to its original glory, what part of your coverage indemnifies, or makes whole, the party who suffers great monetary loss due to damages of their building caused by you?
Disability Insurance will be your absolute best friend if you cannot work because of sickness or disability.
The answer is: Probably YOU, yourself! In this example, someone sees themselves as “covered,” though the term is relative to the event – and losses – that are incurred and a blanket statement does not apply to every scenario.
With disability insurance, your contract may vary, but will most likely include the definition of disability to be one of two general types of coverage: total disability or own-occupation disability.
Let’s talk about the more common type first, which is total disability.
If you are totally disabled, the language of that type of contract will state, more often than not, that you are disallowed to earn one cent if your hope is to continue receiving benefits under the plan.
This may pose a serious problem if your disability coverage is not adequate for you to continue living your lifestyle in the way you’ve been accustomed to, which may include paying for necessities (housing, food, utilities), or other more “luxurious” items (retirement, vacations, children’s college savings, and leisurely activities).
If you can work at all, you are safe to assume a plan with the more common definition of disability, which is to be totally disabled, will not pay you unless you have a catastrophic illness or disability.
Next, let’s touch on the sexier definition.
One that allows you to “double-dip,” by design.
That is a policy with a definition of disability that includes “own-occupation” language.
“Own-occupation” language states that you are not able to perform the duties of your job, specifically, but may or may not still be able to work in another capacity.
Depending on the exact language, you may be able to even generate more income from a different respective job and still receive full benefits from your disability income policy, essentially being paid by being both gainfully employed and a recipient of disability income dollars being paid to you.
So, though disability insurance is something that none of us want to actually use and submit claim for, it will be your absolute best friend if you cannot work because of sickness or disability.
In fact, purchasing the right coverage and amount may prove to be the most prudent and important financial decision you’ve ever made.
2016-32779 Exp. 10/17