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11 Tips For Buying Small Business Disability Insurance

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What would happen to your business if you were paralyzed for one year? How about sustaining an eye injury for 6 months? To the unprepared small business owner, an illness or accident resulting in disability can be devastating to your life and business. Disability insurance will replace your income in the event of an accident or illness. Before you express it could never happen to you, consider the hard facts.

According to the Disability Management Sourcebook, severe disabilities have increased 400 percent over the past 25 years from the age of 17 to 44. Before the age 65, one in seven people will become disabled for five years or more.

How Much Disability Insurance Do You Need?

If you think the government will take care of you, think again. Qualifying for Social Security disability benefits or Worker's Compensation will be challenging and the size of payout will more than likely result in an income shortfall. Social security alone can have long waiting periods.

The important decision your small business will have to make is how much disability insurance you need and can afford. Review your assets and liabilities to determine how long you can go without income. Assess your expenses and make the necessary adjustments for a disabled lifestyle. In the event of a disability, you might have enough financial resources for the short term but it's more likely your business will need long term disability insurance.

When determining your disability insurance needs remember you can't purchase 100% income coverage. Insurance companies won't cover your full income because they want to provide incentive for you to go back to work. Typical coverage is 50-60% of your gross income. The bulk of disability policies cover anywhere from 40% to 80% of your income depending on how much you're willing to pay. Consider the following factors when shopping for disability insurance for your small business:

11 Tips For Buying Small Business Disability Insurance

Define Disability: Any small business owner who is considering purchasing disability insurance would be wise to compare each insurance provider's definition of the term. A disability policy can define disability as applied to your specific occupation or to any occupation. If you have skills transferable to another job and you are unable to perform your specific work some policies will not consider you disabled. Carefully review if you are covered for any or all occupations as well as the extent of coverage.

Add COLA: A cost of living adjustment (COLA) option will help your plan stay current with rising inflation. Following a disability claim, your benefits will be adjusted each year according to the pre-set adjustment established in the rider.

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