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Did you know that 1 in 4 people will have to deal with a disability in their working life? Many will be disabled for more than 90 days. Disability insurance can help during these difficult times by providing income replacement when you’re unable to work due to an illness or accidental injury. Dealing with a disability can be incredibly difficult, particularly if you’re self-employed.
Rogers Insurance is a trusted and experienced disability insurance broker, providing this important coverage to both individuals and businesses. We work with the largest benefits providers in Canada to provide you with competitive disability insurance quotes and a choice in your coverage. As one of Canada’s leading and largest independent brokerages, you’ll partner with professional and knowledgeable brokers who work for you, not an insurance company. We’re dedicated to providing you with the best service and the best protection for you and your family.
Contact us today for a free disability insurance quote or read on to learn more about this type of coverage.
What Disability Insurance Covers
Disability insurance is primarily used as income replacement when you’re unable to work due to illness or accidental injury. Generally, this means you’re unable to do your job or unable to work at all, depending on your policy. This can include both physical injury and physical or mental illness, though exactly what’s covered will vary by the insurance company and your individual plan.
Some disability insurance also includes coverage for expenses arising as a result from a disability such as office expenses while you recuperate, if you’re self-employed.
The benefits are usually less than your pre-disability, pre-tax income. Sometimes it is a fixed amount while other insurers may calculate it as a percentage.
You’ll receive these benefits after the waiting period until the end of your benefit period, you reach the maximum benefit amount, or you return to work successfully.
How Disability Insurance Works
The first step is getting a disability insurance quote, reviewing your needs and budget, and choosing your policy.
If you suffer a qualifying injury or illness that results in you being unable to work, you can file a claim. There will be a waiting period after the initial onset of disability, anywhere between 30 days and 6 months, although the average is 90 days.
Once you’re through the waiting period, your disability insurance will commence and you’ll receive your benefits each month until your benefit period ends or your benefit amount is reached or you return to work.
Why is there a waiting period?
The waiting period (also known as an elimination period) means there are no benefits being paid even though you’d be considered disabled. This period of time is generally 30 days to 6 months, with the average length of time being 90 days. Think of it as a deductible, but it’s time instead of money.
This waiting period reduces the number of short-term claims and lowers premiums, although you must be able to financially get yourself through that time, whether that be by savings or borrowing.
What if I try to return to work but I have to stop again due to the disability?
If you try to return to work but are unable to do so because of your original disability, there are two things that may happen:
- Your waiting period resets and you’ll need to wait the period of time before you begin receiving benefits again. This is usually counted as a separate claim.
- Your insurer allows the temporary break and does not penalize you, waiving the waiting period and continuing benefits payments. This is usually considered a continuation of the original claim.
Whether the first or second happens to you will depend on your individual insurance company as well as the period of time you attempt to return to work.
What are the benefit period and benefit amount?
The benefit period is the amount of time you are eligible to receive your income replacement payments for each disability claim. This will be determined when you purchase the policy. You may have the following options for your benefit period:
- 1 year
- 2 years
- 5 years
- Up to age 65
Depending on your policy, your payments may stop if you return to work, but in other cases, you may continue receiving your benefits.
The benefit amount is the amount you will be paid for each disability claim. This is generally less than your pre-disability, pre-tax income. It is determined as a fixed amount or a calculated percentage. Normally, this is 60-70% of your pre-tax income before you were injured or became ill. Your income may not necessarily be adjusted over time after you purchase the policy – you’ll need to contact your disability insurance broker or provider to update your policy. Additional premiums may apply if your income changes.
Keep in mind that there can be certain exclusions on a disability insurance policy – some conditions may have a limited benefit period or amount.
What is considered a disability?
Each insurer may define disability differently and your individual policy may include or exclude additional conditions. Generally, it is any illness or injury that prevents you from doing your job. There are three ways this is defined, depending on the policy:
- Own Occupation – you cannot perform the essential duties of your own job.
- You can work and receive benefits so long as you do not return to your original job.
- Regular Occupation – you cannot perform the essential duties of your own job nor another occupation.
- If you return to work, your benefits will cease, even if it’s a different occupation. The exception is if you have income protection, which may provide help if the income gap is significantly lower in your new job versus the one you had before your disability.
- Any Occupation – you cannot work in any occupation, particularly if you’re reasonably suited to it by education, training or experience.
Each type of coverage has different pricing (this list is from highest to lowest premiums) and may not be available to every individual, depending on their job. For example, “own occupation” coverage is often only offered to those who provide professional services, such as doctors or lawyers.
Many injuries or illnesses can be considered a disability – it can be anything that prevents you from doing your job, including injury, physical illness, and mental illness. There are often a few conditions that are considered to be presumptive disability. This means your condition is considered to be serious enough to automatically qualify you as totally disabled. Often, the waiting period is waived and you may receive benefits whether you manage to return to your job or get another job or not. Conditions usually included as a presumptive disability are:
- Total and permanent blindness
- Loss of speech or hearing
- Loss of use of both hands
- Loss of use of both feet
- Loss of a hand and a foot
However, there are some specific exclusions on nearly every disability insurance policy:
- Intentionally self-inflicted injuries or attempted suicide
- Use of non-prescription drugs
- Misuse of prescription drugs
- Participation of particularly hazardous sports and activities
- Participation in illegal activities
- Regular pregnancy and childbirth (although complications are generally covered)
- Losses caused by war or an act of war
- Pre-existing illnesses
Sometimes, certain conditions may have an extended waiting period or a restricted benefit period, or may not be covered at all. It’s important to understand your policy – your disability insurance broker can help.
Your Occupation Matters
Your job matters because it indicates your income as well as the potential hazards of your job. It affects the premium of your disability insurance as well as the amount and type of coverage you have. Your job also helps define the severity of the disability required to be eligible for disability.
How much does disability insurance cost?
The cost of disability insurance depends on a few factors:
- Definition of disability
- Benefit amount
- Benefit waiting period
- Benefit period
- Your current health
- Your occupation
- Your income
- Other coverage options
Work with one of our experienced disability insurance brokers to help balance your needs with your budget. They have tips on lowering your premium.
How to Qualify for Disability Insurance
Almost anyone can qualify for disability insurance, although your level of coverage may depend on your health and occupation.
Generally, you must be employed to initially purchase disability insurance (to provide an income). You also must continue to pay your premiums for your disability insurance to remain in effect.
Working with Rogers Insurance Disability Insurance Brokers
Rogers Insurance has been providing exceptional service since our doors opened in 1977. We believe in a hands-on, human-first approach to insurance. Our disability insurance brokers are experienced and professional, well-equipped to find you the right policy for your needs and budget. We’re here to answer your questions, help you balance your insurance needs with your budget, do your research and price shopping, and advocate on your behalf.
As an independent insurance brokerage, we don’t work for an insurance company, we work for you. We have access to the largest benefit providers in Canada as well as other national and global insurance markets. This allows us to provide truly competitive disability insurance quotes as well as give you true choice in your coverage.
Contact us today to get a disability insurance quote – online, by phone, or stop by one of our offices.
Who We Have Helped
When real life happens
A metal recycling company in Calgary suffered a major fire loss on their premises involving scrap metal, where the piles of metal heated and self-combusted, starting a huge fire. When they were told what happened was not insurable, Rogers’ own David Chiu stepped in and hired a fire investigator.
Account Executive: David Chiu