Group Disability vs Individual Disability Insurance

The need and importance of disability insurance is becoming more apparent each day. Most employees get health, life and dental insurance through their jobs. Quite a few employers are now beginning to offer disability insurance to their employees along with the other coverage. It is vital to have this coverage – consider the effects of not having any income during a trying period in life. So, the question is, what criteria do people have to meet to get disability insurance?

  • They have to be healthy – no pre-existing conditions.
  • They cannot apply after they have had an accident.

That said, there are some distinctions and clauses which a potential insurance seeker has to be aware of when they are shopping around for disability insurance.

Individual Disability Insurance:

  • Insurance carriers mandate that applicants provide medical evidence before they will insure a person. Being picky, they will offer highly restricted coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. For people in general good health, carriers offer liberal provisions and good coverage.
  • Policies are portable and they go with the policyholder to their next job.
  • Once the policy has been started in a person’s name, it cannot be cancelled as long as the premiums are paid on time.
  • These benefits are tax free during the disability period, especially if it purchased by the individual himself.

Group Disability Insurance:

This is offered by employers to all employees. This insurance along with all the other benefits is a big draw for employees to join a company. There are 2 distinct types of disability insurance to be aware of:

Short term: This type of insurance covers a short period of time and pays policyholders while they are recovering from an illness, injury, mental problems or even pregnancy. This insurance is very expensive for individuals to buy -they are better off accessing it through their employers. Coverage can be had for a period of 3 months to a year.

Long term: this insurance package covers an individual for a period of 5 years after which no more benefits are available. Disabled employees get up to 60% of their income. Income derived from this package is taxable and not to the employee’s benefit. This benefit is not portable either. People are usually advised to apply and have supplemental income just to make things a bit more comfortable for themselves.

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