Can I buy short-term disability insurance at my workplace?

By Insurance.com Posted : 01/01/2011

Yes. In fact, most people purchase short-term disability insurance through their employer.

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Short-term disability insurance replaces a percentage of your income in the event of illness or accident that interrupts your ability to make a living. These policies have a waiting period of up to 14 days and have a benefit period of no more than two years.

Many states require employers to provide this coverage. At some companies, the employer pays the full amount of a short-term disability policy. In other cases, the employee must help pay the premiums. Contact your human resources department to find out whether short-term disability coverage is available and how much it will cost you.

A policy that you get through your employer has two major benefits. First, it's typically a group disability insurance plan, meaning rates are lower than what you would pay if you purchased an individual policy. In addition, group polices are "guaranteed issue," so you won't have to participate in a medical exam before securing coverage.

Long-term disability insurance

While it's important to have short-term disability coverage, such protection may not be adequate, particularly if you experience a longer-lasting condition that keeps you from working. In such instances, a long-term disability policy can offer income protection lasting from many years through the rest of your life.

The Insurance Information Institute recommends that most workers purchase an individual disability policy to supplement their employer-based coverage. Such individual policies can replace from 50 percent to 70 percent of your income in the event of an illness or accident that leaves you unable to work.

For more information, see "Why you need disability insurance."

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