In a very explainatory article published at the Wall Street Journal, Glenn Ruffenach shows us all we need to know about this type of insurance.
Planning for retirement can be a daunting process that raises a host of questions. So we have introduced Ask Encore as a regular feature in the Investing in Funds & ETFs and Wealth Management reports.
Written by Glenn Ruffenach, a former reporter and editor for The Wall Street Journal, and co-author of “The Wall Street Journal Complete Retirement Guidebook,” the column examines financial issues for those thinking about, planning and living their retirement. We welcome your questions and comments at email@example.com.
I’m in my 50s and want to be sure my savings for retirement are protected up until retirement. People keep saying, “Get disability insurance.” But I can’t find any good, specific advice about the relative merits of different insurers’ plans. Do you know where I can find this data?
There is no single ranking of the “best” disability policies or insurance carriers. One reason: Different insurers tend to be a better fit for different occupations, says Mark Desiderio, a disability and life-insurance specialist with Ryan Insurance Strategy Consultants in Greenwood Village, Colo.
One carrier, for instance, might have a history of working with dentists (who, as a group, tend to be big purchasers of disability policies), while a second carrier might focus on lawyers or small-business owners.
Also, the large number of options available with individual policies (when benefits kick in, how long they last, how terms like “sickness” and “disability” are defined, etc.) makes it difficult to compare coverage—and makes disability insurance an exceedingly complicated purchase.
So…start with some homework. Three online insurance brokers—PolicyGenius (policygenius.com), Disability Insurance Resource Center (di-resource-center.com) and Disability Insurance Quotes (disabilityquotes.com)—offer good information and articles about the basics: how coverage works, how much you might need, and what to look for in a policy. (Of course, each of the three is also more than happy to sell you a policy, if you wish to go the online route. But again, use these sites, first, as a guide.)
Finally—and if you want to cover all the bases—take your policy of choice (before you sign on the dotted line) to a “disability claims consultant.” These individuals, as the title suggests, work with existing policyholders whose claims for benefits have been questioned or rejected by insurers.
As such, they are intimately familiar with the fine print (read: traps) in coverage that might trip you up in the future. “Disability insurance is written in code,” saysVivian Gallo, founder and president of Health Resources Consultants Inc. in White Plains, N.Y. “It sounds like English, but you need to know: What does the language really mean?”
Want to know more about disability insurance? Find the full article here.
Video: disability insurance
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