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Got disability insurance? - Work & Wealth - Brief Article

Q What if you suffer an off-the-job injury? How would you cover living expenses if your income stops and you exhaust your savings and investments?

Many large employers offer group disability-insurance plans that usually replace 40 to 60 percent of your after-tax income. If your job doesn't offer DI, or if you're self-employed, consider buying such coverage from a private insurer."Half of us will experience a long-term disability (90 days or longer) at least once in our lives," say Christopher R. Jarvis and David B. Mandell, authors of Wealth Protection: Build and Preserve Your Financial Fortress (John Wiley & Sons).

"The probability of its occurring before age 65 is 50 percent for someone age 35," they add.The key is to figure out how much insurance you'll need and how long you'll need it. (Visit Financial advisers recommend a long-term-disability insurance policy that provides benefits up to age 65.

If you have enough money to support yourself for a while after a disability, you can keep premiums low by getting a policy with a longer waiting period (the time you must be disabled before the insurance company pays benefits).Insurance companies usually require a medical exam, which can include a blood-pressure reading, blood and urine samples, and weight measurement. The exam can be performed by a medical doctor or licensed paramedical in your home. To learn more, visit the Health Insurance Association of America at or check with your state's insurance bureau.

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