Still not convinced of the need for disability insurance?
Consider the following statistics that show the prevalence of disabilities among the general population and the financial impact.
Estimates range from 25 percent to 30 percent of American workers will endure some type of temporary disability during their careers that will prevent them from working.
About 12.6 percent of the U.S. population had a disability in 2015, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS), up from 11.9 percent in 2010.
Of those with disabilities, a little more than half represented working age Americans, 18-64.
The state with the lowest percentage of people with disabilities in 2015 was Utah at 9.9 percent. The state with the highest percentage of people with disabilities, West Virginia, was almost twice as high with a percentage of 19.4 percent. The percentages of people with disabilities were generally lowest in the upper Midwest and Northeast.
According to the Social Security Administration, there was a 58 percent increase in the number of women receiving Social Security Disability Income payments between 2001 and 2011. During the same period, there was a 44 percent increase in the number of men receiving SSDI payments.
More than 70 percent of American households rely on two incomes, making it important for both spouses to have disability insurance.
Only 34.9 percent of people with disabilities in the U.S. ages 18-64 were employed in 2015, compared with 76 percent of people without disabilities.
About 21.2 percent of working age people with disabilities in 2015 lived in poverty, compared to 13.8 percent for those without disabilities.
According to the American Association for Critical Illness Insurance (AACII), medical problems contribute to over 60 percent of bankruptcies in the U.S.
More than 20 million people 18 and older, about 7 percent of the U.S. population, have serious difficulty walking or climbing stairs.
About 14 million Americans 18 and older have trouble performing errands without assistance.
Cognitive difficulties affect 13 million people, hearing loss impacts 11 million people, and about 7 million U.S. citizens have trouble seeing, even when wearing glasses.
About 75 percent of stroke survivors are affected to the point that it impacts their employment.
According to the Council for Disability Awareness (CDA), about 35 million Americans have a form of lung disease, many of whom cannot work at full capacity because of their condition.
Nearly 90 percent of disabilities are not work related and therefore are not covered by workers’ compensation.
Insurance industry statistics show that only 9 to 10 percent of long-term disabilities result from serious accidents. The top causes of disability, according to the CDA, are chronic conditions, with 25 percent caused by muscle and bone disorders like back problems, joint pain and muscle pain.
Globally, depression is considered the leading cause of disability, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). There was an 18 percent increase in the diagnosis of depression between 2005 and 2015.
According to the CDA, about 26 percent of adults are diagnosed with one or more mental disorders in a year, and they account for nearly 10 percent of long-term disabilities.
Studies also show mental illness is prevalent among physicians and dentists. An Australian study in 2013 revealed a rate of depression in doctors that was four times greater than the general population.
The risk of suffering a mental condition due to on-the-job stress means you should evaluate disability insurance for its coverage of mental illness. It’s also important to ensure your physicians disability policy has an own-occupation provision and a residual disability clause in the base policy or available as a rider.
Based on disability insurance claims from 2010, the average disability claim on an individual policy lasted about two years and seven months, while the average length of a group policy claim was just short of three years.
About one in eight workers will be disabled for five years or more during their working careers.
Do you have enough in savings to maintain your income or even pay your bills for two to five years while you recover from a disability? Even if you do, would you want to deplete those savings?
Joel Palmer is a writer and personal finance expert who focuses on the mortgage, insurance, financial services, and technology industries. He spent the first 10 years of his career as a business and financial reporter.