Monday, November 26, 2007

Open enrollment reminder: sign up for disability insurance

Open enrollment is wrapping up at my workplace, and one thing that I find people often neglect to think about is disability insurance. Unless you work in a state that is covered by a mandatory disability insurance plan, I strongly urge you to consider signing up for Short Term Disability insurance--especially if you don't have a sufficient emergency fund established. Statistics show the odds of becoming disabled are higher than most people realize, and Social Security and Workers' Comp (which only covers on-the-job injuries) may not be adequate to replace all lost income, so I recommend opting for Long Term Disability insurance as well, if your employer offers it.

I found a more in-depth writeup about disability insurance here, and unfortunately I personally know of two coworkers who have had to leave their jobs due to serious off-the-job injuries. One of them was a promising young employee who suffered debilitating injuries as the result of a motorcycle accident, and to make matters worse, he hadn't bothered to enroll in LTD insurance coverage because he didn't think he needed it at his age. His parents ended up caring for him, but it was a significant burden that they had never planned for. Your ability to work is your biggest asset--especially when you're young, so protect it.

Click here for a CNN Money article with other open enrollment tips.

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