Do Disability Insurance Policies Have Cash Value?

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Do Disability Insurance Policies Have Cash Value?

No, disability insurance policies typically do not have a cash value. Unlike some life insurance policies, disability insurance is designed to provide a benefit, usually a portion of your income, if you are unable to work due to a disability. The amount of benefit you receive is often based on your prior earnings, which are reported on your federal and state tax filings. The policy does not accumulate cash value over time; its primary purpose is to offer income protection.

Key Aspects of Disability Insurance:

  1. Purpose: Provides income if you’re unable to work due to disability.
  2. Benefit Determination: Based on your previous earnings, often calculated using tax filings.
  3. Cash Value: Does not accumulate over time like some life insurance policies.
  4. Premiums: Paid regularly to keep the policy active.
  5. Coverage Period: This can vary, with options for short-term or long-term disability.

How Disability Insurance Works

  • Eligibility for Benefits: Determined by your ability to work and medical condition.
  • Benefit Amount: A percentage of your pre-disability income, subject to policy limits.
  • Waiting Period: Time between the onset of disability and when benefits start.
  • Duration of Benefits: Depends on the policy, ranging from a few months to retirement age.

Comparing with Life Insurance

  • Life Insurance: May have cash value, providing death benefits and potentially a savings component.
  • Disability Insurance: Focuses solely on income replacement during disability, with no savings aspect.


Understanding the specifics of disability insurance, including its focus on income protection without a cash value component, is crucial for financial planning.

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Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Shawn Plummer is a licensed financial professional, insurance agent, and annuity broker with over 14 years of first-hand experience with annuities and insurance. Since beginning his journey in 2009, he has been pivotal in selling and educating about annuities and insurance products. Still, he has also played an instrumental role in training financial advisors for a prestigious Fortune Global 500 insurance company, Allianz. His insights and expertise have made him a sought-after voice in the industry, leading to features in renowned publications such as Time Magazine, Bloomberg, Entrepreneur, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, SmartAsset, The Simple Dollar, U.S. News and World Report, Women’s Health Magazine, and many more. Shawn’s driving ambition? To simplify retirement planning, he ensures his clients understand their choices and secure the best insurance coverage at unbeatable rates.

The Annuity Expert is an independent online insurance agency servicing consumers across the United States. The goal is to help you take the guesswork out of retirement planning and find the best insurance coverage at the cheapest rates

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