Understanding Individual Disability Insurance

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

What is Individual Disability Insurance?

Individual Disability Insurance, also known as Personal Disability Insurance, is a type of policy that provides income protection to individuals in the event they are unable to work due to a disabling illness or injury. This insurance ensures financial stability by replacing a portion of your income during the disability period.

Individual Disability Insurance

How Does It Work?

When you purchase a personal disability insurance policy, you pay regular premiums. In exchange, if you become disabled as defined by your policy terms, the insurance company pays you a monthly benefit. This benefit is a percentage of your pre-disability income, typically ranging from 50% to 70%.

Key Features to Look For

  1. Benefit Period: The length of time you will receive payments while disabled.
  2. Elimination Period: The waiting period before benefits begin.
  3. Definition of Disability: How the policy defines disability, often as “own occupation” or “any occupation.”
  4. Renewability: Whether the policy is non-cancelable, guaranteed renewable, or conditionally renewable.


  • A dentist suffering a hand injury and unable to perform dental procedures can claim benefits if they have an “own occupation” policy.
  • A software engineer diagnosed with a chronic illness preventing them from working can receive income through their disability policy.

Visit the Annuity Expert Disability Marketplace for expert guidance and a wide selection of disability insurance

Disability Insurance Individual

Features of Individual Disability Insurance

Benefit PercentagePercentage of your income replacedDetermines financial support level
Benefit PeriodDuration of benefit paymentsImpacts long-term financial security
Elimination PeriodWaiting period for benefits to startAffects when you start receiving support
Definition of DisabilityCriteria for qualifying as disabledCrucial for understanding coverage scope
PremiumsCost of maintaining the policyInfluences affordability and sustainability


Individual Disability Insurance is essential for financial protection against income loss due to disability. Understanding key features like the benefit period, elimination period, and the definition of disability is crucial. Carefully evaluate these factors when choosing a policy to ensure it meets your needs.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What Does Disability Insurance Cover?

Disability Insurance covers a range of disabilities, both short-term and long-term, depending on your policy. Commonly covered disabilities include injuries, illnesses, and even mental health conditions that prevent you from working.

Who Should Consider Individual Disability Insurance?

Anyone who relies on their income to cover living expenses should consider Individual Disability Insurance. This includes professionals, self-employed individuals, and those without employer-sponsored disability coverage.

How Much Disability Insurance Coverage Do I Need?

The amount of disability insurance coverage you need depends on your monthly expenses, including bills, rent or mortgage, and other financial commitments. A general rule of thumb is to aim for coverage that replaces 60-80% of your pre-tax income.

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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