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Do you need disability insurance? 5 key circumstances

Parents with two small kids
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You might think disability insurance is something that people only need in case something happens to them on the job, but coverage isn't based on workplace incidents, and it's something that anyone who contributes to a household should consider. If you get sick or injured at any time, disability insurance can help you continue to support your family's financial needs.

Let's take a closer look at disability coverage and some scenarios with need for protection. Evaluate how much coverage you have and if it's enough for your household needs.

5 types of people who should consider disability insurance

Certain categories of people may have a greater need than others for the extra financial protection of supplemental disability insurance. If you fall into one of these categories, it's probably worth considering:

1. Family breadwinners

If all, or most of the income in your family comes from one source, it can create a precarious situation. Even young and healthy people can develop a sudden illness or become injured to the point they're unable to perform their usual work. In the event of a long disability period, you may run out of savings and find yourself unable to pay the bills.

Disability insurance can protect your lifestyle, your investments and your financial future by providing you with a portion of your income that you can continue to depend on.

2. Stay-at-home parents

Disability income insurance isn't just for people who work jobs outside the home. A disabling event can just as easily prevent caregiving work. If you are a stay-at-home parent and don't have family or friends who can offer low- or no-cost help when you need it and for as long as you need it, disability insurance can be a lifeline. It can provide you with some income to cover the expenses of hiring help for the tasks that others rely on you to do.

3. People with physically demanding jobs

Certain careers require a certain amount of physical labor by their nature—from building, mining and refining to landscaping, dancing and patrolling. If you have a job that demands strength, movement or coordination and become seriously ill or injured, you may need extensive time off before you can fully return to your main line of work.

Disability insurance can be extremely valuable to allow for recovery time. Keep in mind: Not all jobs are privately insurable. So it's important to verify insurability requirements and maximize group benefits.

4. Self-employed workers

When you work for yourself, you likely won't have a benefit package that includes employer-paid disability insurance. Getting disability insurance is up to you, and it can make the feast-or-famine nature of self-employment less stressful if an injury or illness forces you to take time off. Having some protection can decrease stress if something keeps you from working.

5. Workers with insufficient coverage

When you look into the disability coverage provided at your workplace, you may realize that there are caveats or that your plan offers less coverage than you need. Plus, employer-provided disability benefits are often taxable, so your benefit payouts could be less than you're expecting.

Getting supplemental coverage can help you take advantage of what work offers while still filling the gap to ensure you have the coverage you need.

Should you get disability insurance if you're not in these categories?

There's reason to consider disability income insurance even if you're not currently in a risk category. If you're young and healthy, coverage probably will be reasonably affordable and easy to purchase. Also, if you were in an accident or unable to work, ask yourself if you could live on the amount of coverage you have at a time when expense tend to rise.

Life tends to get increasingly complex as the years go by and you take on more responsibilities. Handling your disability income insurance needs now can help you lock in a premium and move forward, knowing you're covered if you ever need it.

Determine if disability insurance is right for you

Deciding whether you need disability insurance starts with looking at your unique financial picture with a financial advisor. They can help you explore questions around your specific situation and determine how much coverage would benefit you most. They can also talk you through rider options, which allow you to customize your contract so that it's comprehensive in the areas that matter to you.

If requested, a licensed insurance agent/producer may contact you and financial solutions, including insurance may be solicited.

Guarantees based on the financial strength and claims paying ability of the product’s issuer.

Riders are optional and available for an additional cost.

Disability insurance contracts have exclusions, limitations and terms under which the benefits may be reduced, or the contract may be discontinued. For costs and complete details of coverage, contact your licensed insurance agent/producer.