There are circumstances in your life that require obvious change. For example, when we had our first child, it was clear to me that we should increase our life insurance. (Maybe it isn't as obvious to everyone else and it is just me.) When you buy a car, you have to get insurance in many states. Even people know that at some point they are going to die and need to prepare themselves for that inevitable "change" (not to get all tarot-card-y with the "death equals change" thing).
I can't think of the circumstance that pushes someone to get disablity insurance... except for when it is too late. When you get your first job they don't say, "Don't forget to get disability insurance. When you get a new house, I rarely hear the advice, "Get disability insurance, so you can afford mortgage payments."
Aside from the Aflack duck, I don't see a lot of advertisements pushing me to get disability insurance. Maybe I'm not looking hard enough, because it seems to be one of those products you'd see advertised everywhere.
I earn almost 100% of my income at a computer. At first glance, it doesn't seem to be the type of occupation that requires disability insurance. Even someone with Stephen Hawking's motor neuron disease could probably physically do what I do with the advances of computers today. However, I am reminded of a colleague, Ben from Money Smart Life who came down with carpal tunnel syndrome a few years ago. While he was able to continue to blog with Dragon NaturallySpeaking software, I imagine it wasn't easy.
Ben and I have it fairly easy being bloggers. Just about every other job under the sun is more physically demanding, all the more reason for people to have good disability insurance.
Michelin has the great tagline that "so much is riding on your tires", but if you stop to think about it, just about as much is riding on your income. If you go with GoodYear or Firestone instead of Michelin tires, you still have something reliable, but how many of us are operating our financial vehicle without anything?
One reader recently emailed me suggesting that I find out more about Suncorp Income Protection, but that seems to be an Australian-based company and probably not a great fit for me in the United States.
While I am at it, I should take stock of our life insurance now that we have a second child.
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