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Once you understand how important it is to put disability income insurance in place early on in your career, the next question is how to obtain it.
You can’t just buy disability income insurance, you have to apply for it
With the help of an insurance agent or financial advisor, identify one (or more) insurance companies, and apply to purchase their product. Find an advisor who has access to many options and can help you determine what’s best for you.
How do I know whether I qualify for insurance?
Your insurability depends on three major factors: your health, age and income. Insurance is most affordable and attainable when you are young and healthy. Insurers know that you are temporarily limited in income while you are undergoing training and paying for an expensive education. Students still qualify for disability income insurance, but the amount is capped at $6,000 per month of benefits. As your income increases, you’ll have the option to increase your coverage.
Next step: the application
The advisor will help you complete an application in person or by phone. The application asks for basic contact information, as well as questions about your health history. This process generally takes 15-30 minutes. Be upfront and honest about your health history, as this will help an experienced advisor guide you through the underwriting process. Underwriting is the industry term for the process of accepting the risk associated with insuring you.
The medical exam is painless
Your application is submitted to the insurance company, and they in turn order a medical exam. The insurance company contacts you to set up an appointment that works for your schedule. The nurse or paramedic will come to your home or to your place of work. They will draw some blood, measure your height and weight, take your blood pressure, and ask you some medical questions. Also, depending on the amount of coverage applied for, a medical exam may not be necessary.
From this point the insurance company will review the results from your medical exam, and request your medical records from your primary care physician. Obtaining your medical records can sometimes delay the approval process. After these are received and reviewed, the insurance company tells you how much they can insure you and how much it will cost. If you like the terms of the offer, all you have to do is sign the paperwork, accept the policy and pay the insurance company for your first month of coverage.
How much does the application and underwriting process cost?
It costs you absolutely nothing. And you will not be required to pay for your policy until underwriting is 100% complete, and you accept the insurer’s offer.
You are not required to purchase the policy. The medical exam that you completed will be good for 6 months, so you can reapply later with that company if you change your mind.
~Christian Pearson, national director of dental partnerships, Treloar & Heisel, Inc.