Most people schedule an annual physical to ensure they stay on top of their health. It is just as important to review your life and disability insurance policies at least once a year.
To keep your disability insurance benefits up to date with your needs, here is a guide to help you:
1) Policy Anniversary. Every year the company will send you information about your policy. It is important to review your policy on your policy anniversary to see if any changes took place. If you are paying on a graded or increasing scale, your premiums will increase each year. It is important to be aware of this change so you can budget the new premium. If your policy has a future benefit increase rider on the policy, the benefits and premiums will increase at the policy anniversary. Make sure the company still has your current contact information including email, address, phone, etc…
2) Job Change. If you have changed your job or occupation, it is critical to review your disability insurance. If your income has decreased, you do not need to modify your benefits. The policy will still pay you at your benefit level as long as you continue to pay your premiums. With your new job, it is important to review if your new employer is offering a group disability insurance policy. Familiarize yourself with these new benefits. What is their definition of disability? Does it require you to be totally disabled? If your employer is paying the premiums, the benefits may be taxable to you. Take into consideration your new income, employee benefits and existing disability insurance to ensure your coverage is adequate. Even if your new employer offers a group disability insurance policy, it may still be beneficial to hold on to your existing individual policy. This can help fill the gap between the group policy and the take home pay you still need to pay your monthly expenses.
If you purchased your individual disability policy when you already had group disability benefits and your new position does not have benefits, you ought to consider increasing your disability benefit at this time. If you are a veterinarian, attorney, dentist or physician starting a practice, you may be able to increase your policy based on the company’s new professional limits even if you don’t yet have a track record showing consistent income.
If you changed your job and are working at one of the Set for Life Insurance’s discounted employers, you may want to see if you are eligible for a discounted policy which could save you significantly.
3) Life Change. If you recently graduated, finished your medical residency, got married, had a child, bought a house, or are getting divorced, it is important to evaluate both your disability and life insurance to ensure your benefits are enough to cover your needs. Life changes can have an impact on your budget. Review your monthly fixed expenses to evaluate if your coverage is still adequate.
4) Change in Health. If you have an adverse change in health, it is important to find out if/when you can increase your coverage without medical underwriting. Some companies allow you to increase every year and some every three. Look at your policy and consider increasing your policy at each opportunity.
If you had an improvement in health such as quitting smoking or weight loss, you may want to request a policy change on your life and/or disability insurance as you may be eligible for lower rates.
For more information about updating, evaluating and reviewing your life and disability insurance or to request a quote, please contact Set for Life Insurance today!