Disability Insurance for Attorneys: A Plan for The Unexpected Illness or Injury

Disability insurance can protect your family if you suddenly can’t work because of an injury or illness. It’s especially important to buy your own policy if you’re the primary earner for your family and you have dependents.

You might think having your own policy isn’t necessary, because you’re covered through work. Unfortunately, most group policies at law firms have limited income benefits, cover only your salary and are taxed as income. In contrast, a personal policy is one that you own and is portable across employers. A personal policy also tends to have a much stronger definition of disability and coverage.

At least 51 million working adults in the U.S. don’t have disability insurance coverage, including many of our readers and clients who practice law.

Disability insurance is usually more expensive than term life insurance. Therefore, many people mistakenly glaze over its importance. But you’re more likely to become disabled over the course of your career — whether short-term or long-term — than you are to pass away prematurely.

So, let’s look at some key details of disability insurance for attorneys, including what attorneys tend to buy, how much coverage is needed, and where to find affordable rates with sufficient benefits.

Do attorneys need disability insurance?

According to the Social Security Administration, the probability of becoming disabled between age 20 and normal retirement age is 25%. That’s one in every four workers.

So, unless you’re financially independent with plenty of assets, disability insurance should be on your radar as an attorney. And it should be a top priority if you’re responsible for the primary income for your household.

However, if you make about the same income as your spouse or partner, there might be some wiggle room in deciding to forgo additional disability coverage. But this should only be the case if you live below your means or are willing to make some serious adjustments to your lifestyle if you were to lose your income.

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