Disability Happens In A Flash
There's a reason there's more doctors and specialists in Canada than there are funeral homes. Disability insurance is paycheque protection.
Get disability insurance quotes to protect your income.
How Much Is Your Income Worth To You?
Disability insurance replaces your income and protects your lifestyle in the event you get sick or hurt.
Your income or salary provides for the lifestyle you currently live. What would happen if your income were cut down or stopped suddenly? How long could you go without your income?
Employer Workplace Disability Insurance Facts
How Does A Workplace Disability Insurance Plan Work?
If you're like most workers in Canada that work for small companies, your workplace Group Benefits likely do not have disability insurance. With good reason - it's expensive and the main reason why companies are forced to cancel the whole Group Benefits Plan.
If you have disability insurance through work, you might not realize that it's typically good for 4 months. After that you are basically taken off the plan with a requirement to return to work or find ANY suitable employment. In addition there is a cap on your benefits the higher your income.
Note: because in most cases your employer pays for the disability insurance, whatever benefits you will receive are before taxes. So your benefits pay 60% of your income. After tax it comes to about 40% of your gross income. Can you survive on that? For how long?
There's a reason why personal injury law is a lucrative business. A big portion of their income comes from fighting on behalf of employees who were denied long term disability (LTD) benefits or taken off claim from their workplace disability insurance.
When was the last time you read the long term disability (LTD) clauses of your employee benefits booklet?
Things to know when you make a disability claim through your employer group disability plan. Plans depend on your company booklet. Here are general guidelines.
The Global COVID-19 Pandemic Was A Loss of Income Dry Run
If you were anxious that you might lose a job due to the pandemic lockdowns you realized right away that it would mean a loss of income.
If you know someone who got COVID-19 and couldn't work for a while and lost income, this is exactly what it's like to have your income stop or be cut down immediately.
Disability Insurance By Profession
Professional working in a company
Your group employee disability insurance plan is exactly that...a plan that groups you together with every other employee or executive in the firm. It pays no respect to your own personal health, occupation and risks. It's only focused on the group as a whole such as the claims and number of people and how your company structures the plan. If you make typically more than $100,000 in income your benefit is capped so you're "penalized" for being a high earner. If you want coverage that will ensure you are covered for as long as you are disabled and unable to work, your workplace plan on average will pay for as long as 2 years.
Do you depend on commissions and bonuses for your income? Your group plan will cover $0 of this. If disability claims made within the group become too expensive for the life insurance company, it means your overall employee benefit costs will rise for the company. This will mean they choose to cancel the disability plan the next year leaving you with no coverage. The best way to avoid this and feel secure that your income is protected, is getting an individual disability insurance policy that won't change or be cancelled unless you do.
Disability insurance for lawyers
Without the security and control over your income in the future if you can't work or practice, even the highest paid lawyer can be exposed to financial disaster given any one of life’s unforeseen circumstances. Hopefully a disability or having to see a medical specialist or physiotherapist will never have to get on your docket. But why risk it? If you currently depend on the Law Association disability insurance, remember it's a group plan and rates go up based on the claims and profiles of other lawyers on the plan. As a lawyer you need an individual disability policy and you qualify to get the highest amounts that match your risk and experience as well as to comfortably replace your income to support your lifestyle. See how much lawyer disability insurance you qualify for today.
Disability insurance for IT Contractors & Professionals
It's always satisfying to get a lucrative contract to provide services for various entities and companies whilst maintaining your independence as a self-employed individual. And to be able to do this with multiple contracts and companies is the allure of being an IT Contractor. The trouble lies in the fact that you have a unique skillset that requires unique capabilities and thus requires you to be available. This incidentally ties into your income. What would happen if your lost your ability to get contracts due to a prolonged injury or illness? Get the specific protection and coverage that accounts for exactly what you do and will pay you until you are able to go back to doing exactly what your skillset requires. Let's get started!
Business Owner Long Term Disability Insurance
We help you cover your ability to build your business and earn an income. You likely don't take days off and even if you were sick or injured you would still go into work because you are the key person and the lifeblood of the business. However, there will be times where you get really sick or hurt and are unable to work. Disability insurance will replace your income for as long you need to recover to come back stronger. If you're most like most business owners, you would rather prefer you have a business to come back to and that your debts and employees are paid. You can get disability insurance that will cover all your fixed expenses like salaries, rent, insurance for 12 or 24 months if you need it. Just as long as you the business owner are down, you will have your bills paid. Let's get started!
Private Disability Insurance for Executives
As a driver of the growth and strategy of the company or organization you work for, naturally you are compensated highly for the success. The trouble is if you are part of the company disability insurance plan, you go through what has been coined "reverse discrimination". What this means is you are penalized for making a high income and the higher the income the less the benefit amount you get to replace your income due to a cap. That's just for your salary based compensation. Bonuses and other types of performance based compensation are not protected by your company disability insurance plan. So, as an executive if you actually do take time off work (if you're like most executives in most cases you likely work through it) you get your benefits before taxes and your lifestyle is adversely affected by the drop in income. If you decide to leave your company you lose coverage. Haven't you outgrown your company plan as the only option to the risk you face of a disability? Let's get started!
Disability Insurance for Design & Web Professionals
With the new digital economy and the rush to build out websites and craft SEO campaigns and the like, being an internet professional has never been lucrative with such a demand for design services. Your skills are unique and your time is valuable. Naturally, because you sit in front of a computer and use your eyes and hands as well as your brain power, if you were to lose your capacity it'd mean a drop in your current and future income. For example with time you could develop carpal tunnel in your hands. Or perhaps the deadlines and being meticulous with projects to meet client needs could lead to stress and mental exhaustion. Do you have a plan to replace your income if you can't work?
Perhaps you own an agency and you're the rainmaker and owner? If you go down will you have an agency to come back to if salaries and fixed expenses can't be paid? Or would you feel comfortable not being there to run your business? Disability insurance can help mitigate and help you rest easy. Not even Canva can help you design a solution to protect your income. Let us help. Let's get started!
Disability Insurance for Sales Professionals
There's a reason sales professionals appreciate and understand the need for disability insurance. The allure of sales is getting paid for what you're worth based on your effort and work ethic. The unlimited income potential and the accompanying bonuses for meeting company or personal production goals make the "risk" of betting on yourself all worth the nail-biting adrenalin rush that makes all the losses and rejection all worth it. If you work for a company and depend on commissions and bonus as part of your compensation, this income is 100% not covered. You won't get it replaced if you can't sell or produce. If you are self-employed and literally "eat what you kill" you likely don't have health benefits like an employee working for a company.
You get up and suit up each day prospecting for opportunities hoping the deal closes and you calculate in your head what your commission will be. If you can't work or produce there are no benefits to pay you or replace your income. You could go to Employment insurance but the reason you got into sales was to earn a higher income to live a better lifestyle. EI won't support your lifestyle or replace your income until you're able to work again. Disability insurance will replace your income and as long as you maintain the plan it can never get cancelled or changed. If you aren't at 100% capacity when you get back you will get a recovery benefit to make you whole. Let's get started!
Disability Insurance for Consultants
Working independently as a consultant is an arduous but rewarding career. You have to build your business and network form scratch and you are the business and rainmaker that brings in the revenue. You can't duplicate your skillset or who you are. If you get struck by a disability your main concerns are making sure you maintain your lifestyle and then when you get back it will take a while to get back up to speed. Fortunately private individual disability insurance provides you with a Recovery benefit as your income, naturally, won't immediately get back to where you left off. Plus it will take time to rebuild contacts and leads for consulting gigs. Disability insurance, in particular own-occupation disability insurance is wat consultants need. This ensures that if you get disabled, the insurance company will continue to pay your benefit as long as you can't go back to perform the duties of your "own occupation". Let's get started!
Physician Own-Occupation Disability Insurance
As a physician you need true own-occupation disability insurance that is non-cancellable and guaranteed. If you are part of your association plan you are subject to frequent rate increases and changes to your plan because your rates are based on the claims and experience of other physicians in the group. With individual disability insurance you get exclusive discounts and advice on the best specialty-specific disability insurance for doctors. Blue Alpha Wealth is an experienced independent agent to help answer your questions and help you protect your income.
As long as you're unable to perform the important duties of your "own occupation" the disability insurance companies will pay your monthly benefit. As a physician this could mean if you can't perform the functions of your specialty such as carrying out a surgery. Let's get started with appropriate disability insurance quotes for your specialty and practice.
Disability Insurance for Self-Employed Construction Trades
Being self-employed like you are, you probably realize that you're not entitled to the same type of compensation and benefits like an employee working in a company and under a union. Because of this, when you get sick or hurt and can't work, your income gets cut down or stops completely. The truth is this isn't safe. Do you depend on Workers Comp. (WSIB)? You must know that workers comp does pay but what has become standard is that 64% of the time a claim is either reduced or declined. In addition, WSIB will only pay you for work-related injuries or illness. With the likelihood of catching COVID-19 off the job, you won't get paid by WSIB.
Would having a guaranteed income be important to you in the event of an accident and sickness on or off the job? You choose your own doctor and you get paid for as long as you are off work and can claim multiple times without affecting your plan. Because you're in construction the risk is much higher than that of a person working behind a desk so you require specific coverage. Let's get started!
Disability Insurance for Engineers
As an engineering professional your expertise is technical and intellectual in building cities, driving technology and coming up with the latest model vehicle. Your profession requires attention to detail and preciseness. You generally tend to be a stickler for details and probabilities. Getting precise disability insurance that covers you specifically for your profession and engineering focus is key to protecting your income. If you can't use your hands or for some reason can't practice as an engineer because you get sick or hurt, individual private disability insurance can help replace your income. You need true own-occupation disability insurance to cover you for as long as you can't work within your specialty. Let's get started!
Disability Insurance for Managers
One of the most underused benefit for managers in companies is a guaranteed issue disability plan for management. This is an add-on, level premium cost plan that creates a "group plan" out of individual disability insurance policies pad for by the company. The plan does not require health questionnaires (guaranteed issue) in case some managers have health issues and trouble qualifying as they would with a standard disability insurance plan. The benefit of this is taking away the risk that a manager gets sick or hurt and the company has to pay out of pocket to try and support them financially but also allows for managers to feel they can maintain their lifestyle in the event of a disability. The plan is tax deductible and easy to implement. Let's get started!
Disability Insurance for Dentists
As a dentist you need true own-occupation disability insurance that is non-cancellable and guaranteed. If you are part of your association plan, just like physicians, you are subject to frequent rate increases and changes to your plan because your rates are based on the claims and experience of other dentists in the group. With individual disability insurance you get exclusive discounts and advice on the best specialty-specific disability insurance for dentists. Whether you're a periodontist or endodontist Blue Alpha Wealth is an experienced independent agent to help answer your questions and help you protect your income by getting appropriate coverage.
Let's get started with appropriate disability insurance quotes for your specialty and practice.
"Disability Won't Happen To Me!"
This is what most people picture when they think of a "disability". Because they don't encounter it in their life or those close to them it's hard to see that this is one part of a disability. Most disability insurance claims in Canada are illness and sickness related. Less than 10% are related to sports injuries or car accidents that lead to a wheelchair!
"Employee Benefits Will Cover Me!"
Nowadays most group plans don't have disability insurance. Why? Because it's expensive especially if a few people make long term disability claims that will cost the insurance company a lot of money to cover. Which would mean higher costs for the overall plan. Plus, if you do have a group plan with disability coverage most of them are paid for by the employer. What this means is that you pay taxes on your disability benefits so instead of getting 80% of your income you get 60%. The best solution is to top-up to get a private individual disability insurance plan. You can take it even if you leave your job.
"I have enough savings and can depend on my family or bank"
Real Examples of Causes of Disability By Age & Occupation
Many people think they’re “immune” from the possibility of becoming disabled. Here is a list of actual claims as submitted by insurance companies' disability insurance claim files. What could possibly prevent you from being able to work? Curious about what type of disability affects your profession? Get in touch with Blue Alpha Wealth.
Cause of Disability
President – Construction Company
Cancer of Lung
General Sales Manager
Degenerative Disc Disease
Coronary Artery Disease, Angina
Cervical and Lumbar Back Sprain
Severe Coronary Artery Disease
Cause of Disability
Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS)
Acute Myocardial Infarction
Owner / Manager
Myocardial Infarction, Coronary Artery Disease
Fracture, Elbow-Radial Head and Neck
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Shouldn't I just buy Critical Illness Insurance?
Critical illness is a great benefit if you need a huge lumpsum immediately that's tax-free to help you recover from an illness like cancer or heart attack. That's the main difference: it's a lumpsum and will only cover you if you survive an illness. It won't pay you for an accident or mental disorder or back pain that causes you not to work.
Disability insurance will pay you for both injury and illness in the form of a monthly benefit for as long as you aren't able to work. It depends on your income. Critical illness insurance depends on how much you can afford to buy up to $2 million.
Critical illness will pay you a one-time, tax-free lumpsum e.g. $50,000. Disability insurance will pay you a monthly benefit e.g. $3,000 a month. $3,000 a month for 30 years is equivalent to $1,080,000! It all depends on how long you need the money for.
Disability Insurance vs. Critical Illness Insurance
It comes down to what you can afford not to lose when you become sick or hurt. If you can't lose your income for the next 5-30 years, then disability insurance is likely the best option. If you're not worried about future income and would prefer a cash lumpsum to help you recover from a major illness, then critical illness is suitable. Keep in mind critical illness will only pay you once and doesn't cover injury or accidents.
Ultimately, your budget will play a factor as well. You can buy unlimited amount of critical illness but with disability it will depend on what income you can justify and prove. Either way both are good options when you need them.
Get A Disability Insurance Quote
Disability happens to a family, a business. Not just an individual.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can expect to pay 1- 4% of your current income or 2 - 6% of the monthly disability benefit amount you choose. Cheaper doesn't always mean better and the most important thing to pay attention to is policy definitions. In addition, your disability insurance cost depends on several factors including:
- Policy definitions such as whether the policy considers you disabled if you can’t work in any occupation, or if you can’t work in your occupation?
- Is your policy considered non-cancellable and guaranteed renewable, or can the insurance company raise the premium or cancel your policy at certain intervals like 5 years?
- The financial strength and ratings of the insurance company?
- Your gender, smoking status, height and weight
- Your financial information like bankruptcy
- Your occupation and the risks you have to take outside of work such as skydiving etc.
- Optional benefits added to the policy such as inflation protection or partial benefits
Disability insurance is like insurance for your ability to earn an income. It covers you if you can't work and earn an income in the event you get sick or hurt. You consult with your doctor of choosing and they recommend how long you need to be off and that will be the period you will get paid the benefit. Your benefit amount depends on your income and you need to be employed to be able to replace your income. You can claim multiple times if you get injured or sick multiple times over the life of your policy.
In general, your ability to earn a living is your most important asset as it funds your lifestyle. Disability insurance provides you with a percentage replacement of your income if for some reason your income is cut down or stops immediately due to an illness or injury and you can't work for a while. It is a foundational insurance that holds up everything else even your ability to pay your life insurance premiums.
Any type of disability insurance you have in place is good as long as it will pay you when you need it. The challenge of workplace disability insurance is that it's paid out before taxes which reduces your benefit at time of claim. So you typically end up with a 40% pay cut once you receive it. In addition, if you make over $100,000 a year you are covered up to a group maximum for most group plans. Disability insurance at work is beneficial if you make a relatively lower income. If you make bonuses or commissions as a major part of your income, workplace disability insurance doesn't cover that compensation.
It depends on the policy terms. Disability insurance will typically cover you for an injury or accident as standard. You will have to add an option for illness or sickness coverage. If you had a pre-existing condition stated in the policy at application, you will not be covered for that particular condition which is considered a policy exclusion. It's important to read the policy provisions to determine what is covered and what is not. Blue Alpha Wealth can walk you through and explain your specific policy provisions thoroughly.
Two main types of disability insurance in Canada are classified as short-term and long-term. Short-term disability insurance covers lost income for about three to four months while long-term disability insurance typically pays a portion of your lost income for anywhere from one year to your entire life. This is why it's important to buy your own long term disability insurance because after a while your workplace long term plan will stop paying and expect you to go back to work after two years.
You compare by looking at policy definitions and provisions such as the definition for what is considered a disability and when and how a claim will be paid. You also want to consider the financial strength and ability of the insurance company to pay. It's important to go through the contract language with an independent broker like Blue Alpha Wealth to ensure you get the right policy. Keep in mind that cheaper does not always mean better. The insurance company can potentially pay you millions over your life so both parties need to ensure they enter into a feasible agreement based on your health etc.
In most cases if you buy a private individual disability insurance policy, your benefits are tax-free as you would have used after-tax dollars to pay for your policy. If say for instance you get a policy through work, if your employer pays the premium you will be taxed on your benefits. If you pay the premium you won't be taxed. Always talk to your accountant for tax advice for your unique situation.
Yes you can. These are called guaranteed issue disability insurance policies. The drawback to these is that you will pay for the policy but at time of claim you will go through underwriting or medical exam to see if there are any major issues. The insurance company can deny a claim if they find something or an issue with your health that would cause them not to pay. It's always good to do medical underwriting prior to buying a policy so you know exactly what you're covered for, but it's not required.
This is the time that passes before the insurance company starts paying you your monthly benefit. It's like a deductible of time. It makes the cost of your policy affordable the longer you wait to receive benefits. You can have a 0 day, 15 day, 30 day or 90 day waiting or elimination period.
For example, if you have a 90 day wait period, the clock starts ticking after 91 days. So, from 91 days it might take another 30 days to process your claim such as the back and forth of getting paperwork from you like the claim form and your attending physicians notes on the injury or illness etc. and their recommendation. While it might seem long, in the long run it is better because it's always best to get it right and to lead to a successful disability insurance claim.
It depends on how long you are able to go without an income and can tap into your savings. Most policies are priced to have the sweet spot as a 90-day elimination period. The premium doubles by decreasing the waiting period to 30 days. In other words, the shorter you wait the sooner you'll get your benefits but it will cost slightly more in terms of your monthly premium cost.
In most cases individuals rely on savings to take them for 3 months. However, most people may not be able to afford going without an income for more than a month. Another option is to divide your benefit amount based on waiting periods. For example, if you require a $5,000 a month benefit you can divide it into two whereby you receive $2,500 after 30 days and the remaining $2,500 after 90 days to help reduce the cost.
This is a case whereby you have a known or unknown pre-existing condition that has a potential impact of a future disability. What this means is that the insurance company approves your application on the condition that they don't cover the pre-existing condition if it results in a future claim or leads to a claim. This exclusion could be temporary or permanent and if temporary the insurance company will let you know when the exclusion will be removed from your policy contract and under what circumstances.
It depends on the insurance company and the type and severity of the medical problems. The insurance company has three options:
- Charge you a higher premium for the policy
- Exclude the condition from the policy
- Decline insurance altogether
It's important to determine this prior to application in the event you want to take a dry-run before you apply. Critical illness insurance could be another option in the event your medical condition is more sickness related.
Group Long Term Disability Insurance:
- Benefits are taxable if your employer pays the premium.
- Benefits are based on a percentage of your base income or salary. Bonus and commissions are typically not covered.
- Benefits are typically reduced during a period of disability if you receive benefits from another source or work in a different occupation.
- More restrictive definitions within the policy (qualification for benefits may require you to be unable to work in ANY occupation).
- No rate guarantees.
- Partial disability may not be covered.
- Policy can be changed or canceled by the insurance company or your employer at any time.
- Policy is connected to the employer and generally not portable.
Individual Disability Insurance
- You receive benefits tax-free if you pay the premium.
- Quality plans will cover you in your own occupation/specialty.
- More liberal definitions within the policy to pay you more money in more claims scenarios.
- Higher monthly benefits.
- Benefits can increase with inflation.
- Rate guarantees to age 65 or for a lifetime.
- You own the policy and can take it with you to a new job or occupation (portability).