It was a warm, sunny Thursday afternoon in October. I was sitting on the couch chatting with my daughter when I got the call. It was my husband, but his voice was hoarse and rough sounding. “Where are you?” I asked. Then what he said next changed our world forever. “I am in an ambulance on the way to the hospital. I got knocked off my motorcycle on the highway…” I hopped in my car and drove to the hospital not knowing what to expect or if my husband would even be able to walk again. In the end, he never was paralyzed, but he is still living with life altering injuries and dealing with micro-managing his pain. Probably forever. Three and a half years later, he has still not been able to return to work.
Nobody Wants to be this News Story
As with most of us, you never figure this type of thing will happen to you. You hear about it on the six o’clock news, traffic reports or from neighbours and friends, but never you or your loved one. My husband survived the accident, but ended up with 8 single broken ribs, 5 compound broken ribs, concussion, torn MCL, nerve damage, and PTSD among other things. The driver at fault walked away.
My husband Lucas had a group benefit package with short term disability that kicked in immediately. Long-term disability kicked in after 90 days. There was a ceiling on the monthly benefits which did not come close to his usual monthly salary.
It's Usually Not Enough
Luckily, years earlier after having his financial advisor look over his benefit package, Lucas realized his salary was not fully covered, therefore he chose to purchase a private disability insurance policy to supplement his group plan. We chose a disability product that would increase his monthly income to an amount he and I felt would be enough so as not to place a financial burden on our household finances.
In addition, the private disability policy provides Lucas the option of converting his plan to a Long-Term Care policy between the ages of 55 and before his 65th birthday. His policy also allows him the option of extending his disability policy if he was able to return to work in the future without having to provide medical evidence of insurability. We all know that one day we will reach our golden years and at some point, may require some type of assisted care. Lucas has set himself up nicely for today and his future.
Read the Group Plan Booklet Already!
Does your employer provide you with a benefit package that covers you in case you become disabled? If yes, are you assuming it covers your full income if you become disabled? Many employees don’t quite understand or know exactly what type of coverage they have through their group plan.
Did you file the benefits booklet away in a filing cabinet somewhere never to be seen again? Or perhaps you saved the PDF file somewhere on your laptop or in the cloud? If so, you are not alone! Disability insurance is a great way of protecting yourself, during your working years. Take the time to ensure you have sufficient coverage. It costs you nothing to have an insurance specialist look over your policy, but it could save you from a financial disaster in the time of need.
BEST DECISION EVER. Three and a half years later Lucas is still receiving his monthly benefits, giving us financial breathing room while he continues his rehabilitation.
Call Jeff today for a complementary review of your group benefit package. Written by an anonymous guest blogger.
*Insurance products are provided through iA Private Wealth Insurance Agency which is a trade name of PPI Management Inc. Only those services offered through HollisWealth, a division of Industrial Alliance Securities Inc. are covered by the Canadian Investor Protection Fund.