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Disability insurance: why what you don’t know can hurt you

(BPT) – Few people expect to become disabled and unable to work, even though 2013 Social Security Administration statistics show a 20-year old worker has a 30 percent chance of becoming disabled at some point during his career. The truth is, life can throw unexpected curves your way, and expecting the best while preparing for the worst is still good advice when it comes to financial matters.

According to a 2014 study by the Council for Disability Awareness, 57 percent of working adults report having no private disability insurance. When you dig a little deeper, you find that most people are not opposed to disability insurance, they just lack basic knowledge about this valuable financial planning tool.

“Today is the best time to consider how to help protect your financial security in the event you’re not able to work,” said Jake Biscoglio, vice president, disability, Prudential Group Insurance. “People often underestimate the chance of becoming disabled during their working years. When it comes to disability insurance, you have to plan for the unexpected.”

Disability insurances protects against one of the most common risks to your financial livelihood: loss of income. If you are unable to work and your income has been reduced or eliminated, your living expenses remain the same, creating a conflict that can quickly become a crises. The purpose of disability insurance is to keep you and your family financially afloat in such a situation.

When considering disability insurance, there are a few things to keep in mind:

* Workplace plans are often the most cost effective. Start by asking your employer what plans are offered.

* Educate yourself. Online tools and resources make it easy to familiarize yourself with the benefits of disability insurance.

* Consider private or individual disability insurance to supplement any workplace coverage you may have. Increased coverage equals greater peace of mind.

Another thing to remember is that disability insurance is very different from workers compensation; only disability insurance provides comprehensive coverage for illness and injuries, whether they occur in or outside the workplace.

The thought of becoming disabled is unpleasant, but purchasing disability insurance is a positive decision that will help protect your income and your family’s financial future, should the unthinkable occur. When considering changes in your insurance coverage, it’s always a good idea to consult with a financial professional. Seeking advice from a qualified expert will help you select the plan and coverage amount that is best for you.

For more information on financial wellness and the role disability insurance plays in a comprehensive financial wellness strategy, visit www.prudential.com/disabilityinsurance.

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