You work long hours and support yourself in the film business. But what if an accident made it impossible for you to get work? This is a terrible thing to consider, but disability insurance is a very valuable way to protect yourself.
Disability insurance replaces a percentage of your income if you have an accident that leaves you unable to work for an extended period of time. Unlike workers compensation, which only pays medical bills for a work-related injury, disability insurance will kick in if you are unable to work for any reason.
Here are some things to look for in a good policy:
- Benefit period: the amount of time that the policy will replace your income. Benefit periods range from one year to life. The average duration of a disability is about three years, so if you are trying to save money you can purchase a policy with a five year benefit period. It is more affordable than a lifetime or "to age 65" policy and will most likely cover everything that you need.
- Renewability: the insurance company’s ability to cancel your policy, or change the terms and conditions every year, at renewal. The best policies are “Non-cancellable and guaranteed renewable”, meaning that the insurance company cannot change the policy terms and cannot cancel.
- Elimination period: the amount of time from the onset of a disability until the insurance company starts paying you. This can range from 30-270 days, though shorter elimination periods are more expensive. For example, a 90 day elimination period means you would receive no payment from the insurance company for three months. Pick a policy with an elimination period that you feel comfortable with.
The bottom line is that for filmmakers, disability insurance can be a saving grace when everything else seems to be going wrong.
Okay, so I should think about health insurance too. Absolutely! Health Insurance (Individuals)
That's a lot of information! Is there a summary somewhere? Definitely. Congratulations!