You work as an artist and spend time taking care of your body. But what if you weren’t able to work? What if an accident made it impossible for you to perform? These are terrible things 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 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 any theatre professional, disability insurance can be a saving grace when everything else seems to be going wrong.
That’s it, I know everything I need to know! Get me out of here! Congratulations!