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Ways to Protect Your Paycheck from Disabling Illness or Injury


  • Published: 2009-05-02 (Revised/Updated 2010-07-16) : Author: Guardian Life Insurance Company
  • Synopsis: May is Disability Insurance Awareness Month here are three steps to help Americans get the insurance coverage they need.

May is Disability Insurance Awareness Month, and Michael Pitkin reviews three steps to help Americans get the insurance coverage they need to ensure they'll be protected.

When the Going Gets Tough, Disability Insurance a Must! Local Expert Offers Ways to Protect Your Paycheck from Disabling Illness or Injury

Facing the worst recession since the Great Depression, people are deeply concerned about their financial future and are seeking ways to achieve and maintain basic financial security. They are cutting expenses, and putting off vacation plans and other discretionary spending as they seek to rebuild lost savings. But as Americans focus attention on cost-cutting measures, they should also consider bolstering their insurance coverages, not cutting them back, says a local insurance expert.

If the recession has eaten away at your savings and investment accounts and significantly lowered your home's value, Michael Pitkin, Financial Representative with John Driscoll & Co, Inc. in Phoenix, AZ says you probably have far less to fall back on should you become ill or hurt and can't work for an extended period of time.

"If you have any doubts as to how you or your family would manage without your income, think twice before cutting your disability insurance coverage," says Pitkin. "A disability can happen at any time. Disability insurance provides replacement income when you are unable to work and earn a paycheck. If you and your family depend on that paycheck, disability insurance is an absolute necessity, not a luxury."

Don't make the mistake of thinking that a disabling illness or injury can't happen to you, says Pitkin. Nearly one out of every three workers will suffer a disability lasting three months or longer at some point in their career, according to the nonprofit LIFE Foundation. Additionally, a 35-year-old, white-collar male who suffers a long-term disability will be out of work for an average of about six years.

May is Disability Insurance Awareness Month, and Pitkin reviews three steps to help Americans get the insurance coverage they need to ensure they'll be protected.

Step 1: Estimate your need. Figure out if you would be able to maintain your current standard of living if you were to become disabled by adding up your monthly living expenses and comparing them to the money available to you outside your job, such as current insurance coverage, savings, and income from other family members. If this money would not be enough to support you and your family, it's time to consider purchasing or adding to your existing coverage. The LIFE Foundation offers a disability insurance calculator to help consumers get a sense of how much they need.

Step 2: Consider how you'll get it. If you don't have disability insurance or need additional coverage, there are several sources to consider. The main source is through an employer. It's important to check with your benefits manager to see what options are available. Many professional organizations also offer members the opportunity to purchase disability insurance through a group plan, which is generally an affordable option. The other alternative is to purchase an individual policy through a qualified insurance professional.

Step 3: Get help. Meet with an insurance professional in your community or your benefits manager at work who can advise you on all of your options and find a plan that fits your needs and budget.
"During a time when the finances of many Americans are strained, what's most important is making sure your ability to work and earn an income will always be protected," says Pitkin.

For more information about disability insurance and to evaluate your needs, visit the LIFE Foundation website at www.lifehappens.org

About Disability Insurance Awareness Month

Disability Insurance Awareness Month (DIAM) was created to get American workers to think about the need to protect their greatest asset - their ability to earn an income. Held in May, DIAM is an industry-wide effort that is coordinated by the nonprofit Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education (LIFE).

About Michael Pitkin and John Driscoll & Co, Inc

Michael Pitkin is a native Arizonan and has been licensed in Life and Health insurance in Arizona since 2000. He is a Financial Representative with John Driscoll & Co, Inc. He can be contacted at (602) 957-7155 or (800) 354-3778 ext 208. 5050 North 40th St, ste 350 Phoenix, AZ 85018.

Our Company was founded in 1954 by John C. Driscoll, who brought to his business and to Arizona the attitudes, standards, and conservative philosophies shaped by the demanding environment of his native Vermont. Beginning as a modest business specializing in insurance, it has grown steadily and solidly into one of the Southwest's preeminent financial services concerns. Today, the firm is managed by John M. Driscoll, leading a team of Financial Representatives known for their integrity and professionalism. Although the company has evolved into a large and sophisticated organization, it exemplifies the same values its founder revered some five decades ago.

Financial Representative, The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, New York, NY (Guardian). CA insurance license #0D45813. Registered Representative of Park Avenue Securities LLC (PAS). Securities products and services are offered through PAS, an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Guardian. John Driscoll & Company, Inc. is not an affiliate or subsidiary of PAS or Guardian.

PAS is a member FINRA, SIPC. Disability income products underwritten and issued by Berkshire Life Insurance Company of America, Pittsfield, MA, a wholly owned stock subsidiary of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), New York, NY, or provided by Guardian. Product provisions and features may vary from state to state.

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