Summer is here! With that brings lots of fun outdoor activities; biking, water skiing, tubing, hiking and camping to name a few. Unfortunately, accidents can happen too. (I’ve seen some wicked tubing accidents and water skiing wipe-outs!)
Some accidents or sickness may only result in a few days off work… but others could result in weeks. A more serious incident may leave you unable to work for months or even years, causing you to have severe financial hardship.
While you are disabled you probably will have additional medical expenses; hospital care, home care, physiotherapy or chiropractic/massage services; all this coming at a time when your income is stopped.
Here’s the deal… If you have disability coverage through your work that covers you 24 hours, then that will definitely help and make a difference. If you’re covered under a group plan at work, many of your benefits are provided already, or are they? Do you know?
Are you self-employed? If so, do you have your own private disability plan? You may have Workers Compensation coverage that protects you at work, but does it cover you off the job? Do you have a private disability plan?
If not – you are vulnerable for paying for your own medical expenses, and oh by the way, if you’re not able to work, there’s no monthly income either.
If you’re self-employed or a small business owner or maybe you do contract work; most likely your objective (for tax planning purposes) is to show as little earned income as possible. I get it, the more deductions we have to bring our income down, the less taxes we pay. It’s a double edged sword though when it comes to getting disability coverage. Private disability plan benefits are calculated based on your “Earned Income”.
The good news is that there are companies that understand that; they know that your lifestyle income is not your earned income. This is why benefits can be based on your business’ gross revenue.
Go ahead and answer these questions to see if you are at risk:
- “Do I have a plan in place that will cover my income if I get sick or disabled and cannot work?”
- “Is the plan I have enough to cover my bills and living expenses if something happened tomorrow?”
- “Do I even know what I have or what it covers in my group plan benefits?”
If you can’t answer these questions (or all the answers were NO!) then please call me! If you have group coverage and you are not even sure what you are covered for, make a quick a phone call to your plan administrator to find out.
I’m sure you know of someone that has got sick or injured and has suffered financially because they did not have coverage…. maybe even intimately! …. 😉
Here’s what happened to one of my clients: “I was fairly healthy, I work at a desk, but after talking to Shari, I knew that I was vulnerable just walking down the street. I’m self-employed and was not covered on any extended disability plans. I got as much as I could; based on my income, and the really forgot about it. One night driving home in my car, a lady ran a red light and t-boned my car. I was in the hospital with major injuries. I was not able to work, never mind even able to sit down (I am a bookkeeper) …even concentrating on my job was nearly impossible due to the pain. The policy I had enabled me to at least cover my expenses. (ICBC was not there to give me income while I waited for a settlement, which could take years.) I was grateful that I had that policy when I needed it the most!”
In my 19+ years as a financial advisor, I see too many people who don’t have a clue what they will do if an accident happens and they can’t work and their income stops. They’re scrambling to figure out what they have and if they are going to be okay. If you would like some advice (peace of mind that you would be covered) then contact me. I can review your current plan, or discuss how you can integrate personal coverage to protect your lifestyle.
Knowing if you have coverage is really the first step. Lots of people are only 1 or 2 pay cheques away from not being able to cover their basic monthly costs. This easy simple step is a way to make sure you’ve covered your a$$ if something happens. Have fun this summer!