Most times, you never see it coming. You’re going about your life, and within an instant, everything changes.
1.85 million people in Ontario are living with a disability. That rate is expected to rise to one in five Ontario residents in the next 20 years.
Other times, it’s a slow progression into illness or a disability. No matter how it happens, this can be devastating. It can affect your emotional, physical, and financial health.
You may be thinking “I have insurance, why do I need disability insurance?” Keep reading to find out what disability insurance is and why you need it.
Why Do I Need Disability Insurance?
Disability insurance is a policy giving you a percentage of your wages if you become disabled.
Many people think they have enough coverage through provincial and federal programs. Unfortunately, these are not enough.
The coverage you receive depends on the policy and your income. That’s why it’s important to read the fine print.
You want a policy that will give you peace of mind. It should allow you to cover expenses during your disability and recovery.
1. OHIP and Other Provincial Coverage Are Basic
Many people mistakenly believe that as long as they have provincial healthcare coverage, they don’t need anything else. But OHIP and other similar plans only cover the basics.
Provincial coverage only pays for basic hospital and doctor visits. You don’t get money from these programs.
Physiotherapy, counseling, medications, or medical equipment are not covered by provincial health insurance. Ambulance and out of hospital treatments are the patient’s responsibility.
Also, these plans don’t cover wages, home care costs, or other expenses associated with a disability.
2. Workers Compensation Only Applies If You’re Injured on the Job
The workers’ compensation program only covers you if the injury occurs in the workplace. Even with work injuries, it may not provide coverage for as long as you need it.
If you’re self-employed or the disability is not work-related, you may be out of luck. You could be ineligible for benefits. This could get you in financial trouble when you’re dealing with a disability or injury.
3. Why Do I Need Disability Insurance?
If you end up with a disability or illness that leaves you unable to work, you need an income to cover the expenses. This is particularly important if your family depends on your wages.
Losing an income is more than a simple inconvenience for most families. It can be the difference between surviving and spiraling into a financial crisis.
There are Critical Illness policies for those who contribute to the house, even if they don’t earn a consistent income.
Stay-at-home parents may find Critical Illness policies more suitable for their needs. The family can’t function without their contribution, even if they don’t make a wage. A regular disability income insurance policy is going to be more beneficial in this case.
4. Supplement Your Health Insurance Benefits
Even with health insurance that covers medical expenses and treatments, you may still struggle. You need to put food on the table and a roof over your head.
Health insurance is important to help deal with the medical side of things. Provincial health plans only cover the bare minimum, such as doctors visits. Private health insurance will help with preventative and restorative treatments.
Physio, psychotherapy, and home care or private hospital rooms may be covered by health insurance. The policy may also cover dental care, eye care, and drug costs.
This will make things a little easier, but it doesn’t cover the expenses of day to day life. When you become disabled, injured, or have a serious illness, life doesn’t stop.
The bills keep coming, and it can quickly become overwhelming if you’re unable to work.
5. Longer Recovery Times
Even if you’re covered by workers compensation or EI, those benefits often run out. You may have no help before you’re healthy again and ready to return to work.
People can feel browbeaten to head back to work before they are medically or mentally ready to do so. Many employees return to modified duties or to another position to earn enough money to survive.
Disability insurance can take pressure off of your shoulders. It gives you the time you need to properly heal.
With this policy, you’ll be able to cope with the health issues you’re facing without returning to work too quickly.
6. More Coverage
Disability insurance policies offer coverage for short or long-term disabilities. This is not just for injuries or illnesses acquired at work.
The right policy may cover injury and mental health issues as well as long-term or serious illness. If you’ve planned properly, you may receive a higher percentage of your working income.
Many employers offer disability insurance plans as an option for employees to buy. Sometimes, these group plans are not enough to cover the expenses of life.
Self-employed individuals and those who don’t have group policies through work can buy individual or family plans.
7. Work Policies Don’t Cover Commissions or Tips
Even if you have a group disability policy through your employer, you may be shocked to see how little you receive when you need it.
Commission and tips are not included when they assess your income for work provided policies. If a portion of your income comes from these sources, it won’t be used to determine the percentage of income you receive when injured or disabled.
Get Peace of Mind
Are you still asking yourself “Why do I need disability insurance?” Think about the peace of mind it will bring knowing you and your family. You will be financially covered if something goes wrong and leaves you unable to work.