Essential Workers and Essential Coverage

October 28, 2020

If 2020 has taught us one thing, it is to be prepared for the unexpected.

Before the world (and the economy) went into lock down, “risk” was just a word for many of us. Since then, it has become a part of our daily reality. The term “essential worker” has also emerged as a concept few of us considered before COVID-19. We may have identified healthcare and emergency service workers as essential, but this year we also realized how much we rely on grocery store personnel, skilled tradespeople, and janitorial staff. They have carried a tremendous weight throughout this time and to say “Thank you,” one of the insurers I work with – RBC Insurance – is offering all essential workers a 20% discount when they purchase an Income Protection Plan.

Commonly known as “Disability Insurance”, this plan provides a monthly income if you are unable to work due to an injury or illness. With the strain this year has put on us all – especially essential workers – I would suggest the risk of an injury or illness has never been greater.

Yet, many people assume income protection is not attainable. Perhaps they have heard rumors that you need to work outside the home, earn a certain annual salary or be in perfect health to qualify.

To that I say, “Don’t believe everything you hear.

The truth is insurers like RBC and others have integrated many features into their current disability product shelf that allow you to build a plan that is suitable for your need and your budget.

This 20% discount makes this even more true for essential workers.

Promotions aside, here are some ways to customize a disability insurance plan that will work for you:

  • How long could I wait for benefits to kick in? Plan coverage can start in as little as 30 days, but if you can afford to wait longer, the cost of coverage goes down.
  • How will the insurer determine if I am disabled? The best definition of disability is based on your ability to carry out your regular duties. If you can’t do the work you love, why be forced to work at something else? Make sure your policy has this “regular occupation” definition for at least the first two years.
  • How long do I need my benefits to last? Most plans have a standard benefit period of 2 years, but the average time off for a person who has experienced a disability is 2.6 years. As such, I always encourage at least a 5-year benefit period. If you have the budget, plans that guarantee your income to age 65 are by far the best.
  • Do I expect my income to go up? If you are in good health now but as a new business owner have very little income to insure, consider adding a feature to your plan that allows your benefit to grow as your income does, regardless of changes to your health.
  • What if I never have a claim? Some plans return a portion of your premiums tax free every 7 years if you don’t have a claim. Consider it income protection and forced savings in one.

I am convinced that your income is your greatest asset, and I am passionate about insuring all my clients protect that asset. If you are ready to explore your options, let’s have a conversation.