When you are your own boss, insurance can be a bit of a confusing topic, but there are options for you. To get more information, we sat down and talked to one of our lawyers about what disability insurance is, especially for someone who is self-employed. Although you might have not thought about disability insurance for yourself, it’s always good to know that there are options.
Q: Why is getting disability insurance important?
Disability Insurance provides income replacement if you are unable to work due to illness or accident. Statistics show that you are more likely to be off work for a period of time due to illness or injury than dying in a freak accident or from natural causes at a young age.
Q: How much does the insurance cover?
Your level of coverage depends on two things: the type of insurance product your purchase and your income. There are all sorts of policies available through different insurance companies. You will usually have to provide some information regarding your current level of income as you generally cannot buy insurance for an amount that exceeds your current earning level. Most private policies include an option to purchase more coverage at regular intervals and you would provide updated information on your earnings that that time in order to qualify for the additional coverage.
Q: What are your options if you’re self-employed?
You can purchase your own private disability insurance policy. Private policies generally cover an individual, and in Canada, pay for benefits after a waiting period of usually between 30 and 90 days, or longer, depending on the particular policy. Depending on the size of your company and the number of people you employ, you may be able to obtain group disability coverage for your employees that would also include you. You may also qualify for coverage through an association, such as the Canadian Dental Association or Ontario Medical Association if you’re a dentist or a doctor.
Q: If I’m self-employed, is there anything I need to know before I sign up for private disability policy?
Private Disability Insurance is usually more costly than group insurance, but generally the type of coverage it provides is usually more valuable in that it often provides benefits if you are unable to work in your regular occupation (sometimes referred to as “Own Occupation” insurance). In more recent years, many of these policies indicate that if you are able to work in another occupation, you may not continue to receive the whole benefit, but if your income is at a lower level due to this change you may be able to claim partial or residual benefits based on working reduced hours in your own occupation or in another occupation.
The process of applying to obtain the coverage is more through than Group Insurance and it is important to be sure that you answer all of the qualifying questions accurately so as to avoid having your policy voided for alleged misrepresentation in the event that you need to make a claim.
Also, the claim process can be quite daunting and special care and attention should be made to completing these forms and completely and accurately as possible as well.
At Share Lawyers, we focus on keeping our clients comfortable and informed. If you have more questions, don’t hesitate to use our FAQs as a resource!
If you are self-employed and you’ve filed a claim that has been denied, or if your new claim gets denied in the future, contact Share Lawyers and put our experience to work for you. We offer free consultations and there are no fees unless we win your case. Find out if you have a disability case.
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