Protecting Your Most Valuable Asset: The Ins and Outs of Disability Insurance

“The $3 million to $9 million or more that you will likely earn during your medical career is certainly an asset worth insuring…”

Most people know they need to insure their lives, cars, and homes or condos. But they often neglect to insure their most important asset, their ability to earn an income. Your income is the primary source of funding for a lifetime, from basic necessities to the hopes and dreams you have for yourself and those you love. The $3-9 million or more that you will likely earn during your medical career is surely your greatest asset, and certainly one worth insuring.

What a nurse would earn over a 35-year career, starting at $55,000 and getting 4% annual salary increases

But what if your income stopped because you were too sick or injured to work? Without a paycheck, how long would you be able to pay rent and utilities, shop for groceries, pay off your student loan, etc. ? In all likelihood, your life would be drastically altered.

Before you say it could never happen to you, consider the fact that 1 in 4 of today’s 20s will become disabled before retiring. And if you think most disabilities are the result of freak accidents, you’ll be surprised. the large majority of disabilities, about 90%, are caused by various forms of disease, including cancer, mental disorders such as anxiety and depression, muscle and back problems, and heart disease.

What to look for in a Disability Income Policy

Disability insurance (AI) can help replace your income if you get too sick or are injured on the job. It provides a buffer against the unexpected. In the event of disability, the IV provides income that can be used to run your household as well as to help you adapt to your new situation. While it’s common to have disability coverage through your employer, these types of policies usually have taxable benefits and will only cover you under certain conditions. Additional coverage, in most cases, is necessary.

But before you shop for an AI policy, you need to know what features to look for to get income protection you can count on.

How disability is defined

The definition of total disability describes what constitutes total disability:

  • If a policy defines total disability as the inability to return to work within any profession, then it would generally only pay benefits if you were unable to do a job, either your own or a job in a new field or profession. If you are unable to work as a nurse, but can work as a telemarketer, the insurance company will no longer consider you disabled – the benefits would stop.
  • If the policy defines total disability as an inability to work in your own profession, it generally pays benefits if you cannot perform the duties of the occupation you performed before you became ill or injured. If you are unable to work as a nurse, a benefit is paid. Period.
Coverage in the event of partial disability and/or recovery

A policy’s Partial Disability benefit provides protection in the event of partial disability or during a recovery period.

  • Generally payable in an amount proportional to the loss of income suffered due to sickness or injury.
  • Before a disability, you were earning 50,000 a year working full time as a nurse. Now, due to your illness or injury, you can only work part-time and earn 25,000. The insurance company would pay you the difference.
  • Supports your financial recovery while you recover physically.
  • Not available with most group plans.
Flexibility to tailor coverage to your specific needs

Now and in the future, options (also called “endorsements”) like these allow you to:

  • Increase coverage as your income increases with no medical insurability requirement*
  • Adjust benefits to keep pace with the cost of living
  • Securing pension contributions
  • Protect student loan repayments

Most nurse practitioners expect to change jobs or employers several times during their career. You can take individual AI coverage with you when you change jobs, while group long-term disability (Group LTD) plans are generally not transferable.


To avoid the possibility of losing your coverage when you need it most, choose one policy at a time non-cancellable and renewable guaranteed up to age 65, with premiums also guaranteed up to age 65. With collective or collective coverage, you run the risk of being abandoned and left unprotected at a time in your life when, due to your age or a change in your health, it would be very difficult to qualify. for coverage from another provider.


It is important to note that the cost of Individual Disability Income Protection is based on age, so you may qualify for a lower rate in buy now while you’re young and healthy.

As a nurse, you have made a significant investment of time and money to build your career with the promise of financial security and the other rewards your profession provides. But if you become too sick or injured to work, that promise evaporates. To ensure you have adequate protection for your greatest asset, consider purchasing supplemental disability insurance today.

*Restrictions and limitations apply. The amount of additional coverage available will be financially underwritten based on the amount of disability insurance you have or are eligible to receive and your income at the time of application.

Registered Representative and Financial Advisor of Park Avenue Securities, LLC (PAS), securities products/services and advisory services are offered by PAS, a registered dealer and investment advisor. Financial Representative, The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), New York, NY. PAS is an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Guardian. Luttner Financial Group, Ltd. and Lifetime Financial Growth, LLC are not affiliates or subsidiaries of PAS or Guardian. PAS is a member of FINRA, SIPC

Kyle Richert
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