For many years, I resented the need for insurance. Granted, I always knew that it was necessary and a very worthwhile expense. I just hated the feeling that I was sending my money to insurance companies in the form of premiums, knowing that the only way I could "win" the expense back was for something bad to happen to me. (And that was supposing my claim would not be denied). Overally, I thought of insurance as one of those grownup things you have to do but you're not going to like, like visits to the dentist or eating your broccoli or having to wear shoes during the summer.
Then, my mother fell ill last month and will be out of commission for quite some time as she recovers. Now, Mom does not have my childish view of insurance. She's a believer in getting the best policy money can buy, and then not worrying, which has given her many years of worry-free motoring, home-owning, life-living, etc. Unfortunately, because of circumstances outside of Mom's control, she could not find an insurer who was willing to underwrite a disability policy for her. True to form, she kept looking periodically--but she didn't really worry about it, because worrying certainly wouldn't have kept her from contracting acute pneumonia.
With this in mind, I did a little reseach about disability insurance and wrote this piece about my findings for Money Ning, one of my regular financial blogger clients. What I discovered shocked the socks off of me. According to the site DisabilityCanHappen.org, “just over [a quarter] of today’s 20 year-olds will become disabled before they retire.” Now, many of those included in that statistic will only face a few months of disability--say for a broken leg, for example--but that doesn't change just how scary it can be to know you have way more month at the end of your money and there's not going to be more income coming in.
And so, just like that, I became a convert. I'm telling everyone that they should invest in disability insurance. At a party the other day, I was relating the information about my mom's illness to friends I hadn't seen in a few months. I concluded by saying "Get disability insurance. Do it now!" The couple smiled and said, "Oh yeah, you do the money writing, don't you?" Clearly, they did not understand how important my message was. Part of me wanted to grab their shoulders and cry "I'm serious! Think of the children!!!!" But thankfully, my fervor has not quite reached the level of alienating friends and breaking every one of Miss Manners' rules. That may eventually happen, however.
So, if you find yourself cornered by me at a party while I wax eloquent on the importance of disability insurance while the burning light of Truth gleams crazily in my eyes, please consider what I'm saying before you smile and nod and politely escape.
This stuff can really make a difference.