Brokers have to do a good job explaining disability coverage. And MetLife has some advice for consumers that brokers can use as talking points. First, says Lynn McDonough, vice president, MetLife Individual Disability Income, people have to ask and answer three questions:

  • If you are out of work because of illness or injury, how will your bills be paid?
  • Do you have any rainy day emergency funds?
  • If so, how long will that money last?

When obtaining coverage, consumers should consider the following, with brokers' help:

  • Determine the percentage of income any employer-sponsored policy covers, the length of the waiting period and the length of coverage.
  • Look to replace 70 percent to 75 percent of net earnings.
  • Is the employer-sponsored coverage enough? Does it cover bonuses, incentives?
  • High-wage earners may need to purchase additional coverage through their workplace or consider buying individual coverage.
  • Workplace purchases carry advantages like group rates, payroll deduction and simpler underwriting.
  • Individual policies are purchased with after-tax dollars, so benefits received are generally income tax free.
  • Most policies include a waiting period. Employees who can afford to extend those waiting periods will enjoy lower premiums.

– Werling

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