Disability, the Insurance That Is Often Sadly Overlooked – The New York Times

It took just 17 days for Cindy Wrenn to realize that her disability insurance premium was not just another drain on her checking account. One-third of American workers are likely to be disabled for an extended period, and she became one of them when she had a stroke and brain aneurysm at age 28.

Mrs. Wrenn signed up for her long-term disability insurance policy in February 2002, as a supplement to the one she had through her job as a licensed title agent. After her medical emergency, the policies paid 70 percent of her salary for the six months it took her to get back to work full time.

“We thought we were too young to have an illness and were pretty secure in our jobs,” said Mrs. Wrenn, of Knoxville, Md. “It wasn’t an outrageous premium, so we did it. Because of disability insurance, we got to follow through with the purchase of our house, and that is where we are living today.”

Disability insurance provides partial income replacement so that if someone becomes disabled, they need not dive into savings, sell a home or radically change how they live. Working people are more likely to become disabled than they are to die prematurely, even though twice as many people have life insurance as have disability coverage, according to industry statistics.According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, illness is a major factor in home foreclosures.

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