what is disability insurance?


Disability insurance protects from unexpected illnesses or accidents that leave you unable to work / earn income. 'Disability' can mean various things, depending on your insurer and coverage.


This insurance replaces a portion of your income, up to a maximum amount (usually 60-80%) for a specified period of time.​


There are 2 kinds:

  • Short-term (up to 6 months).
  • ​Long-term (starts after you've used up the short-term insurance and lasts up to 2 years; you may receive benefits for longer if you're unable to work any job for which you're reasonably suited). 



what is life insurance?


In the event of your death, life insurance provides financial compensation to your beneficiary (someone you designate, like your spouse, child, or family will receive money).


Life insurance can cover certain costs, like burial expenses or mortgage / other debt payments. It can also replace income for beneficiaries. 


Life insurance can be temporary or permanent: 

  • Temporary life insurance provides coverage if death occurs within a certain time frame, usually 10-20 years (called 'term' life insurance). 
  • Permanent life insurance provides coverage for your entire lifetime, as long as you don't cancel the policy. There are two types, 'whole' and 'universal'.  Universal combines life insurance with an investment account - a portion of your premiums will be invested.
  • Permanent insurance is more expensive than temporary. Experts say that temporary insurance tends to meet most familes' needs.

DO YOU PAY INCOME TAX ON BENEFITS?


When your employer pays part / all of the premium, you'll have to pay income tax on any benefits you receive.


​If you pay life insurance / disability premiums yourself, your beneficiary will receive money tax-free.


​Because of the tax-free status of life insurance payments, permanent life insurance can be used as tax-shelter tool to pass your savings / investments to your family or a charity.

  • Your knowledge about such financial products may be useful to your grandparents and parents.


life / disability ​Insurance

WHAT ARE YOUR ALTERNATIVES?


Your employer may offer life  insurance through a group plan.

  • You'll pay a monthly insurance premium (they may cover the premium as a perk).


You can purchase your own plan through a broker / agent if you're self-employed and your employer doesn't offer a group plan.

  • ​​​​​What's the difference between an insurance broker and agent?​​
  • Once you decide what kind of coverage you need (type of policy, term, amount), you'll negotiate a premium based on gender, age, marital status, lifestyle, health, and your / your family's medical history.
  • Consider group insurance through alumni associations, certain affinity / interest groups, or professional unions / guilds.