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  • Writer's pictureBob Wilkowski, ASA

Breadwinners: Here’s the Best Way to Protect Your Most Valuable Asset.

Updated: Jun 9

For “working stiffs” like you and me, what is our most valuable asset? You may be surprised to know it’s not our house, savings account, or IRA. Instead, it’s THE ABILITY TO EARN A LIVING. After all, without our job income, we likely couldn’t pay the mortgage, provide for our loved ones, or save for retirement. As you do with your house, automobile, and other assets, you need insurance to protect your ability to earn a living, and the best way to do that is with DISABILITY INSURANCE.


Disability Insurance is a contract that provides a source of income when an injury or illness keeps you out of work. It allows you to pay your “everyday living expenses” like the mortgage, utilities, groceries, and child care. After all, when you’re disabled, your earnings stop… but your bills don’t.


Given what it protects, Disability Insurance is just as essential as Auto, Health, Home, and Life Insurance… yet consumers don’t normally give it the requisite amount of consideration. The primary reason for this is a lack of education, which has led to widespread misconceptions like the following:

  • THE ODDS OF ME SUFFERING A DISABILITY ARE SLIM TO NONE. I wish that were the case, but the data suggests otherwise. For example, a recent study by the Social Security Administration found that, during their working lifetime, 25% of Americans will be out of work for at least one year because of a disability.

  • I’LL GET BENEFITS FROM SOCIAL SECURITY, SO I DON’T NEED DISABILITY INSURANCE. While Social Security has a disability program, it’s difficult to receive benefits from it. To qualify, you must be unable to perform the duties of any occupation. On the other hand, Disability Insurance has a much less stringent requirement: the inability to perform the duties of just your own occupation.

  • I HAVE WORKERS’ COMP, SO I DON’T NEED DISABILITY INSURANCE. It’s true that workers’ compensation insurance often replaces lost wages, but only when you become disabled as a direct result of your job. By contrast, Disability Insurance is comprehensive, as it covers illnesses and injuries that occur both on and off the job.

  • DISABILITY INSURANCE IS TOO EXPENSIVE. Fortunately, you don't have to break the bank to protect your most valuable asset. As a rule of thumb, the cost of Disability Insurance is just 1% to 3% of your earnings. So, if you’re making $60,000 a year (or $5,000 a month), you can expect to pay about $50 to $150 a month.

If you’re a breadwinner, your most valuable asset is the ability to earn a living. The best way to protect this asset is with Disability Insurance, which provides a source of income when an injury or illness keeps you out of work. The product doesn’t get the attention it deserves, as a lack of education has led to several popular misconceptions. Hopefully, this article is a starting point for appreciating the awesomeness of Disability Insurance.

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