Wednesday, May 16, 2012

It Can Be Too Late

The month of May is Disability Awareness Month. As I think on the month, I am reminded of the countless individuals I discuss disability insurance with. I explain all the benefits and all the needs as well as examples of people who have been able to survive through a tough time by having this type of coverage. Now, I realize that even the best of situations people will only half listen and tell me they are "not interested" or that they will "think about it" or even "do it later". Basically these people are the ones who believe they will actually have the time to make that decision.

Then something happens. One of those people invariably has an issue come up. A surprise surgery or pregnancy or an accident happens that puts them out of work for over a month. Then I get the phone call asking me if they can enroll now and have the disability policy help them. I wish insurance worked like that, but I have to tell them that they can still get the policy but it won't help with their current situation. These are the people who told themselves that, "It's never too late." Unfortunately for those people it's too late. In fact, in some cases they can't even be considered for disability insurance again until one year passes of consistently being back at work before we can consider this process again.

You see, the phrase, "It's never too late" is a great mantra for some things like traveling the far away places, sky diving, learning a musical instrument or taking a cooking class, but not insurance. There is a point and time where an ability to acquire coverage can be hindered because of various reasons. Policies like these are not just revolving doors we can hop on any time we feel we need it. It would be like getting home insurance after the tree has fallen in our living room. It's just not going to happen that way and be of any help.

Not only does this apply to disability insurance, but also for other voluntary insurance policies like critical illness (heart attack, stroke, renal failure, etc), long term care, cancer, and the obvious life insurance.
So,, what are some things that can make it too late for certain insurance coverage? Let's take a look:

1 - Contracting an illness. Now, this illness can be anything from diabetes to heart conditions and high cholesterol to cancer and the like. Many times these illnesses are initial questions on an application to acquire insurance of some kind. If you are honest and admit to these items that you have, your underwriting window gets smaller and smaller with each one until your ability to acquire coverage goes away.
2 - Having had health issues in the past. Obviously going through health issues presently has it's disadvantages but even things you dealt with in your past can have a negative impact on your ability to get certain insurance. Many times policies have a time frame in which you could have dealt with something and be considered healthy enough to consider coverage, but all that time in between can creep up on you and keep you from ever getting the coverage to help yourself and your family.
3 - Getting older. It may seem like insurance is being age-biased, but the reality is that the older we get the more likely we are to have those go wrong in our bodies. When they do happen, the body also takes longer to recover and in some cases it never gets back to a healthy state again. State run nursing facilities are filled with people who tried to live by the "It's never too late" mantra. To walk into those facilities at times is sad, to say the least.
4 - Death. This one is the no-brainer, but it needs mentioning because so many people pass this one by...especially when they are younger and they feel invincible. I tell people and groups every day that there is no discount for the casket if they are younger. Funerals and the expenses of our final days are costly. How much? As of now, anywhere between $6,000 and $15,000 dollars depending on the situation. The point is that this is the ultimate "It can be too late" example. Without proper coverage, those we leave behind are stuck being reminded of a sad day until the bill gets paid because someone decided they could wait.
Those of you who know me know that I am not a "doom and gloom" guy. However, I believe in taking care of myself and especially those around me. My family needs me to make the smart decisions so that IF the time comes to help me out because I have fallen ill or passed away, they know the financial burden has been lifted because I took care of it before.

Do you have a need to fill a gap in coverage in your life or the lives of someone you love? Is there enough of the right insurance for your family to take care of you for the "just in case"? It can be too late for some people. Don't fall into that category.

I'm always a phone call/text (205-370-8453) or an email ( away.