In times like these, good decisions matter. And when it comes to protecting a portion of your income from disability risks, it’s important to base your decision on the facts. In the case of disability, some of those facts might surprise you.

For example, almost one-third of Americans entering the work force today (3 in 10) will become disabled before they retire.(1)  And if you are covered by a group disability income policy through your employer, you might not know about the likely gap between your policy’s benefits and your family’s actual needs.

To start with, the typical group plan only covers 50-70% of income. And benefits are often taxable, have maximum limits, and don’t cover bonuses, commissions or 401(k) contributions. In some cases, worker’s compensation helps bridge the gap, but most disabilities are caused by illness, (2) and only 10% of disabling accidents are work related. (3) If you run a business, your insurance protection should help cover its operating costs, possibly provide the funds for a partnership buyout, and protect a portion of lost earnings – either yours or your employees’.

The most common way to close the gap between existing coverage and actual needs is to obtain a supplemental individual disability income insurance policy. Because you own it, you can take it with you throughout your career.

And the best way to make a good decision about that policy is to work with a trusted, trained financial professional.

information © 2010 Massachusetts Mutual life insurance company.

1. Social Security Administration, Fact Sheet Jan 31, 2007

2. Source: the 2008 cDa long-term Disability claims review 3. national Safety council, injury Facts 2008 ed.

3. national Safety council, injury Facts 2008 ed.