Like life insurance, if you are earning an income and have anyone relying on your income, you need disability insurance. You are far more likely to become disabled than you are to die prematurely. Personally-owned disability insurance is often hard to get. The underwriting process – the process where the insurance company decides how risky you are – is rigorous, and coverage can, in many cases, be declined.

On the other hand, many employers will offer disability insurance as part of their group benefits package. Group employee insurance is much easier to qualify for, but it will typically only cover you for two years of “own occupation” – this means that the benefit continues to pay for two years if you can’t go back to your own occupation, but it goes away after two years if you can go back to a different, potentially less desirable, occupation. If you are unable to return to any type of work, the disability insurance will typically pay to the age of 65.

Generally, if you are in a specialized field earning a high income, it makes sense to have your own disability policy with a longer “own occupation” period, even if you have group disability insurance. You need to have an income to insure you qualify for disability insurance.