Short Term Disability Insurance is for Old Married People

November 17, 2007

True or false? You don’t need short term disability insurance if you’re young and single with no one to support except yourself.

Short Term Disability Insurance, Who Needs It?
I used to have the same opinion.  Even after I got married I didn’t elect for short term disability since my wife and I both had jobs so I figured we were safe.  Once we had our son my wife left her job so I signed up for short term disability to protect against the event I was unable to work.

Old & Married
As we went through Open Enrollment this last week, a recent college graduate and a new of our team mentioned he didn’t want to pay for the insurance, it was for “old married people” he said. I shared the following story with him.

Young & Foolish
About a year ago, another young, single guy in our group at work had a big party at his house to celebrate finishing his Masters degree.  He invited so many people that he stocked up his basement with food and beer in case the supplies upstairs ran out.

Sure enough, partway into the evening the drinks ran dry and he made the trip down to the basement to bring up another keg.  Just as he reached the top of the stairs he lost his footing while balancing the heavy container and fell step by step down to the basement floor.  To make matters worse, the keg full of beer rolled/clanked down after him, landing on his already injured body.

Injury, Bills, & Debt
Needless to say this guy was in the hospital for a while and couldn’t work for several months.  When he made it back he shared how difficult things were for him financially with his medical bills and no paycheck coming in.  He didn’t have any kind of disability insurance so he went into a lot of debt and came close to having to sell his home.

Buy or Don’t Buy?
I can’t really advise young, single people to buy short term disability insurance since I didn’t buy it myself when I was in that situation.  I can however, share story above and let them make up their minds for themselves. 

If you have no debt (still living at home with no car payment) then losing your income for a few months wouldn’t be the end of the world.  If, however, you have bills coming in that you can’t pay without your paycheck, short term disability insurance might be worth the relatively low monthly fee.  It’s up to you but if you decide against it, remember to be cautious around heavy kegs of beer.


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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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4 Responses to Short Term Disability Insurance is for Old Married People

  • insurance guy

    I think that everybody should have disability insurance. Many people today have life insurance. However, counless statistics show that it is more likely that you’ll need your disability insurance than your life insurance. I am dealing with disability insurance in ontario and it’s sad how many people underestimate the chances of becoming disabled. It’s important to protect your ability to work – it’s hard to live without steady money flow.

  • GeckoGirl

    I had short-term disability when I was single. While I did have an e-fund and could survive without income for a few months, I didn’t want to have to if it came to that. $10/mo was well worth the peace of mind.

  • plonkee

    You need short-term disability insurance if you can’t afford to pay the bills and so if you were out of work due to a short term disability.

    I have it because I’m paranoid, but I could probably just about go without.


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