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Disability Insurance - Definitions


Short-Term Disability Insurance:

Short term disability provides an income for the early part of a disability. A policy may pay benefits for two weeks up to two years. Short-term disability is often included as part of an employee benefits package.

Long-Term Disability Insurance:

Long term disability helps replace income for an extended period of time, usually ending after five years or when the disabled person turns 65. Some people have long term disability insurance provided by their employers; others purchase it individually. There are two major types of individual long-term disability insurance: non-cancelable and guaranteed renewable. (Other less expensive policies with limited, if any, premium or renewability guarantees are also sometimes available.) In the case of non-cancelable or guaranteed renewable policies, the insurer cannot cancel or refuse to renew the policy as long as the required premiums are paid on time. The key difference between the two major types of policies is that under a non-cancelable contract, you have extra security that premiums can never be raised above those shown in the policy as long as the required premiums are paid. With a guaranteed renewable policy, the premiums can be raised, but only if the change affects an entire class of policyholders. For this reason, initial premiums for guaranteed renewable policies can be less expensive than non-cancelable policies.

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