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Disability Insurance for Farmers

Researcher & Writer
December 13, 2017

Being a farmer is an amazing career that allows you to be at “one” with the land. In a world of desk jobs, you’re one of the lucky ones who gets to enjoy the fresh air and a life that many wouldn’t dare imagine. It’s beautiful.

But, as a farmer, you know your career comes with a bit of added risk.  In fact, any labor-intensive job runs the risk (even if very small) of injury, but when you combine that labor intensity with being outdoors, heavy machinery, and livestock, we’ll then you’re definitely taking chances.

This is why…

It comes as no surprise that being a farmer is consistently listed as one of America’s most dangerous professions, right up there with truck drivers, commercial fisherman and those working in the logging industry!

But this is probably…

Something that you already know.  You may even know a fellow farmer who’s been hurt on the job or been injured yourself.  Which is why it’s so important that every farmer consider purchasing a qualify disability insurance policy on themselves in addition to a life insurance policy so that they and their family's financial health are well protected.

Farm life is family life

As a farmer, chances are your work life and your family life is at least partially intertwined. Your family needs you and your income. They rely on it. Whether your income goes to caring for your children, parents, spouse, or all of the above, chances are someone is at least somewhat dependent on you and the money you contribute to the family.

What if you got hurt tomorrow?

Every single day of your life comes with risk. You’ve probably already taken protection to cover the ‘what if I die’ scenario by getting life insurance. You did that to care for your family – to help provide for them if you could not (if you still need to get life insurance, see here).

Farmers are often self-employed

Do you own your farm or work for a daily wage? Either way, chances are you don’t get paid sick time or vacation time; no, every day counts. If you’re on bed rest for six months, you won’t get paid for six months – and that’s that.

But what is disability insurance, and what will it cover?

Often times when folks think about purchasing a disability insurance policy, they mistakenly believe that their insurance is only going to protect them from some type of “catastrophic” injury.  And why many “types” of disability insurance policies will do this, there are policies that will also protect you from “less serious” injuries or illnesses as well.

Conditions such as:

  • Broken bones,
  • Debilitating pain,
  • Short term injuries or illnesses,
  • Etc.

That said however…There are few things you should know and lookout for before you simply run out and buy the most affordable disability insurance policy you can find.

Things such as…What “type” of disability insurance policy is going to be right for you?  Short Term Disability vs Long Term Disability?  As well as what definition of “occupation” is the disability insurance policy you’re considering using?  Understanding that different disability insurance policies will define what it means to be “disabled” will vary which is why its so important to take your time when choosing which disability insurance policy is the best one for you!

Short term disability insurance vs long term disability insurance

Short Term Disability Insurance: Let’s say that you’ve been hurt or got sick in a way that’s going to keep you off the farm for more than 30 days but less than a year. Then having a short term disability insurance will be enormously helpful in order to get you back on your feet and provide you and your family with the financial assistance that you may need while you’re unable to work.

The problem is…Who’s to know what “type” of disability you may suffer from?  With a short term disability insurance policy, it’s possible that your illness or injury could “exceed” the coverage period for your policy which is why most folks prefer long term disability insurance policies when the price is affordable enough.

Long Term Disability Insurance: Now, what if you get seriously hurt in a way that will make farming impossible for two years up to a lifetime. Then you need long term disability insurance.  Long term disability insurance may be valid for 2, 5, 10, or more years. This kind of policy can also go up to a certain age (usually between 50-65).  This is called the benefit period.

Now let’s discuss…What it means to be considered “disabled” or what it will mean to be able to qualify for your disability benefits in the event that you do become sick or injured.  You see, different disability insurance policies will define what it means to be able to qualify differently which is why you’ll want to know the difference between “Own Occupation” policies and “Any Occupation” policies.

Own occupation

Own Occupation Disability Insurance will help you if you are hurt in a way that will make being a farmer an impossible job for you to continue for a short or long time. Sure, you may be able to do another line of work. But if you can’t farm, you’re insured.  Now compare this to an “any occupation” definition and you’ll begin to understand why “own” occupation is considered by most the better “type” of policy to purchase.

Any occupation

With “any occupation” policies, if you get hurt in a way that prevents you from farming but does not prevent you from working as a cashier at a fast food restaurant, or some other type of employment, then you will not be able to collect your benefit if you have purchased Any Occupation Disability Insurance.  So, which “type” of policy do you think you would prefer?

We here at TermLife2Go, generally recommend all farmers to get Own Occupation Disability Insurance. After all, farming is your life, and if you can’t do it, you deserve to be compensated for that loss.

Some other things you should know before you apply for disability insurance

There are some terms every farmer should know before he or she applies for disability insurance. Knowing these terms can help you while interpreting policies and making a choice.

Elimination period

Elimination period refers to the period of time one must wait from the time they become “disabled” and when they are eligible to start receiving benefits.  If you get hurt, you may not want to collect your policy payment right away. You can have your policy payments start coming your way as early as 30 days after you become disabled or up to 2 years later. This is called an elimination period.  If you opt for a plan with a longer elimination period, your premiums will be lower.

Noncancelable vs. guaranteed renewable

Noncancelable policies have a fixed premium. This means no matter what happens or how old you get, your premium will be the same as the first day you signed up for your policy.

Guaranteed renewable, on the other hand, allows you to renew your policy, but usually at a higher rate (as determined by the insurance company). Noncancelable is a better option, but dollar for dollar, it will probably be more expensive from the get go.

Finding the right disability insurance policy for a farmer

More goes into finding disability insurance than simply knowing your occupation. Sure, that matters – a lot – but so do some other things like your age, location, exact type of farming, current health and the kind of coverage you’re looking at getting.

There are dozens of great insurance companies out there that offer disability insurance. Just like you probably took expert advice when you got a life insurance policy, you should do the same before getting disability insurance.

We’re here to help!

TermLife2Go helps farmers just like you to find the disability insurance that provides the kind of coverage they desire. We can help you too. So, what are you waiting for? Give us a call today and see what we can do for you!

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