Neglect getting disability insurance and you may regret it one day. Disability insurance provides an income if you become, you guessed it, disabled. According to some reports, nearly half of all mortgage foreclosures are due to people being struck with a disability. Are most people taking steps to prevent this? Nope. Less than 15% of life insurance purchasers opt for disability insurance. Many people become temporarily incapacitated at some point in the course of their lives -- even a pregnancy can qualify as a disability.

Think of it this way: If you're 35 years old, earning $50,000 per year, and become disabled for the rest of your life, you'll be losing roughly $1.5 million in income from age 35 to 65. Disability insurance serves to help make up for that loss. (Being disabled from age 35 to 65 will also mean that you'll miss out on something like 7,500 or more hours of office meetings, too. Unfortunately, insurance can't make up for this. Sorry.)

We often worry about and plan for death, but we tend to give little thought to the possibility of an extended period of disability. If you make your living as a chimney sweep and you suffer a bad wrist break, you'll likely be unable to work for quite a while. That's where disability insurance would kick in, protecting you from that loss of income.

Depending on the kind of coverage you have, while you're disabled, disability insurance might pay you a fraction of your salary or your entire salary. It might continue until you reach retirement age or stop after a number of months or years. Many people are covered by their employers. Check and see what coverage your company offers you, and evaluate whether it's good enough. You may want to purchase additional coverage, either through your employer or separately.

Disability insurance can seem expensive, but that's largely because there's a high probability you will use it. This article offers more detailed guidance on getting disability insurance.

Learn more about insurance in our Insurance Center. You may not have thought about some kinds of insurance, such as disability or long-term care insurance, but they're vital for many people. Take a little time to learn more. If some calamity occurs in the future, you will have done your homework. You can also learn a lot from our Insurance discussion board, where Fools are sharing their questions, answers, and experiences.