Needing disability insurance at some point in your lifetime is not as far-fetched a possibility as you may think. Disability doesn't have to involve a career-ending catastrophe -- it could simply involve a bad accident from which you need several months to recover. If you do find yourself out of work for a relatively short or long period of time, you may find yourself wishing you'd lined up sufficient disability insurance.

Take a gander at the table below. It shows how likely you are to become disabled for various periods of time before you reach age 65, depending on your current age:

Age Today For Six Months For One Year For Two Years For Five Years
25 35% 22% 17% 13%
30 33% 21% 16% 13%
35 31% 20% 16% 13%
40 28% 18% 15% 12%
45 25% 17% 14% 11%
50 14% 12% 17% 10%
Source: 1985 Commissioner's Disability Income Table

As you can see, even if you're 40, the odds are nearly 1 in 5 that you'll be disabled for an entire year. The higher odds for younger people might surprise you, too. (Remember that childbirth and recovery can be considered medical disabilities for women that can last six months or more.) Disability insurance is a dangerous thing to ignore.

We offer more information in our Insurance Center. Get your questions answered on our Insurance discussion board, or just drop in to see what others are saying there. You may not have thought about some other kinds of insurance, such as long-term-care insurance, but they're vital for many people. Take a little time to learn more, and you may be very happy you did, if some calamity occurs in the future.

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