There are a number of advantages to being your own boss. The freedom to set your own schedule, control over client and business relationships along with a feeling of liberation are a few of the main reasons increased numbers of Canadians are headed down the self-employment path. Self-employment does come with its list of challenges, one being, health insurance and more specifically… disability insurance.
Losing the safety net of an employee benefit program offered by large employers is challenging and sometimes costly. Buying disability insurance through a group plan will have lower rates, no medical exams and no financial underwriting but once you leave the group plan for self-employment, the rules change! Rates are higher, underwriting wants more details and you may have to go through a medical examination. This new set of hoops to jump through tends be the reason why most self-employed people shy away from obtaining any type of extended health care at all.
It is estimated that 15% of Canada’s work force is self-employed. A recent study showed that more than 500,000 Canadians said they had established their own businesses over the past two years, which is a record number. (CIBC Study, Globe & Mail). Not setting up the proper disability coverage to protect ones ability to earn an income can have it’s consequences. Disability Insurance will help protect your business (overhead expenses) and family in the event you are unable to go to work, an important building block to consider when you are self-employed.
You may be earning more than you would work for someone else, but what if you get sick? Or are in an accident that leaves you without the ability to earn an income either temporarily or permanently? You will likely have a number of medical expenses, personal expenses and you may not find your accounts payable are as patient as you had hoped. Here is where a well structured disability insurance plan can create a safety net, allowing you to concentrate on returning to good health and take the time away from work that you need.
While most business owners in their 40’s and 50’s are more conscious of their own mortality, there has been a marked increase in the number of entrepreneurs starting their own companies in their 20’s and 30’s. While encouraging for the economy it is important not to forget about the benefits and importance of a well structured disability plan.
A simple question you can ask yourself is: How do you plan to live if you can’t earn an income? Or more accurately, how will you support your dependents, pay your staff, or pay your business overhead if you can no longer earn an income?