Ask Dave: Is Short-Term Disability A Gimmick Insurance?

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Posted: Apr 27, 2018 10:46 AM
Ask Dave: Is Short-Term Disability A Gimmick Insurance?

Dear Dave,

Why don’t you recommend having short-term disability insurance while doing the first three Baby Steps of your plan? It seems like a good time for it, when you’re in the beginning stages of getting your finances in order.

Bob

Dear Bob,

You could certainly do that if you want, possibly even through your place of employment. I’m a big fan of folks having long-term disability insurance when they’re in their prime wage-earning years. But short-term disability is something I’ve always considered to be gimmick insurance, and that’s something I don’t recommend or buy. 

I get the argument, too, that short-term disability coverage usually isn’t very expensive. But during the first two Baby Steps — getting a $1,000 beginner emergency fund set aside, and paying off everything but the house — you’re trying to limit expenses as much as possible. Chances are you wouldn’t need it in Baby Step 3, because that covers your full emergency fund of three to six months of expenses.

Hope that helps, Bob!

—Dave