One way to hold down the cost of disability insurance is to have a longer “elimination” period—the waiting period before benefits begin. Your choices can be anywhere from the 30 days to 365 days after the onset of disability. You will pay less in premiums by selecting a longer elimination period when you purchase the policy.
In practice, choosing a 365-day waiting period generally saves little money, versus a 180-day wait. With this in mind, you might have some of your insurance set to pay after 30 days, some after 60 days, and some after 90 or 180 days. This will help hold down premium costs yet still provide some income while you wait for all the coverage to take effect.
What’s more, as you grow older and accumulate more wealth, you might want to increase your self-insurance. Your coverage with a 30-day waiting period might be extended to 60 or 90 days, for example. You probably can make such changes and reduce your premiums without having to take a new physical exam; insurers don’t mind being asked to take less risk, which will be the case if you extend the period.