The time to think about long-term disability insurance is not when you actually need it. You need to choose the proper long-term disability insurance when you are healthy to ensure that you have everything in place should you ever find yourself living with a long-term disability.
Evaluate your needs. Most long-term disability insurance policies cover from as little as forty percent of your income to as much as seventy percent. Consider what your financial needs are to determine how much you need to insure yourself for. To do this, add up your monthly expenses and determine what percentage of your income you spend each month on basic living expenses. If you find that your monthly expenses add up to more than seventy percent of your income, you may want to look into insuring certain bills, such as your credit cards or mortgage, separately. Many companies offer limited insurance that will cover your bill - or at least a portion of it - in the event that you acquire a long-term disability.
Check to see if there is a maximum benefit associated with your long-term disability insurance policy options. A million dollars might sound like a lot of money, but do the math to see how many years you could be able to collect from your long-term disability policy with the coverage percentage that is available to determine whether the maximum benefit, assuming that there is one, would meet your needs.
Read the fine print of all of your long-term disability insurance policy options. Some insurance policies involve a waiting period where you are ineligible for payments for some time after your disability first occurs. Waiting periods can be as little as one week to as long as three months. It is very rare that a policy involves a waiting period of greater than three months, but this does happen occasionally, so be sure to ask questions about the waiting period if you are not completely sure of the terms of your policy.
Shop around. Like any other type of insurance policy, long-term disability insurance terms and premiums will vary widely by company. If your employer offers long-term disability insurance coverage then that will probably be your best option, but do not assume this to be the case. Do your due diligence and get quotes from multiple different companies and compare the premiums along with the terms of the policies to ensure that you are getting everything that you need from a long-term disability insurance policy for a price you can afford.