Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: Mar 29, 2022

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You should stop paying premiums for disability insurance only after your provider gives you the green light do so. After an injury, your contract will spell out the guidelines for when payments may cease.

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The Council for Disability Awareness states that the average long-term disability absence from work lasts about two and a half years.

That is a frightening scenario for the average working class American—all the more so, if you don’t have a huge savings account to fall back on.

This is the reason why many Americans buy disability insurance; an insurance policy that pays disability claim during times of injury, short-term disability or long-term disability.

Do not stop paying just because you are healthy and in good shape. Even the most fit are prone to accidents and injuries. Even some retired people collect on disability in certain situations.

How These Policies Work

The most common disability insurance filings are for:

  • Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders
  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Muscle disorders
  • Foot and hand disorders
  • Cancer, a terminal or possibly terminal disease

The specifics of the policy, may soon be decided upon by the insurance company, based on their contract.

Some insurance policies only pay your claim if you are completely unable to work and cannot go about your normal occupation. Other policies will only pay your claim if you cannot work in any job—including another job you might apply for. The insurance contract you sign will state the requirements as well as the payment trigger date.

Once the claim is approved, you get to decide when the payments start coming in. Additionally, most coverages will only pay for a limited period of time; the standard is 2-5 years. The best insurance policies, which guarantee payment until you reach retirement age, are more expensive.

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When Do You Stop Paying the Provider?

The question is, when do you stop paying these high priced premiums? Assuming you want to maintain the policy, you must continue timely payments. When you finally do become disabled, do you still have to pay for the insurance policy? It depends on what type of policy you have. Most insurance providers only provide disability insurance for a limited period of time. Because of this, the premiums you were paying cease and the claim is paid over time as was agreed.

A waiver premium rider may be on your contract as incentive for your business. This rider guarantees that your policy will no longer require premiums after a disability claim is approved. However, the rider is also arranged according to a specified period of time. For example, your contract might say that you have 90 days to continue to pay premiums before the disability claim goes into effect.

However, not all insurance companies put such a rider in the contract. Whatever you do, do not take this rider for granted and let your policy go into default because of ignorance. The insurance company does have the right to cancel the contract in the event of default. Just because you know you’re disabled, and the insurance company has heard of the news, does not mean that the proper filing procedures have taken place.

The Best Course of Action and Some Options

If you are ever in doubt as to what to do about continuing premiums, just pay them as soon as they are requested. If by some chance you are overpaying on your paid policy, then you can expect those premiums to be refunded to you in the near future. Legally speaking, the insurance company owes you that money since you were officially disabled by that time, according to the contract and medical records.

Some insured persons have made the mistake of calling off their premiums because the insurance company denied a claim. This is not a smart move. Even if you believe you are correct in your claim, there is never an excuse to default on a payment. Instead, pay the premium and write a note on the check saying “contest payment.” This will show that you are protesting the payment even while following the basic contract stipulations.

Before making any rash decisions, read the fine print of the contract. There may come a point when you decide that you want to shop around for another insurance policy. If this is true in your case, try to learn more about the premium determination criteria that your prospective insurance company uses. Usually, disability insurance premiums are decided upon by your occupation (the likelihood of injury) as well as your annual income and how long you want to be paid.

You should also look for a non-cancelable policy; if you don’t get a contract like this you may have to deal with rising premium costs. You also want to search for a short term of coverage if possible, and especially if you are nearer to retirement age than legal age. For assistance with finding disability insurance, use a web chaser tool for instant results.

Enter your zip code to compare online disability insurance quotes now!