Disability . . . The Big What If?

I don't get sick very often, but last week I was pretty ill. Don't worry, it wasn't swine flu although there were moments when I thought I might die. Flu like symptoms tied together with the worst sinus infection I have ever had made for moments when I would have paid someone to hit me in the face with a sledgehammer.

I'm feeling much better now with only a few remnants of a cough, but I keep thinking about those days last week when I was incapable of moving let alone trying to run a professional photography business. Fortunately no shoots were scheduled last week and I was able to push the other things on my to do list aside. I can't help but feel a little concerned about the possibility of being stricken with a serious illness. What if, God forbid, I am diagnosed with cancer, or break my femur or lose my shooting eye. I hate thinking about these things but I feel it's in my best interest to be prepared for any of the above situations or any other combination of illness.

I am a very active photographer. What I mean is that when I'm on a shoot it's a very physical process from hauling equipment, lying on the ground, climbing up ladders, hanging off a rock face or just putting my body in many unnatural positions in order to get the shot I want. If I'm injured I can't do this. If I can't shoot then I can't make a living and if I can't make a living I can't pay my bills. Myself, Larissa, our dog and numerous people we are indebted to are screwed.

So what do I do about this? Well the obvious solution is to never get sick and to never get injured. That's my first plan. Not exactly bulletproof, but it makes sense. My back up plan is disability insurance. Larissa and I are in the process of putting together an affordable disability plan with our insurance agent that will help ease the financial burden of an illness or injury. It's not going to cover us for life, but it should help get us toward the other side of the healing process or help us until we can figure out another option for bringing in income.

I'm an optimist so my heart says that I'll never use the disability insurance we're paying for but I'm also a realist and understand the potential risks of not having a back up plan. So, as much as it hurts to add one more bill to the long list of others I think we're doing the smart thing.

Do you have a backup plan?