I have health insurance, supplemental AD&D thru my company, short-term and long-term disability.

I have private small supplemental IDI as well.

If one were to fall ill with cancer or experience infarction, while laid off, what insurance covers such a disabling event? And would such an insurance provide coverage while unemployed?

I believe if one suffers short or long term disability due to a motor vehicle accident there exists specific coverage types available in one's vehicle insurance policy that could cover this scenario?

I am specifically interested in disabling events vs events that maim or cause death.

Country: USA State: CT

3 Answers 3


When you’re laid off Group employer disability programs wouldn’t apply. There may be some that have some level of portability but that is extremely rare. As in litteadv’s answer, employer plans really insure the payroll they’re really “income protection” more than they’re “disability” insurance. Depending on your employer the limits, waiting period, and definitions of income may be different, some may not cover bonus income, etc.

Your IDI policy would likely pay if you were laid off. IDI typically has a stated benefit, $1,500 per month as an example, that would be set based on your income at the time you buy the policy. The policy may or may not offset for other benefits you may be entitled to, state disability, employer disability, etc. You’d really need to check your policy terms. But, typically, IDI pays the stated benefit amount as long as you meet the definition of disability written in the policy regardless of your employment or income at the time of disability.

Some companies will cover or make IDI available to employees on a discounted and/or reduced underwriting basis. Employer sponsored IDI is generally portable after you leave your employer. If you are offered IDI it is typically worth buying. The underwriting of IDI is generally very stringent if you’re buying as an individual. It’s generally difficult and you generally need a very large income to cobble together a lot of IDI coverage, so buying it when it’s available is generally a good idea.

Your auto insurance policy may cover some very temporary loss of income. But it would really only be intended to cover some small cost of living required for a hospital stay or something similar, not to be relied upon for a protracted disability.


There are two basic types of disability insurance, long and short term. The duration of the pay-out is different.

An own-occupation policy, often called own-occ, will pay you if you cannot perform the duties of your own occupation. In lieu of this, an insurance company might determine that you're capable of doing another job and refuse to pay.

I'd suggest that you speak to a variety of insurance reps. Doing so will help you with your learning curve and you'll have a better idea of what's available and you'll then be able to determine what's best for you. It did for me.


You will need to read your policies carefully. If you're laid off, COBRA allows you keeping your employer-sponsored plans - at your own expense. So you can keep coverage while looking for another job. However, disability insurance usually covers lost income (or part of it), and if you suffer disabling event while unemployed one might claim that you lost no income.

  • 3
    Employer sponsored group disability plans aren’t subject to COBRA almost none are portable after termination regardless of the reason.
    – quid
    May 20, 2022 at 22:46
  • @quid that actually makes sense since the person is no longer employed. As I said, these policies usually cover actual losses of income (up to a cap) which don't exist if the insured is unemployed.
    – littleadv
    May 20, 2022 at 22:49

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