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Who Pays Your Employees When You Can't? BOE.

by Maxwell Schmitz and originally published by The Council for Disability Awareness

There are 33,000,000 small businesses in the United States and fewer than 3,000 purchased disability overhead expense in 2023.

DI is often described as the “selfish” insurance.

  • Your auto coverage pays for the mechanic to fix your car.

  • Your homeowners pays the handyman or roofers to repair the house.

  • Your health insurance pays the doctor, nurses, big pharma, you name it.

  • Even long-term care insurance is designed to pay your caregiving team.

  • And then there’s life insurance… Sorry to say there’s no way you’re touching that death benefit.


DI really is the only insurance that pays you! And while you can use that Individual DI benefit however you like, there is one form of DI that may be the most unselfish… Business Overhead Expense. This policy is designed to cover the regular monthly business expenses if the owner of a small business can no longer work.

What’s the biggest regular monthly business expense for small businesses?

  • Not the rent.

  • Not the loans.

  • Not the equipment.

  • Not the utilities and tech.


All that can be covered by BOE as well but the BIG ticket item is…

  • Employee compensation.


Business owners are not required to keep paying their employees if they cannot work and there’s no revenue coming in. Yet there are many compassionate business owners who want to ensure their employees get paid even if the key person (business owner) goes down.

Lots of business owners say their company is like a family. Sometimes that can be a red flag. And sometimes that means everyone has been working together for years, they feel an obligation to one another, and truly want to operate based on their coworkers’ best interests. Some companies do operate with that type of value system and would be happy to reinforce and fund that commitment to their team in a disability scenario.

Here’s what to look for:

  • Small business with fewer than 10 full-time employees.

  • One key person with majority ownership.

  • Does not work from home.

  • Family business. (bonus)


Here’s what to ask:

  • If you needed to take some time to recover from a sudden illness how long could you comfortably maintain payroll?


Given that 0.00009% of small businesses have purchased this coverage in the past year, we know there’s a huge need for more brokers to take action.



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