The Year of Living Dangerously: 6 Myths About Disability Insurance

By N. Mark Castro

Banned from 1982 to 1999, The Year of Living Dangerously is a film about Indonesia that starred a young Australian named Mel Gibson, a towering Sigourney Weaver, and Linda Hunt (regularly appears on the hit TV show NCIS: Los Angeles) performing a male-role and winning an Oscar for it. The film revolved around Sukarno’s supposed life of excess and failure to meet the “needs” of his people, leading to the coup that eventually toppled him.

Sukarno used the Italian line “vivere pericolosamente, meaning “living dangerously”, for the title of his Indonesian Independence Day speech of 1964.

If we are to revisit the essence of the film, has the government done enough to meet the “needs” of the people? Do you have to wait for the government to meet your “needs”?

With global financial crisis happening everywhere, most Indonesians feel insulated from such a threat considering its relative success in staving off the crisis. Yet what are you to do if you lose your job today? Or worse, if something physical happens to you that would prevent you from earning?

Some questions you need to answer are:

  1. Do you have an emergency fund?
  2. Are the interest rates of your savings deposit enough to fight inflation?
  3. Do you have disability insurance? Could your family live for three months or less on your savings if the primary wage earner lost his or her income due to a disability?

The first 2 questions can easily be identified since it is dependent on your own financial discipline and decision; however, disability insurance depends on your own financial literacy in protecting yourself and, of course, your money.

Here are 5 Myths that LiveOlive has compiled for not buying disability insurance.


The odds may surprise you. According to the Ministry of Land Transportation that was reported in Antara News, there are at least 30,000 traffic accidents per annum. And that’s just the traffic. An illness or accident that keeps you out of work can be very costly because medical bills, prescriptions and other unforeseen expenses must be covered on top of what it already takes to care of your family and cover everyday costs.


Many people assume disabilities are caused by freak accidents, but disabilities are also a result of injury. The vast majority of long-term absences are actually due to illnesses.


This perhaps one of the biggest myths there is. Worker’s compensation only covers you if you get injured, become ill or die because of your work. Most employers pulled out an insurance coverage that would only pay limited benefits and follow strict guidelines. Purchasing personal disability coverage will ensure that you are financially protected in the event you become disabled outside of the job.


Better check your coverage first. Can you imagine if you discover that they will pay if you die but not if you get injured? What are the steps? Requirements? Processes? Your eligibility depends on whether or not you are incapable of working at all, not just your usual occupation, and if your condition is expected to last a year or more or to result in death. And if they do pay, would it be just above poverty guidelines?


Find out how much coverage your employer provides by talking to your company’s benefits or human resources office. Does your company policy cover short or long-term disabilities, or both? How much will you be paid in benefits? Many companies offer their employees the opportunity to increase coverage through automatic payroll deductions. Or you can also supplement your coverage by purchasing disability insurance on your own, to ensure that your coverage will stay with you even if you change jobs.


You may feel invincible now, but your earning power is your greatest financial asset and the one you should be worrying about the most. They say people in their 30’s are three times more likely to suffer a disability than they are to die. You may have enough money in the bank to pay the bills for a few weeks or months, but what will cover you down the road when the bills start to pile up and you are not earning an income?

So, are you Living Dangerously? Do you really have to wait for the government?


About Asmartrock

N. Mark Castro is the Southeast Asia Director of JUMP DIGITAL Asia, which is an internationally-awarded and fully integrated digital marketing agency with 5 out of 10 offices in the ASEAN region. He is also the Secretary General of the Philippine Business Club Indonesia, managing and assisting the traffic of investments between the Philippines and Indonesia. He shuttles between Indonesia, Philippines, Myanmar, Singapore, Cambodia, and Australia. The views posted here are his own and do not in any way reflect the views of the companies he represents.

Posted on August 6, 2012, in General, Previous and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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