Q. Your detailed March 10 article on disability insurance  covered everything except where to obtain it. How do we buy disability, and which are the top companies? How can we find independent agents?
— Looking

A. Great question.

Disability insurance, also called income protection, can be purchased through an agent, someone who works for a particular insurance company or from a broker, someone that represents many different insurance companies, said Ed Gaelick, a Chartered Life Underwriter and Chartered Financial Consultant with PSI Consultants in Glen Rock.

“As a broker, I see an advantage working through someone that can sell the best product from the best carrier based on all the circumstances of a particular case,” Gaelick said. “In other words, insurance is typically not a ‘one size fits all.'”

Gaelick said some carriers are better for “white collar” workers and some better for those in more manual labor occupations. Some carriers are more forgiving with certain health issues, some more strict.

So with that said, Gaelick said, you should look to speak with a professional that has an expertise in disability insurance — one you trust and feel good about, and one who is highly knowledgeable, unbiased and has vast experience and will consider and explain all of the options most suitable for your specific circumstances. And one who has professional designations for which they worked very hard to achieve.

He recommends — and we concur, that because you’re a reader of NJMoneyHelp.com, start by searching “Find An Advisor” on the website tabs.

“If you are impressed with any of the advisors that regularly answer questions for NJMoneyHelp.com, search for them first,” Gaelick said. “Read their websites and background and accomplishments. Then pick someone and contact them.”

Gaelick said he’s a firm believer that there needs to be a favorable chemistry as a good advisor will be part of your life moving forward.

Again, we agree.

Karin Price Mueller writes the Bamboozled column for The Star-Ledger and she’s the founder of NJMoneyHelp.com. Click here to sign up for the NJMoneyHelp.com weekly e-newsletter. Like NJMoneyHelp.com on Facebook and follow it on Twitter.

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NJM