Still Don’t Think You Need Disability Insurance? Bill Reid’s story

Bill was 32 when a horrific car accident nearly claimed his life. Short-term memory loss has made it impossible for him to return to work. Fortunately, he had disability insurance, which has enabled him to maintain the same lifestyle he had before the accident.


New Year’s Eve for the Reids is a family affair. So in 2004, when Bill Reid of Casselberry, Fla., didn’t show up at his sister Michelle’s home, everyone was worried. Around 9 p.m., a call to an area hospital confirmed the family’s fears. Bill had been in a horrific car accident. Another motorist hit Bill’s car head on, driving it through a brick wall and trapping him in his car for 90 minutes.

Bill, then 32, sustained multiple bone fractures, lacerations to his liver and colon, and a brain injury that put him in a coma for five weeks. He underwent 13 surgeries and spent seven months in the hospital and rehab center. It took almost two years for him to walk unassisted.

The brain trauma, however, left Bill with chronic, short-term memory loss, which made it impossible for him to return to work.

Fortunately, he had planned ahead with the help of his brother-in-law, James Hasley, CFP, CLU, ChFC, an insurance agent. James had sold Bill an individual disability insurance policy when Bill was just 26, and later helped him add more coverage as his earnings increased. When Bill changed to a job that offered an employer-paid disability insurance benefit, he kept his individual coverage for the added protection.

Because of Bill’s wise decision, his income is roughly the same as it was before the accident and will continue until age 65, allowing him to stay in his home and lead an active life.

Before the accident, Bill had also purchased two life insurance policies. Because they included disability waiver of premium riders, the insurance company now pays all of Bill’s premiums. The whole life policies are accumulating cash values that will provide Bill with financial security later in life.

“Despite everything he has been through, Bill is fine financially,” James says. “In that sense, it was the perfect plan.”

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