Corporate Uses of Disability Income

There are three main corporate uses of disability income

  1. replacing income of a key person
  2. covering business overhead expenses
  3. shareholder buyout on disability

Replacing Income of a Key Person

  • benefit → business → key person
  • business = policyowner = beneficiary
  • key employee = life insured
  • the business uses the benefits to pay the salary of the key employee, which means the original salary can be used to hire a replacement
  • premium: nondeductible
  • benefit period: maximum 1 year
  • elimination period: very short (so benefits start quickly)

Covering Business Overhead Expenses

  • reimburses company for the expenses of running the business
    • e.g., employee salaries, rent, utility bills
    • not for business owner's salary, debt payments, furniture, equipment, merchandise
  • business = policyowner = beneficiary
  • premium: deductible → taxable benefit
  • benefit = $ per month x number of months (e.g., $5,000 per month)
    • use less → coverage extended (e.g., use $3,500 per month → $1,500 in reserve per month)
    • use more → too bad (e.g., $7,000 → $2,000 not paid)
  • benefit period: 6-36 months
  • elimination period
    • sickness: 15-90 days
    • accident: 0 days

Shareholder Buyout On Disability

A buy/sell agreement usually has a provision to buyout the shares of a shareholder who remains disabled for a specified length of time.

Insurance can be used to provide a lump sum after a period such as 12-24 months.

  • for buy/sell upon disability
  • trigger date is usually one to two years after total disability is confirmed
  • buyer could be an employee, partner, shareholder or the corporation itself
  • benefit
    • lump sum (usually); e.g., $500,000 to $1.5 million
      • elimination period: 12-24 months
    • monthly income
      • elimination period: 12 months
      • benefit period: 2-5 years
  • the definition of disability is best set by the insurer to reduce disagreements
  • to qualify, the business must
    • be at least two years old
    • provide balance sheets and income statements for the previous two years
    • have life insurance for a least the same amount
  • taxation?

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