Keep the following points in mind when shopping for individual disability insurance. 1) The policy pays when 'total disability' keeps you from performing the duties of your job. Ask how the policy defines 'total disability,' ad if it covers both illness and accident. Find out when the policy expands 'regular occupation' to 'any suitable job.' 2) Disability insurance does not fully replace your income. Choose a stated dollar or percent of income figure that will sustain you through a disability. Higher benefit levels cost more. 3) The minimum waiting period before benefits begin is 30 days. A longer delay lowers the insurance cost. Duration of benefits (one year, five years, etc.) also affects the premium. 4) Look for a policy that is noncancelable, or guaranteed to renew (except for nonpayment). 5) Endorsements tailor the policy for your needs. Consider adding a cost of living adjustment (benefits tied to cost of living), return of premium (partial premium refund for no claims), and/or partial disability (partial benefits for returning to work part-time). 6) Many policies limit disability benefits tied to a pre-existing condition, alcoholism, drug addiction, or self-inflicted injury. Be familiar with these restrictions as well as those that reduce benefits for having lower earnings or being unemployed when the disability occurs, owning multiple disability policies, or receiving social security disability income. 7) Be certain the insurance company is financially sound and licensed to operate in Illinois. Unlicensed insurers are not subject to state rules and regulations. 8) Upon receiving the policy you have ten days to return it for full refund.