Do (Slightly) Sweat the Small Stuff


Do (Slightly) Sweat the Small Stuff

Pop quiz: what’s your biggest investment? You may say your home, health, family. All excellent answers. But all wrong. So long as you’ve got plenty of working days ahead of you, then — financially speaking, at least — your biggest investment is your career.

The average Canadian lawyer invests seven years and more than $86,000 dollars in their post-secondary education1, another nine months articling2, and untold hours engaged in all the heads-down, late-night, early-morning work that goes into building a career. It follows that you should protect that investment with insurance that will work for you when you can’t.

We talked to BC-based Lawyers Financial advisor, Ryan Graham, about the importance of protecting your income, and why it’s often the little things that catch us unprepared.

Q. What’s your background selling insurance and how did you get into the industry?

A. I’ve been in the industry for 20 years and have been working with Lawyers Financial for the past six. For me, the work is meaningful because I want to make sure that families are taken care of if something goes wrong. My father passed away from cancer when he was 59. He had disability coverage and a small amount of life insurance through his employer, and no critical illness insurance. A better insurance plan wouldn’t have helped him live any longer, but it certainly would have helped my stepmother afterwards.

Q. Most people are more familiar with life insurance than disability insurance. Can you explain why disability coverage is so important?

A. I think protecting your income is the most important thing you can do as a working professional. Of course, life insurance is important too, but there are solid advantages to getting disability coverage.

For example, there’s a much greater likelihood that you’ll become disabled during your working years than that you’ll pass away.

There is also a vast difference between group and individual disability coverages. You might have some coverage under a group policy and not realize that individual plans offer a lot more protection.

Q. What are the most common disability claims for the lawyers you work with?

A. I’ve helped my clients through the claims process for all kinds of things. It’s often relatively short-term situations, which can be another surprise for people. Most people are worried about catastrophic things happening, but, realistically, it’s the less dramatic stuff that’s a lot more common.

Q. When it comes to protecting income, are there other nuances that are specific to the legal community?

A. Lawyers, particularly partners, often have several layers of income (partnership income, personal law corp. income, personal income that they pay themselves and they may have investments owned personally or through their law corporations).

The maximum disability insurance that a lawyer can qualify for is based on their income, so understanding how lawyers generally structure their business allows us to help them determine what types of income are eligible for disability insurance coverage.

We can help. Protect your paycheque with a plan that reflects your needs and respects your budget. Ask a Lawyers Financial advisor about disability insurance that will work for you when you can’t.

Get started.

  1. Canadian Lawyer Magazine, “Canada’s legal tuition fees are among highest in the world.” This estimate — $86,000 — comprises law school tuition, but doesn’t include the cost of an undergraduate degree, bar exams, licensing, or living expenses. |
  2. Canadian Lawyer Magazine, “A roadmap to studying law in Canada,” November 2023.|


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