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An illness or accident can occur at any time and leave you disabled. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to prepare for that possibility. If you have the right insurance coverage, you can have peace of mind knowing that you’ll be able to cover your mortgage if you’re suddenly unable to work and that your family won’t face the threat of foreclosure.

Mortgage Disability Insurance
One option is to purchase a mortgage disability insurance policy, also known as mortgage payment protection insurance. A mortgage disability insurance policy will only cover your principal and interest, not property taxes or homeowners insurance. You may be able to pay additional premiums to purchase separate riders that will cover those costs. 

In most cases, you will be approved regardless of your health status, but your premiums will depend on your age, health, occupation and mortgage principal and interest. Your premiums will remain consistent, but the amount of coverage will likely decrease as you pay off your loan balance. 

Some policies contain a rider that states that coverage only applies if a disability is a result of an accident. A broader disability income rider will provide coverage if the disability is a result of another type of injury or an illness.

If you become disabled, the policy will make payments up to an amount and up to a period of time specified in the contract. Those payments will go directly to your mortgage lender. There will be a waiting period before the insurer will begin making payments.

You may be able to purchase a policy through your lender, an insurance company or an independent insurance broker. You may be able to buy it as a standalone policy or as part of a larger mortgage protection insurance policy. 

Disability Insurance
A short- and/or long-term disability insurance policy purchased through your employer or on your own can help you cover your housing costs if you can’t work. It will pay a percentage of your gross income for a period of time set by the policy. If you’re in good health, the premiums may be lower than those for a mortgage disability policy. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, it may be difficult or impossible to qualify for disability insurance, or you may have to pay high premiums. Supplemental disability insurance can provide additional income if you’re unable to work. 

Term Life Insurance
Another option is to take out a term life insurance policy. If you’re in good overall health and don’t have a risky job, you may qualify for lower premiums than you could get with a mortgage disability insurance policy. If mortgage disability insurance is combined with mortgage term life insurance, your housing payments will be covered if you get disabled or die.