Many people ask about the short-term disability insurance average cost when first thinking about buying a policy. Many variable affect what your actual monthly rate might be.

You can get an online quote for precise estimates once you determine the policy flavor that is right for you.

Average cost figures provide an object lesson that answers three critical questions that directly affect the majority of site visitors.

  1. Can I buy a policy online as an individual?
  2. Does it cover my normal pregnancy?
  3. What does it cost my employer to offer an option?

Short-Term Disability Cost for Individuals

The average short-term disability insurance cost for individuals tells us much about where to purchase the right type of plan. Many site visitors begin looking for individual policies because they do not have an option at work, or they missed their open enrollment.

You can choose between an individual plan with better benefits, and one more conveniently purchased online.


The short-term disability pregnancy cost compared to the expected benefit for normal childbirth explains why these policies are both very popular, and difficult to obtain.

Consider a woman earning $60,000 per year. She would qualify for a policy with a $3,000 monthly benefit amount, a twelve-month payment duration, and a seven-day elimination period. The average monthly cost would be $165.

Then compare this average cost to her expected benefit for normal childbirth. Then add in the possibility of additional one-month claim for bed rest, and a subsequent one-month claim for postpartum disorders. Many plan normal childbirth. Twenty five percent of expectant women require bed rest. Ten percent experience postpartum complications.

Pregnancy Claim Expected Benefit
Five week bed rest $3,000
Vaginal birth $3,448
C-Section delivery $4,884
One month postpartum $3,000

Do the math. The average annual cost is $1,980 compared to an almost certain claims benefit that is much higher. Then you have the other highly likely claims reasons that may occur. Carriers lose money on individual policies for pregnancy!

Online Purchase

The average cost of short-term disability that individuals can purchase online requires a different thought process. Carriers selling directly have to combat adverse selection. Adverse selection occurs when too many people planning to file a claim purchase coverage.

The policies cover things differently in order to avoid adverse selection issues. They accomplish this by excluding coverage for normal childbirth. They eliminate the almost certain claims reason noted above. They do cover bed rest, postpartum disorders, accidents, and illnesses.

Get a short-term disability quote online for a precise estimate of premiums for these limited benefit plans.

Short-Term Disability Cost for Employers

If more people understood the average cost of short-term disability insurance for employers, we would have a far different debate about paid maternity leave in the United States. Too many women visit our website looking for a policy covering pregnancy, because they cannot buy one at work.

We cannot help them buy direct. However, we can help them ask their employer.

Voluntary Plans

The average cost of voluntary short-term disability for employers is embarrassingly nominal. Any company with more than three benefits eligible personnel can offer a voluntary option. Voluntary options are worker paid. The direct enterprise expense is zero!

Three different indirect employer costs are very modest.

  1. Allow carrier agents to conduct group meeting to educate the group about the options.
  2. Allow carrier agents to counsel each person individually, complete applications, and capture payroll elections.
  3. The company must support a payroll deduction. This means holding money from paychecks, and sending the money withheld to the carrier once per month.

Group Plans

The average cost of group short-term disability for employers depends upon the number of personnel, their income levels, industry, and choice of feature options.

Employer groups with more lives are less expensive to cover. Carriers prefer to pool risks and larger groups allow greater diversity.

Income levels within employer groups also can have a wide dispersion. Groups with higher income may provide a relatively higher monthly benefit amount, which of course is more expensive also.

Employer industry also determines the risk rating for group master contracts. Those in high-risk industries pay more. High-risk industries often require intense physical labor, and dangerous occupations. Those with high turnover rates may pay more also, as projected persistency is an important pricing variable.

The employer choice of feature options also affects pricing. Plans with shorter-elimination periods cost more. Longer elimination periods are less expensive. Policies with longer payment durations charge more. Those with shorter payment durations are less pricy.