Deborah Goldberg of LifeInsurancePost.com: “Will a disability raise my insurance rates?”

What type of life insurance do you offer? There are 2 basic types of life insurance: Term, which is slightly more affordable in the short term and only lasts for a set time period, and permanent, which provides coverage until the end of your life. In addition, permanent life insurance comes in whole life and universal […]

Thrive Global invites voices from many spheres to share their perspectives on our Community platform. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and opinions expressed by Community contributors do not reflect the opinions of Thrive Global or its employees. More information on our Community guidelines is available here.

What type of life insurance do you offer? There are 2 basic types of life insurance: Term, which is slightly more affordable in the short term and only lasts for a set time period, and permanent, which provides coverage until the end of your life.

In addition, permanent life insurance comes in whole life and universal types. Whole life policies have fixed premiums, which means they will neither rise or fall as time passes and won’t fluctuate with the economy. Universal life policies offer adjustable premium payments, within contract limits.


As a part of our series about the “5 Things You Should Ask Before You Purchase a Life Insurance Policy” I had the pleasure of interviewing Deborah Goldberg.

Deborah Goldberg is an insurance expert with LifeInsurancePost.com. She is based in Illinois and manages a team of health and wellness experts. She is passionate about disability rights and advocacy, especially within the realm of insurance.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would love to get to know you a bit. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

In college I developed a passion for disability rights and accommodations, and one thing that many disabled people struggle with, especially those who can’t get steady work, is access to things like health and life insurance.

I had my own struggles with getting my own insurance needs met once I started working. Coming to work in the insurance field opened my eyes to both the pitfalls and surprising bridges that exist within the insurance sphere for those with unique situations.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting in the industry? Can you tell us what lesson or takeaway you learned from that?

When I was creating some client and consumer-facing projects, I created some copy that had false information about how COVID-19 spreads and my editor had to correct me! Oops! I learned to do more research and to not assume that everything I had heard from others was accurate, and that our understanding of illnesses can change.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

Currently I am working on several projects that are focused on helping people who are unemployed, disabled, or immigrants to know what they can do to get quality insurance. I think that providing information and access to insurance and an understanding of what life insurance especially can do for you will improve health and financial freedom for many people.

Are you able to identify a “tipping point” in your career when you started to see success? Did you start doing anything different? Is there a takeaway or lessons that others can learn from that?

My tipping point occurred when I started worrying less about making sure I was a people pleaser and more on finding quality sources and improving my professional communication both internally within our business and externally with those outside it. Sometimes you have to set aside your fear of how people will react to you and choose to focus on what will produce the best results and help people.

What advice would you give to other people in the insurance field to thrive and avoid burnout?

Drink plenty of water and be realistic about what you can do. One month I ended up working about 30 hours more than I had intended, and while that may not seem like a lot to those who regularly push themselves to work 30 to 40 hours overtime each week, it is important for me to have a work-life balance that leaves plenty of “me” left over.

I decided to work a little less the next month so I could refocus on certain personal relationship and health-related things. Give yourself permission to be selfish at times. You will be more able to help others if you take time for yourself.

Ok, thank you for that. Let’s now shift to the main focus of our discussion. As an “insurance insider”, you know much more about insurance than most consumers. If your loved one wanted to buy a policy from another person, which 5 things would you advise them to find out about before committing to a policy? Can you give an example or story for each?

#1) What type of life insurance do you offer?

There are 2 basic types of life insurance: Term, which is slightly more affordable in the short term and only lasts for a set time period, and permanent, which provides coverage until the end of your life.

In addition, permanent life insurance comes in whole life and universal types. Whole life policies have fixed premiums, which means they will neither rise or fall as time passes and won’t fluctuate with the economy. Universal life policies offer adjustable premium payments, within contract limits.

#2) Are there situations where benefits will not be paid?

Some insurance plans have specific exceptions built in, which allow the insurers to deny you benefits for certain reasons. For example, some insurance companies won’t pay out claims for deaths that are ruled the result of suicide, alcohol or drug use, or acts of war. You can also be denied benefits if you lie about your age or engage in certain activities the company concludes are dangerous.

#3) How long is the waiting or contestable period?

There is often a period of time before the life insurance policy takes effect, and during this period, you won’t be able to file claims. In addition, there is also a contestable period that lasts at least a year, where the insurance company can cancel a claim if they determine that you lied or left out information.

This means that even if you die in an unrelated accident, if you had health issues you did not disclose, the insurance company can refuse to pay your beneficiaries entirely.

#4) Will a disability raise my insurance rates?

There are some disabilities or chronic conditions that insurance companies will consider high-risk and charge higher premiums for, if they don’t reject your application entirely. However this will vary, and there are companies who are willing to work with disabled individuals.

Disabled people will often face one of three categories of insurance approval: normal, substandard, and impaired risk. Normal approval will be the same as it is for those without the disability in question. Substandard means that your premiums will increase due to the disability. Impaired risk policies are often the most expensive, though they will often cover you if other insurance providers refuse to.

#5) How long will it take for benefits to be paid out?

It is extremely important to know how long things like burial and final care expenses will take to be paid out, for your family and loved one’s sake as well as your own. You want to make sure that your family won’t have to struggle with your insurance provider and wait to get paid back for your funeral and other related costs.

Insurance agencies or companies are often known to be very creative and innovative marketers. Do you use any clever and innovative marketing strategies that you think large legacy companies should consider adopting?

We really focus on creating strong relationships with a variety of health and finance publishers and entities, rather than creating vague social media campaigns or mass-produced mailing systems. Focusing on establishing your authority and sharing informative content establishes you as a trusted source of information that savvy consumers will appreciate.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I would not have been able to get where I was without the support of my brother, who let me use his car to get to work while in college after I sustained an injury that made it difficult for me to stand and move.

Everything from healthcare to school to work was complicated for me, and the tiniest bit of support from a brother who would help me get transportation made the biggest difference. It made me realize how much people need each other, and how much support we need when physical, mental, and emotional trials hit.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I would most want to inspire a movement that provides access to cheaper ambulatory aids or wheelchairs. Also, I would want people to become more informed and know that many people with physical disabilities who use wheelchairs can still stand up and walk in many cases, and that using an aid doesn’t mean you are completely incapable of standing without it.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

You can follow us on twitter at @lifeinsurancep4.

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Community//

Do Healthy, Fit Millennials Need Life Insurance?

by Dave Devloper
Community//

Les Masterson of Insure.com: “Figure out what you want from a life insurance policy”

by Ben Ari
Community//

“5 things you should ask.” Jason Hartman & Ty Stewart

by Jason Hartman
We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.