There is a major reason for young professionals to buy disability insurance that often gets over looked: portability. And given the nature of the Millennial Generation, this aspect of DI can not be stressed enough.
I saw a statistic that said that 85% of the Millennial Generation will switch jobs at least four times. This is substantial, even greater than what Gen X experienced. With this shifting in jobs and careers reaching an all time high, it is critical for a young person to do what they can to protect their insurability so that they do not become stuck in a position and unable to leave because of dependency upon the benefits.
Paralleling this is the fact that many young people start life in a technical field (such as engineering), that requires training and education, often because of being pushed by their parents. After experiencing their chosen field though they realize that they hate it, and transition out of it. Very often they found their own company (like I did), or decide (a la Monty Python) “and now, for something completely different.” Unless they have planned ahead though they can become uninsurable for a period until they have an earnings history, leaving them exposed for a period while ramping up their new venture. Thus they are most vulnerable at the worst potential time.
Furthermore, when this new business owner (or photographer, or writer in my case) can qualify for disability coverage, it is often at a lower occupational class (a measure of risk based on what you do, that reflects your premiums. Engineers and accountants are the lowest risk people on the planet. Demolitions experts not so much.). Business owners are higher risk because of the higher stress and the sales aspects that are inherent in being self employed or in a start-up. Thus, delaying the purchase of disability insurance ultimately costs the young client more, and potentially reduces the strength of their benefits substantially.
But if they purchase portable disability coverage and leave being an engineer, according to the insurance company they are still a boring engineer for risk purposes, even if they decide they want to try and become the second coming of The Macho Man Randy Savage (ooo, yeahhh!).
Many people found their own gig because they want the freedom and flexibility it can create. Purchasing portable disability insurance early in your professional career lays the groundwork for that freedom in the future. It is a very small price to pay to have more options later.