Disability Insurance

Everyone deserves the opportunity to protect their quality of life and their future, and with disability insurance you can. You can think of disability insurance as your financial safety net, giving you an earnings replacement if you’re not able to earn a paycheck due to illness or injury. We’ve laid out the cost-of-living analysis in California to show you the average expenses in the state and why disability insurance can give you peace of mind during unpredictable times.

How much does it cost to live in California?

Home to approximately 39.35 million people, the state of California is one of the most expensive states to live in in the US. According to data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, goods and services in the state cost 15.4% more than the national average, making California third largest in overall cost of living when compared to all other states.

Cost of Living Parameters

Housing & Rent

On average, California renters pay $1,429 per month, $406 less than the national average of $1,023. If you want to buy a house in the state, the typical home value is $475,900, which is more than the national median home value of $408,800.

Here are some stats on California mortgages:

  • Homeownership rate: 54.4%
  • Homeowner vacancy rate: 0.6%
  • Rental vacancy rate: 4.0%


In California, the average yearly cost of childcare for a 4-year-old child is $9,663, which is like the national average of $8,903. In California, however, the cost of caring for a four-year-old and an eight-year-old child per year is $14,822, compared to the national average of $15,853.

Here’s a look at the annual childcare costs from infant to college:  

  •  Infant: $16,945
  • 4-year-old: $11,475
  • School: $15,658
  • College: $8,020


Apartment utilities refer to the essential services required in a home such as gas, water, electricity, cable, and internet. On average, a Californian resident can expect to spend up to $401 per month on apartment utilities.  

Food & Groceries

A single adult in California spends an average of $3,468 on food each year, while a family of four's annual food cost reaches $10,016. These figures are based on a nutritionally appropriate diet purchased from a grocery shop and prepared at home.

The average price for eating out would be:

  • A basic meal with a drink at an inexpensive restaurant: $15.21  
  • Fast Food Combo (Big Mac etc.): $8.29
  • Bottle of Coca-Cola: $2.05
  • Bottle of Water: $1.62

Grocery shopping in the state would cost as follows:

  • Milk (regular), (1 liter): $0.97
  • Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g): $ 3.47
  • Rice (1 Kg): $4.78
  • A dozen of Eggs: $3.45
  • Chicken Fillet (1kg): $11.70
  • Beef Round (1kg): $15.42
  • 4 Rolls of toilet paper: $4.84
  • Hair Shampoo: $7


Public transportation services across the state are available for all residents, making it easy to get around; however, 84% of commuters in California drive to work. The average motorist in the state drives 8,728 miles per year. Taking average fuel economy and average gas prices into account the average motorist in the state may expect to spend $1,168 on gas alone in a year.

According to, the average vehicle insurance rate in California is $1,213, which is less than the national average of $2,389. According to EPI data, the average single adult in the state spends $10,267 on transportation each year.  

Average Income & Taxes

The average yearly income of a single adult living in California is $65,539 and the estimated state income tax is $18,663.

Most Expensive California Cities to Live in

  • Los Altos  
  • Beverly Hills  
  • Santa Barbara  
  • Palo Alto  
  • Burlingame

Why is disability insurance important to have in California?

As shown by the above cost of living study, a steady income is required to live comfortably and worry-free. Whether you work full-time or as a freelancer, getting disability insurance is the first step towards financial stability.  

What would happen if you found yourself unable to earn a paycheck because you were too ill or injured to work? According to a recent survey conducted by personal financial website Bankrate, more than half of Americans (51%) have less than three months' worth of emergency funds.  

Medical bills are reported to be the number one cause of U.S. bankruptcies. One study has claimed that 62.1% of bankruptcies were caused by medical issues. Other studies show that over 2 million people are adversely affected by their medical expenses.  

If medical bills start piling up, you’ll no longer be able to support your lifestyle in other areas as well, especially if your income is on hold. You might find yourself unable to pay for utilities and rent, and that eventually could lead to foreclosure. In fact, half of foreclosures on conventional mortgages in California are caused by the disability of one of the homeowners.

A lot of people still think that the need for disability insurance is not top priority, thinking that disability rarely happens, and when it does, it’s only caused by serious accidents. But did you know that up to 90% of disability cases recorded are due to illness, not injury?
With that being said, applying for private disability insurance should be on top of your to-do list because life is unpredictable, but your income shouldn’t be.

Does California have state disability insurance?

Only 5 states in the U.S. require companies to provide their employees with disability insurance coverage that includes benefits for accidents or illnesses sustained outside of the workplace. And California is one of these states.  

All employees in the state of California are required to contribute to the state's short-term disability insurance (SDI) program through payroll deductions. Employees who are unable to work due to a disability can receive weekly benefits from the program until they are ready to return to work or the benefits run out.  

Employees who have received at least $300 in wages during their "base period" are entitled for SDI payments if SDI deductions have been made. (The base period is the twelve months prior to the employee filing an SDI claim.). An employee must also be under the supervision of a physician, who must certify that the person is unable to work.

However, contacting the California Employment Development Department (EDD) about State Disability Insurance (SDI) or Paid Family Leave (PFL) can be difficult because EDD workers are oftentimes extremely busy and difficult to reach.

How can I easily get supplemental disability insurance coverage in California?

A supplemental disability insurance coverage is an excellent strategy to safeguard your income and way of life. It helps to compensate for a portion of the 40% gap that most work policies provide. Also, the majority of supplemental disability insurance benefits are tax-free.

Here at Asteya, we offer disability insurance (or disability income insurance as we like to call it) that’s simple, fast, and affordable. Our 100% digital process means we don’t tire you out with proof of income, medical exams, phone interviews, or wait times, which means you go from applicant to insured in no time.  

Signing up for Asteya’s private disability insurance also has many benefits:

  • You are free to spend your benefit payments anyway you see fit.
  • Benefit payments may continue until you retire or recover.
  • You can add disability riders to your policy to increase your coverage.

Who qualifies for disability insurance in California?

Most insurances are bought to protect homes, vehicles, and health, but our most valuable asset tends to get neglected: our income. 70% of working Americans live paycheck to paycheck, with little savings to buffer the financial burden of a disability that leaves them unable to work.

At Asteya, we offer 2 types of disability income insurance: Permanent Disability Income Insurance and Sickness & Injury Disability Income Insurance. Visit for more details on the eligibility of our product offering.

How much does disability insurance in California cost?

Protecting your income shouldn’t be a luxury, so here at Asteya, we’ve created affordable and easy solutions that won’t drain what you’re trying to protect (your income!). Our prices start as low as:  

Permanent Disability Income Insurance: starting at $6.05/month  

Sickness & Injury Disability Income Insurance:
starting at $5/month

The bottom line

On average, living in the state of California will cost you $3886 per month give or take – that's a lot of expenses! You've invested a lot of time and hard work in building a life that works for you, and your hard work should not go to waste due to an accident or illness. That’s why you should protect your lifestyle and your income with DI. 

If you're still on the fence about whether disability income insurance is for you (hint: it is), here are a few extra points to consider:    

  • Asteya’s applications are 100% digital. We don't require blood tests or doctor's appointments, unlike other insurers and we'll just ask you a few minutes of questions to determine your best policy.  

  • Get paid out directly on an approved claim, and spend without restrictions once it's in your bank account.  

  • We've made our Income Insurance as inclusive and accessible as possible. From corner store employees to corner office executives, our products were created to fit every budget and lifestyle.  


How do I get disability insurance?

Get a quote from Asteya in seconds and go from applicant to insured in minutes