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Survey: Number of workers without disability insurance remains high

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Memorial Day is approaching and many workers are looking forward to a well-deserved holiday break.

The long weekend is a good opportunity for rest and reflection as Disability Insurance Awareness Month draws to a close.

As such, it's important to consider a survey by the Harris Poll and OneAmerica in conjunction with these efforts. Here, these groups polled 2,100 workers to discern attitudes toward and the availability of disability insurance.   

Some of the more intriguing findings included:

  • 43 percent of workers did not have short- or long-term disability because it wasn't offered by their employers
  • 14 percent of workers indicated that they didn't need disability insurance because they were healthy
  • 12 percent of workers felt there were higher financial priorities than purchasing disability insurance
  • 12 percent of workers failed to see the value of disability insurance

Experts don't lay all the blame for these findings on penurious employers or ill-informed employees. The research indicates that some of the fault rests with the insurance industry itself.

Employers believe that brokers need to better impart the affordability and true value of disability insurance. If brokers educate employers, companies might then be able to improve morale and engagement of employees while attracting and retaining talent.

Employees point to the inability to debunk the myths we discussed in a post last week. Workers see the lack of emphasis on why disability insurance is among the three cornerstones of their financial wellness.

Life insurance, retirement benefits and disability insurance are considered the three foundations of income protection. In fact, some identify disability insurance as being the most important because it protects the funds that can potentially pay for the two other keystones.

This important discussion serves to underscore that disability insurance awareness needs to be a conversation year-round, not just an occasional topic.

What are your thoughts?

Source: Benefits Pro, "Survey finds only one-third of Americans have disability insurance policies," Scott Wooldridge, May 15, 2017

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