The Great Recession was a miserable time for most Americans. Property values plummeted, creating underwater mortgages. Stocks took a hit, devastating retirement savings. Thousands upon thousands lost their jobs. But some experts say that enormous storm cloud had a decidedly silver lining: consumer savings spiked after the recession as Americans took a more cautious look at their economic future. There has also been an increased interest in financial protection products—including disability insurance.
You know that the package of employer-sponsored benefits you offer your employees can play a big role in both the recruitment and retention of quality workers. If you’re not already including supplemental disability insurance in that mix, your package may not be attracting all the interest it could. According to a recent survey, nine out of 10 employees would buy disability coverage if their employers contributed as little as $15 a month on a policy with a $30/month premium.
If your budget is tight and you just can’t swing an employer contribution on disability insurance, it still makes sense to offer it. There are voluntary plans that allow employees to select from long-term disability, short-term disability, or both, while benefiting from group rates that are much lower than they’d pay as individuals.
Why do your workers want a disability insurance option? Basically—as we stated earlier—because recent financial upheaval has convinced them that life can be uncertain. Even planned “good” events—like pregnancy—can cause income disruption. In fact, according to Unum, an insurance agency that processed 380,000 new disability claims last year, pregnancy ranked as the top reason for short-term disability usage in 2014. Cancer was the leading cause of long-term claims.
Other common short-term disability claims included injury, joint disorders, digestive issues and cancer. Injuries, back disorders, cardiovascular and joint issues were among the other leading causes of long-term disability filings.
As the age of the U.S. workforce continues to increase, the incidence of many of these disorders will as well. According to the Unum analysis, long-term disability claims for joint disorders increased 15 percent over the last five years. Short-term disability claims for joint disorders increased 13 percent. Joint disorders were actually the leading cause of short-term disability claims among Baby Boomers. Cancer was the most common Boomer long-term disability claim.
Of course, it’s not just older Americans who can benefit from disability insurance. According to the Social Security Administration, 25 percent of today’s workers in their 20s will become disabled before they reach the age of 67. Illness actually accounts for about 90 percent of all disabilities according to the Council for Disability Awareness.
Contact us today to learn more about adding disability insurance to your voluntary benefits package.