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Northwestern Mutual: Americans Continue To Play Ostrich

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Few U.S. workers are prepared for the loss of income that would result if they were to become disabled, according to Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company.

Northwestern Mutual, Milwaukee, has published data supporting that conclusion in a summary of results from an October survey of 2,100 U.S. adults ages 21 and older.

Only 10% of adults age 21 have purchased disability income insurance, and only 30% have disability coverage through their employer. But 80% of the survey participants said they would be “devastated” if a disability prevented them from earning a living, Northwestern Mutual reports.

Researchers asked survey participants about the perceived likelihood of potential situations happening, the emotional impact of those potential situations, and the types of insurance they have purchased or currently own.

The situations described included a house fire destroying all personal belongings, having credit card information stolen and false charges made to the account, having one’s car destroyed in an accident, having a vacation canceled due to bad weather, and becoming disabled and unable to work for a living.

About 85% of the participants said the loss of a home and belongings due to fire would have a devastating impact, and 78% said loss of the ability to work would have a devastating impact.

Fewer than half said having their car destroyed in an accident would be devastating.

But 73% have insured the homes they rent or own, and 88% have insured their cars. Only 10% said they have insured their income.


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