The workers might be more concerned about their kids than about their golden years. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

Consumers are more likely to say they have shopped for disability insurance at the workplace than they are to say they have shopped for coverage through other channels.

Analysts at LIMRA, Windsor, Conn., have published figures on workplace and non-workplace income protection shoppers in a report based on a survey of consumers who said they had “seriously shopped” for disability insurance over the past 24 months. 

What Do They Want?
Disability insurance shoppers’ reasons for buying coverage
  Workplace shoppers Other shoppers
To replace another disability policy 15% 10%
To continue saving for retirement 10% 16%
To continue saving for college 10% 6%
Source: LIMRA, Windsor, Conn.

The numbers of consumers who participated in the survey was not immediately available.

The percentage of consumers who said they looked for disability coverage at work was almost twice as high as the percentage who said they had shopped for coverage through any other channel, such as going on the Web or meeting with a sales rep outside of work.

About 70% of the survey participants who shopped for coverage at work bought coverage; only 59% of the participants who shopped for coverage elsewhere ended up buying insurance.

But disability insurance is famous as being a product that insurers want to sell to consumers who don’t want it, and LIMRA analysts found evidence that antiselection could affect workplace-based disability insurance programs.

When the survey participants were asked to list the top 3 reasons they had shopped for disability coverage at the workplace, 41% named “concerns about personal health issues.”

“Concerns about personal health issues” was the most common reason consumers gave for looking for disability insurance.

Having inadequate group benefits at work ranked second, cited by 24% of the survey participants who’d shopped for coverage at work. About 19% of those survey participants said they had looked for coverage at work after seeing a close friend or family member become disabled.

LIMRA also found differences between consumers who had shopped for income protection products through the workplace and those who had shopped through other channels.

The workplace-oriented shoppers were more interested in college savings efforts; the other survey participants were thinking more about retirement savings.