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Disability Insurers Back Income Defense Campaign

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A group of 18 long-term disability (LTD) insurers is trying to give threats to workers’ paychecks a good, strong kick in the posterior.

The insurers are backing an effort by the Council for Disability Awareness to get consumers and their employers interested in the idea of protecting income against the risk of disability.

The insurers started the CDA, Portland, Maine, after hearing reports that consumers were much more aware of the risk of suffering an acute illness or of dying than of having to take time off work because of health problems not covered by workers’ compensation insurance.

About a quarter of all U.S. workers will need to take at least some time off from work because of a short-term or long-term disability, but only about one-third of the workers have private LTD coverage, the CDA says.

For years, disability insurers have talked enviously of the success Aflac has had with using its spokesduck to promote the need for supplemental health benefits and accident insurance. The traditional disability insurers have been trying to come up with their own answer to the duck.

The CDA has dubbed the new initiative the Defend Your Income campaign. The campaign website offers a game that encourages users to think of themselves as martial arts fighters who are guarding their income against vicious attackers.

John Roberts, the chairman of the CDA, says insurers are hoping the game will make the idea of protecting income fun to think about and easy for consumers to understand.


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