Often times the initial thought when the word “disability” enters a conversation is, “It’ll never happen to me.”
As most of us involved in the disability insurance (DI) industry know, there is a real disconnect between a person’s perception of a disability and what a disability insurance policy provides them. I have found the key to getting clients on board is to emphasize that DI is not ultimately about devastation, it’s about protection. It’s to protect their future income, the lifestyle they enjoy, and ultimately their dreams and goals in the event of a disabling accident or illness.
See our infographic: Could a disability happen to you?
All of us have unique capabilities in performing our job. Doesn’t it make sense to protect them? These abilities allow us to earn the income to live out our dreams and goals.
The reality is that the chances of becoming disabled have changed very little over time. Even in the advent of medical advances, illnesses make up 90 percent of all disability. People have a 30 percent chance of suffering a disabling illness or injury during their career that could keep them out of work for three months or more, according to Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education (LIFE). This means an individual will have some type of illness or accident preventing them from going to work, earning their paycheck and fulfilling their ambitions.
The Council for Disability Awareness has found that medical conditions that cause the most disabilities are cardiovascular problems, musculoskeletal issues and cancer. One notable exception is the impact of pregnancy on female disability. Other causes are tied to accidents and illnesses related to the back, alcohol, drugs, nervous disorders and many others. While no one wants to imagine the possibility of becoming disabled, it is our role as financial professionals to educate clients and prospects before it is too late.
Here are three great ways to bring DI awareness to your clients.
1. Heightened awareness due to PPACA
With the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), more employees are asking questions about their health and medical insurance. While medical insurance is a valuable tool for putting us back together again after an unforeseen accident or illness, it only goes so far. It doesn’t address wellness, nutrition, lifestyle and rehabilitation.
Many are unaware that Social Security disability doesn’t provide rehabilitation or back-to-work benefits either — it’s just a safety net for those who are totally disabled and unable to perform duties of any type. One of the critical roles of disability coverage, whether it is group or individual policies, involves the rehabilitation provisions within these contracts. This helps people with disabilities get back on their feet and back to work.
It is important to discuss your client’s “total” health insurance plan. For example, ask them how they would continue paying their household bills if they were unable to work. DI should be one tool brought to the conversation as it helps support rehabilitation and a worker’s stream of income, which allows a person to gain more choices and control as they recover. PPACA has unveiled the opportunity to tell the story about the whole health care program and how medical insurance and DI can work together.