Carol Harnett says the disability insurance community needs to use stories to get consumers’ attention — and use that attention to explain important benefits market trends. Just a few years ago, about 40 percent of workers had employer-paid group disability coverage, Harnett said.
Today, she said, many employers are shifting to voluntary, employee-paid disability benefits. Someone needs to make sure consumers realize that shift has taken place, Harnett said.
“Our primary target is the consumer,” Harnett said. Harnett has been active in the disability insurance market for years as an executive at Prudential and later at Hartford.
The Council for Disability Awareness (CDA) — a group that tries to educate consumers about the risk of disability and the need for income protection planning — recently named her to succeed Barry Lundquist as its president.
Harnett has always been athletic, and she started out as a physiologist working with athletes and others who needed help coping with the effects of injuries and illnesses.
Over the years, she has gotten small first-hand brushes with disability. She has suffered two serious mountain biking accidents, including one that broke her collar bone.