One of the most-watched shows on the popular Discovery Channel is “Mythbusters,” a science entertainment program. The hosts, Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage, use elements of the scientific method to test the validity of various rumors, myths, adages, news stories and Internet videos. The hosts use elaborate planning, design and construction to evaluate myths as “busted,” “plausible” or “confirmed.”
When it comes to disability insurance, I sometimes feel like a mythbuster myself. That’s because there’s still a lack of understanding about disability among consumers and employers — and a lot of myth-busting that needs to take place. A 2014 report by the Council for Disability Awareness reveals some of the eye-opening beliefs shared by employees and human resources professionals about disability. These findings open up a tremendous opportunity for brokers and insurance professionals to help educate their clients about the realities of disability and how they can better protect themselves and their families.
Myth No. 1: The odds of experiencing a disability sometime during a career are low.
More than 20 percent of workers under 40 believe they are more likely to win a big lottery jackpot than they are of missing work due to illness or injury. The odds of a 20-year-old becoming disabled at some point in his or her career are one in four. The odds of winning the lottery? One in 259 million.
Myth No. 2: Consumers could get by financially if they were disabled for lengthy time.
A majority of employees (67 percent) in the CDA survey identified income as one of the most-important things in their lives. But only 28 percent of employees identified income as something important to protect. And just 43 percent report having some sort of income protection. This finding seriously disturbs me. Less than 40 percent of adults in a 2014 Bankrate survey said they would have enough on-hand in a savings or checking account to pay for a $1,000 emergency room visit or car repair. So where’s the money going to come from?