Only about 1 percent of U.S. workers think they could miss three or more months of work due to an illness or injury before they retire.
In the real world, about 25 percent of U.S. workers face at least one bout of short-term disability (STD) leave. The risk of facing a disability that lasts five years or longer is about 8 percent for men, and about 10 percent for women, according to the Council for Disability Awareness (CDA).
Disability insurance marketers are hoping that, this time around, they’ll be able to do something about that awareness gap during the 2015 Disability Insurance Awareness Month campaign, which starts May 1st.
Life Happens, a nonprofit outreach organization organized by insurance agent and broker groups, began running the awareness month campaign in 2007 to supplement its efforts to educate consumers about the importance of life insurance with information about the importance of protecting the ability to earn an income.
The group has posted updated 2015 awareness month materials for agents and brokers here.
The big disability insurers have been reporting solid results for the first quarter.
Unum Group Corp. (NYSE:UNM), an industry leader, is reporting $213 million in net income for the first quarter on $2.6 billion in revenue, compared with $226 million in net income on $2.6 billion in revenue for the first quarter of 2014.
In spite of the effects of low interest rates, which limit what Unum can earn on its investments and push up the cost of coverage, the company was able to increase group long-term disability (LTD) sales 14 percent, to $37 million, and group short-term disability (STD) sales 21 percent, to $24 million. Sales were especially strong at employers with fewer than 2,000 covered workers.
At Unum, spending on sales commissions increased to $45 million, from $41 million.
Stan Corp. Financial Group Inc. (NYSE:SFG) also reported strong disability results. A competitor, Hartford Financial Group Inc. (NYSE:HIG), says its group disability revenue increased to $371 million for the quarter, from $369 million.