One of the questions quietly lurking behind the current Disability Insurance Awareness Month is whether many insurers, distributors or producers still want to sell disability insurance, or whether low interest rates, new accounting rules, and general exhaustion have made protecting workers’ income a non-core activity.
But many organizations are saying this month that, yes, they very definitely want to sell disability insurance, and that they definitely want to be in ThinkAdvisor articles about the awareness month campaign.
Here’s a look at five organizations’ efforts to participate in the Month.
LifeQuotes.com is participating in the Month campaign by adding an instant disability insurance quote service.
The Darien, Illinois-based quote service says it’s now providing disability quotes along with every life insurance quote requested through its desktop- and tablet-based systems by healthy, employed people ages 25 through 60.
LifeQuotes.com warns the customers that all of the disability insurance price quotes are subject to insurer underwriting approval.
2. Sun Life U.S.
Sun Life U.S. is participating in the Month by using it as an opportunity to educate brokers, employers and the general public about the company’s new auto-enrollment feature for employer-sponsored disability plans.
The U.S. Department of Labor recently announced that it will let employers auto-enroll workers in disability coverage.
Sun Life offered a webinar on group disability auto-enrollment with the Disability Management Employers Coalition (DMEC).
Sun Life and DMEC polled the employer participants and found that only about half offer 401(k) plan auto-enrollment.
The slow spread of auto-enrollment features is a sign that insurers, brokers, benefits consultants and plan administrator have work to do, according to Sun Life.
Allsup is a company that helps workers with disabilities file for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.
The company is participating in the Month by using national press releases, social media, an infographic and other means to tell consumers how both private disability insurance and SSDI work.
“The data show that 1 in 4 workers, by the time they reach full retirement age, will experience a disability that prevents them from working,” the company says in a “question and answer” press release distributed through GlobeNewswire. “Disability insurance — both public and private — is expressly designed to help workers avoid financial devastation with the lost income when this happen.”
The infographic tells the story, “How Disability Insurance Relates to Your Future.”
4. Cigna Corp.
Cigna is also participating in the month by trying to spread information about disability risk and disability insurance.
The company has posted a new website article with the headline, “Disabilities can, and do, happen. Stay on track by planning ahead.”
Cigna reports, for example, that 52% of people without disability insurance who experience a disabling event take an average of more than two years to recover financially from the event, and that about 42% of those people without disability insurance end up depending on friends and relatives to cope with the effects of the disabling event.
Only about one-fifth of the people with disability insurance who experienced a disabling event said they had to depend on their friends and relatives to stay afloat, according to Cigna.
5. MetLife Inc.
MetLife is one of the companies participating in the Month by emphasizing the importance of having income protection to overall financial wellness.
MetLife notes that, when it surveyed about 1,000 U.S. adults, it found that 41% of the full-time workers are caregivers for either a dependent child or an older person.
“As the importance of supporting caregivers increases, employee benefits play a key role in providing the necessary financial support, including disability insurance, financial wellness programs, and supplemental health offerings such as accident or critical illness insurance,” MetLife says in an announcement describing the results. “Should a caregiver get sick or injured and become unable to work for a period of time, they could be strained financially to support their dependents and might utilize savings otherwise allocated to cover medical or other associated costs, further adding to their burdens.”
MetLife found that 43% of the participants in another survey, of workers, described short-term disability insurance and long-term disability as must-have benefits.
— Read Maybe Employers Are Ready to Be Aware of Disability Insurance, on ThinkAdvisor.