Roughly 4 in 10 working Americans (41%) report they have employer-sponsored disability insurance coverage, according to a new survey conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of OneAmerica.
However, less than one quarter of working Americans (24%) elect to have voluntary disability insurance through their employer─where employees have to pay for coverage themselves─leaving many without this key paycheck protection.
This new survey of short-term or long-term disability insurance coverage was conducted among 1,017 U.S. adults ages 18 and older who are employed full-time or part-time.
Disability Insurance Awareness Month is observed annually in May. Indianapolis-based OneAmerica uses the survey results to help educate consumers and to challenge assumptions. The Harris Poll-OneAmerica survey was conducted April 18-22, 2019.
Of the 64% of working Americans who report not having voluntary disability coverage, just under half (47%) say it is because their employer does not offer it; among them, nearly 3 in 5 (58%) say if their employer was to offer it, they would be likely to purchase it.
“It is important to understand the current environment related to employee disability coverage,” said Nathan Queen, OneAmerica regional vice president, southern region. “Our snapshot affirms established industry studies that too few employees elect or have access to disability coverage, a benefit we believe to be a cornerstone of financial well-being in their benefits package.”
Those who do not have voluntary disability coverage through their employer cite the following as additional reasons for not selecting coverage:
- Don’t see the value (14%)
- Other obligations or expenses they feel are higher priorities (11%)
- Can’t afford coverage (12%)
- They think they are healthy and don’t need it (12%)
A recent study by LIMRA and Life Happens looked at behaviors that prevent workers from purchasing life insurance and related coverage, such as disability. LIMRA and Life Happens stated that unless workers understand what it is, and more importantly why they—personally—need it, they won’t be motivated to buy the coverage.
“Our goal is to further the dialogue about the value of disability coverage, so all employees can understand that insuring their paycheck is the catalyst to protecting everything else in their lives, including their homes, their cars and their family,” Queen added.
OneAmerica focuses on the core financial wellness products of group life and disability insurance. The carrier has recorded double-digit sales growth in Employee Benefits for five consecutive years.