Why Employees Want Disability Insurance

Why Employees Want Disability Insurance - Why Employees Want Disability Insurance

The Great Recession was a miserable time for most Americans. Property values plummeted, creating underwater mortgages. Stocks took a hit, devastating retirement savings. Thousands upon thousands lost their jobs. But some experts say that enormous storm cloud had a decidedly silver lining: consumer savings spiked after the recession as Americans took a more cautious look at their economic future. There has also been an increased interest in financial protection products—including disability insurance.

You know that the package of employer-sponsored benefits you offer your employees can play a big role in both the recruitment and retention of quality workers. If you’re not already including supplemental disability insurance in that mix, your package may not be attracting all the interest it could. According to a recent survey, nine out of 10 employees would buy disability coverage if their employers contributed as little as $15 a month on a policy with a $30/month premium.

If your budget is tight and you just can’t swing an employer contribution on disability insurance, it still makes sense to offer it. There are voluntary plans that allow employees to select from long-term disability, short-term disability, or both, while benefiting from group rates that are much lower than they’d pay as individuals.

Why do your workers want a disability insurance option? Basically—as we stated earlier—because recent financial upheaval has convinced them that life can be uncertain. Even planned “good” events—like pregnancy—can cause income disruption. In fact, according to Unum, an insurance agency that processed 380,000 new disability claims last year, pregnancy ranked as the top reason for short-term disability usage in 2014. Cancer was the leading cause of long-term claims.

Other common short-term disability claims included injury, joint disorders, digestive issues and cancer. Injuries, back disorders, cardiovascular and joint issues were among the other leading causes of long-term disability filings.

As the age of the U.S. workforce continues to increase, the incidence of many of these disorders will as well. According to the Unum analysis, long-term disability claims for joint disorders increased 15 percent over the last five years. Short-term disability claims for joint disorders increased 13 percent. Joint disorders were actually the leading cause of short-term disability claims among Baby Boomers. Cancer was the most common Boomer long-term disability claim.

Of course, it’s not just older Americans who can benefit from disability insurance. According to the Social Security Administration, 25 percent of today’s workers in their 20s will become disabled before they reach the age of 67. Illness actually accounts for about 90 percent of all disabilities according to the Council for Disability Awareness.

Contact us today to learn more about adding disability insurance to your voluntary benefits package.


Steal These Wellness Program Ideas

Steal These Wellness Program Ideas2 - Steal These Wellness Program Ideas


Workplace wellness programs are about more than lowering your employees’ blood pressure and helping them reduce stress. In addition to those (and other) health-improving benefits, an effective wellness program can minimize insurance costs, reduce sick days and time away from work, and even increase morale and productivity. Of course, the key word here is “effective.” Whether you have a program in place or are just beginning to construct one, you may want to steal these ideas other company’s swear by.

Fitbit Challenge

Everyone can benefit from moving. Encourage your employees to walk, jog or run more each day by organizing a Fitbit challenge. Provide participants with tracking devices (you may be able to negotiate a discounted price if you purchase in bulk from a retailer) and set a variety of goals to accommodate workers at different fitness levels. Attach a reward to the achievement of each goal; you can award anything from medals or plaques to gift cards and extra time off.

“Biggest Loser” Contest

Organize a competition in which employees work to achieve the biggest (healthy) weight loss within a specified time. To protect participants who may be sensitive about their weight, you can measure in percentage of body weight lost rather than advertising actual pounds. Reward the “biggest loser” with a coveted prize. Or, if your budget is tight, have employees “buy in” to the contest with a small cash donation. At the end, the winner gets the collected funds.

Zero-Gain Challenge

Encourage your employees to avoid gaining weight over the holidays—something no one wants to do but everyone has difficulty averting—with a zero-gain challenge. Participants will weigh themselves on November 1 and again on January 31. Award a prize to every worker who maintains his or her weight throughout contest period.

Race Entry Reimbursement

Support your team’s fitness goals by reimbursing them for entry fees into area 5K and 10K races. These events will give them a challenge to train towards, furthering your wellness program efforts. Encourage your employees to race together, and you can realize team-building benefits as well.

Track and Field Days

Plan periodic track and field days on Friday afternoons during the summer months. Set up challenges—like one-mile time trials, push-up and squat contests—where employees can compete alone as well as team challenges—like tug-of-war and relay races—where they can compete against other departments. You’ll build camaraderie and encourage fitness at the same time.

Are you ready to improve your wellness program? Contact us today for assistance with this or any other employee benefit product.