Thursday, August 16, 2018
You may understand the importance of Disability Income Insurance* but you may be asking: Why aren’t more employees taking advantage of it? There are myriad reasons why employees aren’t electing the coverage. We spoke with some of our account managers to learn about what they hear during enrollments.
Many employees don’t understand what Disability Insurance covers, how it works, or why it’s needed.
When helping employees understand the benefit, Jeff Snyder, Executive Strategic Account Manager, said, “Some questions we ask employees are: ‘Do you rely on your salary? Is your salary important to you? Your ability to earn a living is one of your most valuable assets. We love to work, but we work to get paid.’ This helps them understand why they need income protection coverage with Disability Insurance.”
A common reason some longer-tenured employees won’t elect Disability Insurance is because they have built up weeks, possibly even months, of sick days.
Executive Account Manager Tangee Franco shared a story about why depending upon sick days isn’t enough: “When people tell me they have a ton of sick leave and they’ve never used it, I often share my personal story. I had been with my company almost 24 years and I had only taken two days. My husband had a stroke and was in the hospital, so I took off for three months to care for him. This leave exhausted all the sick days I had built up. The Disability Insurance didn’t pay for that time, of course, but now, if I were to experience a disabling injury or illness, I would need Disability Insurance. After I tell them my story, I ask them, what if something happened to one of your loved ones? This gets them to think about how quickly things can change, and that’s it not just about them, but their family.”
Younger generations often won’t elect Disability Insurance because they don’t feel at risk for illness or injury, or they don’t have a family to support yet.
“Younger, single people are often the least inclined to purchase. They say, ‘if something happens to me, I don’t have kids to worry about.’ Unfortunately, I think the younger generation are the people who need Disability Insurance because they are roughhousing outside of work, such as playing sports. So, they’re actually more at risk for a disabling injury,” said Rich Datz, District Manager.
For older, more financially-established employees, high incomes can actually be a deterrent.
“Sometimes, employees who make the most money are hesitant to elect Disability Insurance, but they are in need of income protection coverage too. Often, families with high-income-earners are single-income families, so if this employee were to be out of work, they may have no flow of income at all. They have built a lifestyle around this income, so if it were to disappear, they may have to make some major life changes,” said Scott Adkins, Account Manager.
If employees are generally healthy, they usually don’t fear the possibility of a disabling injury or illness.
“Nobody plans on being disabled, but things happen that are unexpected. We get into a car every day. That alone puts you at risk,” Jeff Snyder said.
Employees also don’t always think about illnesses contributing to disability. In fact, accidents are NOT usually the culprit of disability. Back injuries, cancer, heart disease, and other illnesses cause the majority of long-term absences.1
I’ll Never Use It
Often, employees worry about the costs of the insurance, especially if they may never use it.
“So many employees ask, ‘What if I never use this?’ and I respond with, ‘That’s the goal.’ Think of it like this: I have homeowner’s insurance, and I may never use it. But if my house were to catch fire, flood, or get robbed – I will be really thankful I have it. Disability Insurance is the same way,” said Michael Wasle, Account Manager.
One of the ways American Fidelity Assurance Company provides a different opinion for our customers is by having a focus on benefits education. Before and during enrollment, we offer educational materials, tools, group meetings, and one-on-one benefit reviews to ensure your employees understand their options. Because there are many misconceptions about Disability Insurance, it’s important to offer a chance to learn about the policy so your employees can have income protection coverage.
Learn more about American Fidelity’s Disability Insurance at americanfidelity.com.
1Council for Disability Awareness: Chances of Disability. Web. 19 Dec. 2016.
*These products may contain limitations, exclusions or waiting periods.