The end of May is approaching, and with the Memorial Day holiday this weekend, so is the beginning of summer.
The start of summer brings specific summer accidents. These accidents include grilling, fireworks, camping, bike riding, swimming and water-related activities, and gardening / lawn care.
In addition to this month being the unofficial start of summer, May is Disability Insurance Awareness Month. According to a Life Happens survey, a person has a three in 10 chance of suffering a disabling illness or injury that would keep them out of work for three months or more. Summer activities increase the odds of having a disabling accident. Since 95% of all disabling accidents are not work related, Worker’s Comp does not cover the individual.
Throughout this past month, my social media feeds included insurance companies’ posts talking about disability insurance. The US Social Security Administration estimates that before retiring at 67, over two-thirds of today’s 20 year-olds will become disabled. For the millennial generation, disability insurance is more important than life insurance. Disability insurance is owned by only 29% of the population, but 63% say that disability insurance is important. Facebook and Twitter content from the carriers highlighted statistics like these to their followers, hoping to increase awareness and ownership of this insurance product.
It is important that disability insurance awareness continues, even past the month of May. Regardless of the season, disabling accidents and injuries can happen to anyone. Aflac has always promoted disability insurance with the phrase “if you get hurt and can’t work”. In their current marketing campaigns, Aflac is promoting same day claims. The virtually non-existent timeframe for waiting for payment makes this product even more appealing to consumers.
Disability insurance is also known as income protection insurance. Often, carriers use this product description to appeal to individuals who may be less concerned with an injury and more concerned with a disabling illness. By highlighting the potential loss of income, these carriers appeal to consumer’s desire to maintain their current standard of living. In some instances, the carrier often compares disability income protection to life insurance, hoping that the potential insured is more worried about their own future than for their family’s future.
Disabling illnesses and injuries can happen to anyone, but most people do not think it will happen to them. The reality is, about 25% of all US workers will have at least once instance of short-term disability during their working years. In fact, 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.
Insurance carriers have the unenviable task of sharing with consumers all of the potential, bad things that can happen, and then have to ask for money to protect them if they actually occur. It is even harder to do when all of the celebratory moments in life come with a sense of doom that it can all be taken away. Bought a new car? Awesome! Make sure you have enough coverage if you have an accident. Just got married? Best wishes for a life of happiness! You need life insurance now to protect your family. Book a trip for the vacation of your dreams? Bon Voyage! Make sure you have travel insurance if you need to change your plans.
Disability insurance marketing may be the most awkward messaging to craft. Get hired to your dream job? Congratulations. Have summer vacation plans? Enjoy! Now you need Disability Insurance to make sure your paycheck is protected.
Enjoy the upcoming holiday weekend, and stay safe. Make sure you wear sunscreen, swim with a lifeguard on duty and away from sharks, wear protective gear while biking and camping and turn off the power tools before tinkering with them. In fact, before you take off for the summer, make sure you have your own Disability Insurance.