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2 great ways to reach out to clients during Disability Insurance Awareness Month, and 10 alarming DI statistics

Brian Anderson

What if one of your clients became ill or injured and unable to work for an extended period of time? Would you be able to say, “You’ll be OK financially because we put disability insurance in place”?

If not, May’s Disability Insurance Awareness Month campaign is a great time to reach out to them to start the conversation.

Life Happens, which coordinates the DIAM campaign, has two easy ways to do that:

1. Send an email to clients and prospects with a link to this great, short video “Disability Insurance 101.” Then add a note that says you’re happy to help them find coverage to fit their budget. View the video here.

2. Share educational and inspirational DI posts on social media. Are you a social-media novice? Don’t worry. Simply follow Life Happens on its social media properties like Facebook and Twitter. Then, just share the DI-related posts you think your friends and followers will respond to. Links to all Life Happens social-media properties can be found at www.lifehappens.org/socialmedia.

According to Life Happens, half of working Americans couldn’t make it a month before financial difficulties would set in if they were to suddenly become disabled. And one in four would have financial problems immediately.

“Unfortunately, people tend to underestimate their risk of disability as well its potential to wreak havoc on both physical and financial health,” said Steve Sperka, vice president, disability insurance for Northwestern Mutual. “May is Disability Insurance Awareness Month and a good opportunity for Americans to examine their financial plans to assess if they are adequately prepared to manage the financial implications of short or long term disability.”

Sperka advises the two-thirds of Americans who do not have access to disability insurance through their employer to consult with a professional regarding their options. For those whose employers offer group disability coverage, he suggests adding an individual supplemental policy to further minimize the potential for financial disruption. Aside from paying a monthly benefit when an individual is unable to work, an individual policy is portable if an employee changes jobs.

Here are some eye-opening statistics to keep in mind during DIAM:

  • Just over 1 in 4 of today’s 20 year-olds will become disabled before they retire.
  • 12% of the total population is classified as disabled; which equates to more than 37 million Americans.
  • The average group long-term disability claim lasts nearly 3 years (34.6 months). The average individual disability claim lasts 31.6 months.
  • One in eight workers will be disabled for five years or more during their working careers.
  • 90% of wage earners rated their “ability to earn an income” as “valuable” or “very valuable” in helping them achieve long-term financial security — wage earners perceive their ability to earn an income as even more valuable than retirement savings, medical insurance, personal possessions, other forms of savings or their homes.
  • Medical problems contribute to 62% of all personal bankruptcies filed in the U.S., and to half of all home foreclosure filings.
  • Approximately 90% of disabilities are caused by illnesses rather than accidents.
  • About 100 million workers are without private disability income insurance.
  • 69% of workers in the private sector have no private long-term disability insurance.
  • Less than 5% of disabling accidents and illnesses are work related. The other 95% are not, meaning Workers’ Compensation doesn’t cover them.

Source: Council for Disability Awareness

PLUS: For more ideas, access all of Life Happens DIAM resources here.



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