Filed Under:Health Insurance, Disability

Sun Life: More than One-Third of Workers Decline DI Coverage from Employers

Photo credit: Renjith Krishnan
Photo credit: Renjith Krishnan

One-third of full-time workers lack long-term disability income insurance and nearly four in ten employees have declined to buy a group DI policy offered to them by their employers.

Sun Life Financial, Wellesley, Mass., published this finding in a summary of results from a new report, “Will workers in America hope to dodge the bullet, remain blind to the risks, or simply hide? Perceptions, misconceptions, and best practices about long-term disability.” The study is based on a survey of more than 2,000 U.S. workers conducted for Sun Life Financial by Kelton Research

The report reveals that more than one-third (38%) of workers whose employers offered them the option to pay for group long-term disability income insurance declined to buy it, leaving most uninsured. Among the report’s other findings:

● Workers who don’t buy group voluntary long-term disability coverage fall into three categories: (1) “The Gambler,” who doesn’t think the risk justifies the cost of premiums; (2) “The Mole,” who hasn’t considered the issue and so remains blind to solutions; and (3) “The Ostrich,” who finds the thought of disability too unpleasant to face.

Workers under age fifty, minorities, men, and tech workers are more likely to have purchased long-term disability income insurance than other respondents.

● Many workers don’t understand key features of long term disability income insurance and fail to anticipate how a disability may raise monthly living expenses.

“Because employers are footing less and less of the overall group insurance bill, workers in our country must take proactive steps to mitigate the financial risk of long-term disability,” says Michael Shunney, senior vice president and general manager for Sun Life Financial’s U.S. Employee Benefits Group Division. “As our survey shows, people don’t always think logically when they contemplate their risks.”

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