How well does “one-size-fits-all” coverage actually work for consumers? Not very well, according to a 2012 survey by The Hartford. The benefits provider found that 76 percent of consumers say it is important to design their own disability insurance.
This week, The Hartford launched DisabilityFLEX, voluntary group disability insurance that can be customized by how much an employee receives, when and for how long if they are unable to work due to off-the-job injury or illness.
“Consumers today can customize everything – from music and TV to clothing and cars, and our recent survey shows they want to customize their benefits, too,” said Mike Fish, vice president of voluntary benefits with The Hartford.
There are challenges with voluntary insurance, Fish said. Consumers believe it costs much more than it does and they also have trouble understanding the benefit itself. In addition to giving consumers more control over what the benefit will cost them, The Hartford is targeting educational resources by age and demographic to help address such challenges.
Fish anticipates DisabilityFLEX being most popular among employees aged 25 to 40, but does not discount the need for such a benefit across the board.
The Hartford survey also found that 86 percent of consumers say it’s important to be able to customize all their benefits to fit their individual lifestyle. And 82 percent said they would likely sign up for a disability plan that let them choose how much money they would receive each week.
Fully funded by employees, DisabilityFLEX is available to companies with 50 to 999 people, with a variety of incomes. The flexible coverage will be available to companies with more than 1,000 employees in May.