Filed Under:Markets, Employee Benefits

Income protection still a mystery for young workers

"Disability insurance? What's that?"

Confusion may be keeping some healthy young workers who could afford disability insurance from even thinking about buying the product.

Marketers at Guardian Life Insurance Company of America and LearnVest, a personal finance site, have charted the holes in young workers' disability insurance knowledge in a summary of results from a survey of 797 Web users ages 21 to 40.

The survey designers aimed one set of questions at the 280 participants ages 21 to 30 who said they had no disability insurance.

About 23 percent of the young, uninsured participants said the product is not worth the expense, and 21 percent said they were not eligible because they were not employed full-time.

But 23 percent said they did not need disability coverage because they are "not at physical risk" at their jobs -- even though the vast majority of disability claims are the result of illness, not workplace injuries.

About 20 percent of the young uninsured participants said they were not sure what disability insurance is, 17 percent said they had no idea how to buy disability insurance, and 9 percent said they did not know the product existed.

About 15 percent of the young participants "without disability insurance" admitted that that it was possible that they had disability insurance, but that they weren't sure if they did have it or did not have it. 

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