Disability a Greater Risk than Many Clients May Realize

Insurance producers have the difficult task of getting their clients to think long and hard about a topic they may not want to consider – the possibility of becoming disabled. While your clients financially prepare for retirement and passing on their estate to their children, many may have avoided thinking about ailing health or injury and the resulting health care costs. Additionally, many spouses, who often become caregivers, don’t consider the financial ramifications of the loss of income and additional expenses associated with disability.

Most people aren’t prepared for disability

Old age is an eventuality, but disability is something most people assume simply won’t happen to them, which leaves them open to risk. According to the 2017 LIMRA Insurance Barometer study, one third of people worry about what will happen if they become disabled and cannot work. When you ask if they need disability insurance, 48 percent say yes, but only 20 percent indicate that they’ve purchased it.

“People who use tobacco or have higher weights also see their chances of becoming disabled grow exponentially.”


The Council for Disability Awareness reports more than 1 in 4 of today’s 20-year-olds will become disabled before they retire. The average woman has a 24 percent chance of becoming disabled for 3 months or more during her working years. There’s a 38 percent chance the disability would last for 5 years or longer. Meanwhile, for men, there’s a 21 percent chance of becoming disabled for 3 months or longer, as well as a 38 percent chance of being disabled for 5 years or more.

It’s up to financial professionals to help their clients understand the very real possibility they may be disabled for a period of time. Even in the best case scenario, a disability would result in a major hit to their finances.

Protection exists

Fortunately, there are ways for clients to protect both themselves and their loved ones. A comprehensive disability insurance policy will ensure your clients can keep up with their financial obligations whether they find themselves unable to work due to illness or injury. Just like with the right life insurance coverage, a disability policy can provide clients and the people they care about with peace of mind.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2015 and has been reviewed and updated.

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