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4 ways that timing matters when it comes to disability insurance

A summer day at the beach can be a great thing. A day at the beach in January during a snowstorm? Not so great. As it is with so many things in life, timing is everything. And in the world of voluntary benefits, the saying holds true; especially when it comes to disability insurance. Below are four ways that timing can play a critical role in the way a customer perceives disability insurance:

Timing of the first payment

Almost eight out of 10 American workers say they live paycheck to paycheck to make ends meet.1 When you take that into account, it’s easy to see how important it is to get payment to a policyholder quickly. Long-term disability insurance policies often have a 90-day waiting period; and even on short-term products, the delay between when a person stops working and when that first payment comes can quickly become painful. If a policyholder has to wait for their benefits and are dependent upon their paycheck, they’re going to be frustrated with their coverage and unhappy with the experience. Getting payment in a policyholder’s hands as quickly as possible can make all the difference to someone on disability insurance. 

Frequency of payments

Similar to the timing of the first payment, the timing of subsequent payments is equally as valuable to a policyholder. If a policyholder is dependent on each paycheck to pay bills, then the frequency of payment has to match what they’re used to. You can easily run into problems as a policyholder if you are used to paying bills, rent, mortgages or living expenses with a certain cadence and then that cadence is disrupted. And, when dealing with a disability, that’s an extra headache that a policyholder won’t want to deal with. To avoid this timing issue, policies need to make sure they offer the flexibility to match a policyholder’s existing pay schedule.

The payment that never comes

While the payments we discuss above can be a challenge to a policyholder’s perception of disability insurance, they could still fall into the category of “better late than never.” In the insurance industry, we cite statistics all the time that tell people about the likelihood that a consumer can become disabled. The truth is that while there’s a good chance of becoming disabled (5.6 percent of workers every year2), many won’t have that experience. In that case, if they have disability insurance, they’ll never see a tangible benefit from the policy. While no one wants to become disabled, months and years of making payments on a policy that never pays can start to feel like a waste. That’s why it’s important to look for policies that can offer value to a policyholder throughout the life of the policy.

Timing dictates the conversation

When discussing disability insurance with an employee, you have to consider where, timing-wise, that employee is in their life. The demographics of the workplace are changing. Today, millennials are the largest demographic – more than one in three workers are millennials.3 As such, it’s important to consider what their current mindset may be. Today’s employees see themselves as active, healthy and unlikely to become “disabled.” The facts and figures of the likelihood of a disability may not hold up the same way they used to. Instead, it’s important to focus on peace of mind and how a disability product can help them maintain their lifestyle. It’s a message that is more likely to resonate and drive home the value of a policy.

At Trustmark we’ve developed a new product that lets us tackle all of these challenges. Trustmark Paycheck Protect is redefining the conversation around disability insurance to focus on “livability assurance” with more benefits that support timely payments. It’s a product that’s much needed in the market and we feel it’s arriving… right on time.

1 Vast numbers of workers live paycheck to paycheck. 2017.
2 Integrated Benefits Institute, Health and Productivity Benchmarking 2016.
3 Millennials are the largest generation in the U.S. labor force. Pew Research Center. 2018.

Posted on November 08, 2018 in Disability insurance

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