How to Start the Disability Insurance Conversation

What do you want to know

  • Half of Americans think their job is risky.
  • About 51 million workers have no disability insurance.
  • Catastrophic injuries only trigger a small percentage of disability claims.

Consider the following numbers: 51 million Americans, one in four 20-year-olds, and $1,280.

If you guessed them like number of americans without disability insurance, the percentage of 20-year-olds who will become disabled before retirement age and average monthly social security disability payment… you would be right.


But that’s all for the good news.

As the numbers indicate, there is an urgent need for advisors to talk to their clients about the inadequacy of disability insurance and whether or not they are adequately protecting clients and their families.

Luckily, starting that conversation is one of the few things that’s as easy said as it is done, and there’s no better time to do it than during Disability Insurance Awareness Month.

Here are some ways to start the conversation.

Contextualize the risks

When most clients think of disability insurance, it’s often in the context of a catastrophic accident that results in a lifelong injury.

While such accidents certainly do happen, the chances of a customer sustaining a catastrophic injury are, fortunately, quite minimal.

However, this should not negate their need for disability insurance.

On the contrary, disability insurance – especially short-term coverage – can be a financial lifeline in the event of less serious, but much more likely injuries.

In fact, a recent study by Haven Life found that nearly 50% of American workers consider their work to be “risky” – whether in terms of physical or emotional injury, illness or distress.

If this injury, illness or distress renders a client unable to work, having a disability insurance policy in place can cover lost wages.

By helping clients understand their day-to-day exposure to disability risk, advisors can ensure their clients have the necessary financial protections.

In the event that a client needs to trigger a disability insurance claim, it also means they have peace of mind to focus on recovery, not finances.

Educate on how the covers work (or don’t work) together

As I mentioned in my last article, some clients may have some disability-related protection with their term life insurance policy, especially if they have purchased a disability insurance rider.

It is therefore understandable that customers who have purchased this rider do not want to pay for a stand-alone disability insurance policy.

However, advisors should help clients understand that a disability insurance rider is not a comprehensive solution and may not provide sufficient financial protection that clients may need in the event of an accident or injury.