5 Educate with effective benefits communications.
While the benefits of disability insurance may be obvious to us, research continues to show that very few
employees even understand the basics of disability
insurance. For example, many employees don’t understand that it is insurance to replace lost income when
they are out of work, or they are under the impression
that the product is more relevant for employees with
“high risk” jobs, like construction. This is not true; it
is important to communicate that any individual can
experience an income-disrupting injury or illness.
Also important to clarify is the notion that disability
insurance is not affordable. Instead, show how it can
be of tremendous value for working Americans living
paycheck to paycheck. Benefits communications that
break down the basics of the product, uses real life
examples, and avoids industry jargon can go a long
way. Think about this as you prepare for enrollment
season later this year.
Finally, as benefits technology increases and changing consumer expectations continue to impact the
workplace, the role of the broker and benefits consultant continues to evolve. Simplicity and ease of doing
business are top of mind for all of us, so doing our
part to educate our clients about the pros of disability insurance and recommending a program design
that fits their needs will be valuable to them. As for
employees, in addition to their health and home, there
is nothing more important than their ability to help
protect their income. Employers considering financial
protection products have a good reason to start with
Treg Balding is vice president of group and worksite
markets distribution for The Guardian Life Insurance
Company of America.
3 Integrate absence management. One critical component of an effective disability management program can be the integration of
absence management capabilities. As more states
pass paid leave laws, more companies need help
navigating the complexities of absence management.
Managing absences is a demanding job
for even the most sophisticated
HR teams. More worrisome is
that if employers misman-
age absences, they leave
themselves open to costly
lawsuits, fines, misuse of
leaves and other issues.
Positive outcomes can be
achieved when brokers
and benefits consultants
help deliver a holistic, in-
tegrated plan that includes
both disability and absence
management for their clients.
4 Boost employer and employee
Research validates that
utilizing disability insurance can sway employee
perceptions of employers and enhance overall
(71 percent versus 54
percent). Employees with
especially if they had it at
the time of their incident—are more satisfied
with their employee benefits and much more likely to
feel that their company cares about them.
Additionally, a positive experience with a return to
work (Rt W) program can go even further to bolster an
employee’s perception of its employer. For example,
70 percent said they feel their company cares for them
after completing a Rt W program. This is notable and
something to consider when speaking with carriers
about a Rt W program, how it’s implemented, and its
success rate. There’s a lot of value for both the employer and employee in helping employees return to
work through an effective Rt W program.