A study commissioned by Unum, the leader in employee benefits, and performed by Charles River Associates, has shown that group disability insurance protects up to half a million families from poverty, and directly saves taxpayers and the government up to an estimated $4.5 billion every year.
According to The Wharton School emeritus professor David F. Babbel, who is the Charles River Associates leader of the Insurance Economics Practice, the study “quantifies the immense economic value financial protection products such as disability, life and long term care insurance provide American workers.”
He went on to explain that the benefits of this insurance offer employees and their families vital protection should misfortune occur. He explained that this directly helps to avoid billions of dollars in spending by the government on payments for public assistance.
Tom Watjen, president and CEO of Unum, also said that financial protection benefits that are employer-sponsored offer significant protection to workers, especially within the lower- and middle-income brackets. Making an estimated two thirds of American workers are not provided with access to this type of insurance through their employer.
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It is Unum’s hope, according to Watjen, that the release of the report showing the results of the study will lead a larger number of employers, consumers, policymakers, and insurance companies to establish an improved degree of protection for working Americans.
Approximately 33 percent of American employees will experience a minimum disability period of 6 months in length at some point during their working lives. The average length of disability is two and a half years.