A majority of Americans cannot identify the leading cause of disability, and large percentages have never researched disability insurance, according to a new study by the State Farm Center for Women and Financial Services at The American College in Bryn Mawr, Pa.
The study found that:
- 97 percent of respondents cannot identify the leading cause of disability -- arthritis. More than 30 percent of respondents mistakenly believe accidents are the leading cause of disability.
- 61 percent of women and 46 percent of men have never researched disability insurance. Less than 10 percent of respondents have purchased an individual disability insurance policy.
- 63 percent of women and 59 percent of men say they are not worried about being unable to work for a year due to disability. Yet, one in four of today's 20-year-olds will become disabled before they retire, according to the U.S. Social Security Administration.
Many people who do have disability insurance get their coverage through work. Now, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company -- better known as MassMutual -- has developed a tool that allows you to compare your company's disability benefit program with offerings at other companies.
The tool consists of a 10-question multiple-choice survey that allows you to compare your company's group long-term disability program against others in categories such as:
- Length of waiting period before benefits kick in.
- How long benefits last.
- Maximum monthly benefit limits.
- Percentage of base salary covered.
- Whether or not bonuses and commissions are covered.
- How much employees contribute to premiums.
Answers are compared against the responses of 316 of the largest firms in the U.S. that participated in "The Employer Perspectives on Disability Benefits Study" released by MassMutual and The American College with the Boston Research Group in 2010.