The Elimination of Workplace Benefits is Leaving Workers at Risk

Since 2015, the number of Canadians with disability coverage through workplace benefits has fallen a staggering nine per cent, leaving more than half of all Canadians without the means to protect themselves.

Only 16% of Canadians who do not have disability coverage through workplace benefits has sought alternative means of taking care of themselves, leaving a whopping 84 per cent with no coverage whatsoever.

If the situation were to turn dire, and said Canadians found themselves disabled and unable to work, two-thirds of them would suffer from serious financial crisis.

"With the majority of employed Canadians indicating that they do not have disability insurance through their workplace benefits package, workers need to review what coverage they do have and take immediate steps to ensure that they are well protected in case something were to happen," explains Maria Winslow, Senior Director, Life & Health, RBC Insurance. "Without the proper financial protection in place, Canadians are putting themselves and their families at risk if they are faced with a disability and have to take time off work."

Not being able to work takes a serious financial toll that many are not equipped to deal with. In fact, when faced with a disability, 45 per cent of working Canadians would have liked to take time off due to disability but could not because of finances, while 51 per cent said they were forced to go back to work earlier than they wanted because of their financial situation.

"When confronted with a disability, the last thing that should be on your mind is worrying about finances. Purchasing individual disability coverage provides you with the security of knowing you will have money coming in to replace your lost income," says Winslow.

Where and how Canadians are able to find work are strong barriers to accessing proper disability insurance coverage. People without coverage say, either their workplace does not offer group benefits or disability insurance, they work part-time or on contract and are not eligible for benefits, and/or they are self-employed or freelance.

Cost is also another key barrier that a quarter of Canadians feel they cannot afford. "There's a misconception that disability insurance is expensive, yet it's much less than you might think - generally costing between one and three per cent of your income," adds Winslow.

Whether you have coverage through your workplace or not, these are items you need to consider:

·       The best time to buy disability insurance is before an injury or illness occurs.

·       Don't choose a policy on price alone. Be aware that the prices are aligned with the features and benefits of the policy. Make sure you know the policy's definition of disability, as the definition may vary among carriers.

·       Review the coverage available through your employer and consider whether you need additional coverage to fill in the gaps.

·       Disability insurance is essentially an income replacement policy; it is designed to cover a portion of your income should you become unable to work.

If you’re looking to purchase coverage to supplement your already existing benefits, or if you want to make sure you are protected, Millennial’s Choice can help you. Our insurance division covers every area of insurance that you would need. Please send us an email at info@millennialschoice.ca or give us a call for more information.