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Cancer and pregnancy top reasons for using disability insurance benefits, Unum says

Business Wire
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Unum’s customers access their disability benefits most often for short term leave following the birth of a baby, and long term leave for treatment and recovery from cancer.

Graphic snapshot of leading reasons workers use disability insurance benefits (Graphic: Business Wir

Graphic snapshot of leading reasons workers use disability insurance benefits (Graphic: Business Wire)

Unum (NYSE:UNM) , the leading provider of disability insurance in the U.S., analyzes claims activity each year and shares results near Disability Insurance Awareness Month in May to help foster a better understanding of the value of disability and other coverage.

Disability income protection insurance provides salary replacement benefits when a worker becomes ill or injured and requires extended time away from work. About a third of American workers are enrolled in disability coverage, leaving about 75 million workers without this protection.1

Unum provides benefits to employees at 84,000 companies in the U.S., including a third of the Fortune 500. In 2014, Unum experience with disability claims shows:

  • Top reasons for short term disability leave
    • 28% Pregnancy
    • 11% Injury*
    • 7% Joint disorders
    • 7% Digestive issues
    • 7% Cancer
  • Top reasons for long term disability leave
    • 16% Cancer
    • 14% Back disorders
    • 11% Injury*
    • 9% Cardiovascular
    • 9% Joint disorders
  • Top reasons by generation group
    • Baby Boomers
      • Joint disorders (14%), top reason for short term disability leave
      • Cancer (19%), top reason for long term disability leave
    • Generation X
      • Pregnancy (18%), top reason for short term disability leave
      • Back disorders (15%), top reason for long term disability leave
    • Generation Y/Millennials
      • Pregnancy (64%), top reason for short term disability leave
      • Pregnancy/complications (20%), top reason for long term disability leave
    • Average age of disability beneficiary
      • For short term disability, 44 (up from 42 in 2005)
      • For long term disability, 51 (up from 48 in 2005)
    • Increasing incidence rates
      • Joint disorders
        • Short term incidence up 13% over last five years
        • Long term incidence up 15%
      • Musculoskeletal conditions
        • Short term incidence up 11% over last five years
        • Long term incidence up 24%

The need for disability income protection is significant. Half of all households could not raise $2,000 within a month if they needed to.2 And three-quarters of workers today do not have enough emergency savings to cover six months or more of their expenses, according to a Bankrate.com survey.3

Disability benefits typically replace 60% of an employee’s salary, and short term benefits may begin almost immediately after the disabled employee leave work. Once an individual has been disabled for 90 days, the average length of disability is four years.4

*Includes poisoning
1 EBRI and Greenwald, 2014 Health and Voluntary Workplace Benefits Survey (2014).
2 Ruth Helman et. al, “2013 Retirement Confidence Survey: Perceived Savings Needs Outpace Reality for Many,” EBRI Issue Brief (no. 384, 2013).
3Bankrate, “June 2014 Financial Security Index Charts”
4 Society of Actuaries, Group Long-term Disability Experience Table (2012).

ABOUT UNUM

Unum is a leading provider of financial protection benefits through the workplace. The disability insurance leader in the U.S. for 38 years, Unum’s portfolio of financial protection products also includes life, accident and critical illness, which help protect millions of working people and their families in the event of an illness or injury. In 2014, Unum paid $5.6 billion in benefits to more than 525,000 individuals and their families.

For more information visit us at www.unum.com or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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