The number of Canadians with disability coverage through workplace benefits has declined significantly since 2015, according to the findings of a recent RBC Insurance survey announced April 24.
The survey found that 48 per cent of employed Canadians have disability coverage through their workplace benefits, down from 57 per cent in 2015. Of those who are not covered through their workplace, 84 per cent said they have not bought coverage for themselves.
Take steps to obtain protection
"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."
Sixty-eight per cent of working Canadians acknowledge the possibility of serious financial implications for them and their family if they were to become disabled and unable to work for three months, says RBC Insurance.
Replace lost income
"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.
For those without coverage, the survey found that barriers to access include: their workplace doesn't offer group benefits or disability insurance (35 per cent); they work part-time or on contract and aren't eligible for benefits (25 per cent); they're self-employed or freelance (22 per cent).
Cost is also a key barrier with 26 per cent of working Canadians without disability coverage feeling they cannot afford it.
"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.