According to a new study commissioned by the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), even families who appear financially stable are not always protected against risk. Nearly half of Americans say they could only maintain their existing lifestyle for 3 months or less if they were to lose their primary source of income and even fewer have insurance products like life insurance and long-term disability insurance to protect against risks.
The study found 61% of families would need to assume debt if they lost the primary wage earner in their family while 38% would have at least $10,000 in debt. Just half of Americans have life insurance. Among adults with dependents, 47% say their families would run out of money without their income in less than two years if they were to die.
One key area of financial planning that is overwhelmingly overlooked is the risk of disability or illness. 1 out of every 20 Americans are unable to work due to an illness or disability, but just 20% of Americans have short-term or long-term disability insurance. Only 39% of those who do have coverage think it would be enough to cover their care and medical expenses if they are seriously hurt, disabled, or sick.
Many Americans with long-term disability (LTD) insurance receive it through their employer, although LTD insurance can also be purchased as a private policy. An individual policy may have looser definitions of “disabled,” greater coverage, and flexibility, although these policies are usually more expensive than group coverage.