Disability insurance plays a key role in providing financial security for women on maternity leave and their families, according to recent study of working mothers.
The survey, conducted by Liberty Mutual, polled some 550 working mothers and found that 60 percent said they would face financial difficulty within two months if they were unable to work and had no other income.
“Disability insurance is an important benefit for all employees, but especially for working mothers. These resources can help employers and mothers plan for a well-organized absence and a welcome return.”
However, the survey documents a gap between the number of working mothers who need disability insurance and the relatively few actually covered. Fifty-seven percent of the women surveyed had taken time off work for maternity leave, yet 44 percent did not have any disability insurance. Of those women with disability insurance, 65 percent said they could not have covered household expenses during maternity leave without coverage, while 56 percent said they would not have stayed out as long without coverage.
“Being a new mother and trying to balance work and home life is not easy,” says Nazneen Vimadalal, vice president, Marketing and Product, for the area of Liberty Mutual that provides group benefits. “Having disability insurance provides financial security and allows a mother to focus on her child, her recovery, and on returning to work.”
Closing the coverage gap is critical. And employers can play a key role in this by offering disability insurance as part of their benefits programs. In fact, among those surveyed who had disability insurance, 90 percent received coverage through their employers.
“In this economic climate, not having disability insurance can put families at financial risk,” notes Vimadalal. “Disability insurance is an important benefit for all employees, but especially for working mothers. These resources can help employers and mothers plan for a well-organized absence and a welcome return.”
Liberty Mutual surveyed 550 working mothers between the ages of 25 and 54 through Zoomerang, an online research tool. All survey participants worked full or part time—76 percent and 24 percent, respectively—and cared for at least one child under the age of 18. The vast majority participants were married or had domestic partners (78 percent), while 15 percent were widowed or divorced, and 7 percent were single. Liberty Mutual conducted the survey in mid-April of this year.
For additional information on Liberty Mutual’s disability insurance, visit www.libertymutualgroup.com/GroupDI.
Source: Liberty Mutual Group
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