Only about half of Gen Y workers—those ages 21-31—have any income protected with disability insurance despite the fact most live paycheck to paycheck, according to MetLife research collected from the company's 10th annual study of employee benefits trends.
“A disability is not selective—it can happen to anyone, at any time. If you have people who depend on your income—or if you depend on your income—you need disability insurance,” says Clea Barth, vice president, individual disability insurance for MetLife.
MetLife research finds that Gen Y workers are shouldering significant familial responsibilities: 55 percent say they are married or in a domestic partnership, 46 percent are parents of young children, and 13 percent provide care for an elderly parent or relative.
“These obligations underscore the importance of understanding how disability insurance can help build a financial safety net so that essential expenses could still be paid if the breadwinner is unable to work due to illness or injury,” Barth says.
About one in four of today’s 20-year-olds will become disabled before reaching age 67, according to a 2012 Social Security Fact Sheet.
Another problem is the fact that those with disability insurance aren’t sure about their coverage level. MetLife says 40 percent of those with the insurance aren’t sure what percentage of their income is covered.