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How much do employees actually understand about workplace insurance benefits and the likelihood of needing them?

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Industry Issues

Many employees choose not to enroll in voluntary insurance benefits when given the opportunity, claiming they “don’t need” the benefits or “don’t think they are worth the cost.” However, most are ill-prepared to cope with the financial consequences of a disability, serious illness, or unexpected death. Do employees recognize the risks they are taking? How well do they understand the benefits available to them? To answer these questions, LIMRA conducted an online survey of over 2,000 U.S. employees in December 2017.

Key Findings

Employees provided insight into:

  • Which benefits are most important to them?
  • Where do insurance benefits fall within their larger financial picture?
  • How prepared are employees to cope with a financial emergency?
  • Do they understand the basic features of life, disability, or critical illness insurance?
  • Do they understand the likelihood of needing these products?
  • What kinds of benefits communication would improve their understanding?

Chart: Reasons for Not Participating in Benefits

Related Resources

Employee Benefits: Why Don't People Participate?

Why don't people participate in benefits?

Don't Look Down: Employees' Understanding of Benefits and Risk

Employees that choose not to enroll in nonmedical benefits often claim that they “don’t need” the products. How prepared are employees to actually cope with a financial emergency?

The Inside Scoop on Workplace Benefits

LIMRA’s research shows only 81 percent of employers currently offer benefits to their employees, down from 88 percent in 2003.

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Meet the Project Director


For more information, please contact klandry@limra.com.