It’s been 18 years since the unemployment rate fell below 4 percent. After six months of hovering right around 4 – 4.1 percent, the Labor Department announced the unemployment rate dropped to 3.9 percent in April. An important side note is that wages have not significantly risen. Economists consider full employment to be unemployment rates between 5.2 – 5.0 percent.
If you peel back the onion, it will reveal some hidden potential for disability income sales.
Despite the decline in the unemployment rate, the number of new jobs created in April was down. Baby boomers, historically driving many economic trends, are driving this development too. The unemployment rate dropped because fewer people were in the labor pool. Behind that is the retirement rate of baby boomers, 10,000 of whom are turning 65, every day. The trend of retiring boomers puts pressure an already tight labor market.
It is estimated currently there are 1.1 workers for every job opening; compared to 2009 when workers outnumbered jobs openings by 6.7 to 1. The employer response to the tight labor market is renewed interest in improving benefit packages, and that can be the impetus to add individual disability insurance to the offerings.
During first quarter investor calls, DI carriers cited increasing employer interest in adding disability insurance. Only 32 percent of private industry workers have long-term disability through the employer. That’s a wide-open market for an enterprising advisor talking to business about the ways to protect employees’ income when an illness or injury interferes with earning a living. Job growth is strong in the health care fields, more than 250,000 new jobs in 2018, up 37 percent. Manufacturing and construction two areas with solid new job growth, as are professional and business services.
During Disability Insurance Awareness Month, DI industry advocates are contributing to the conversation with consumers about the importance of disability insurance. Many make resources available at no cost to the insurance professional.
- ACLI (American Council of Life Insurers): many downloadable consumer information white papers, including Private Long-Term Disability Income Insurance.
- The Standard: social media posts for LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, designed to reach a specific demographic.
- org: Calculators, research, case studies, e-books and more.
- NAIFA (National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors) Twitter account is packed with statistics and motivating messages about the need for income protection.
- Independent agencies are talking about disability insurance on their websites. DIS can be a resource for consumer information materials to add to your website.
Just as the employment markets are heating up, so are disability insurance sales. Gen RE recently reported individual disability insurance sales rose 9.7 percent in 2017. A partnership with DIS can lead to similar sales growth within your DI practice.
Your DIS representative will help you identify markets and will support your marketing efforts with contracting, training and sales materials. Let’s make this year the best disability insurance sales year in history. Call DIS today.