The Hartford’s annual consumer survey reports that 60% of full-time employees have someone else relying on their paycheck, be it a spouse, children, aging parents, or some other kind of financial dependent, emphasizing the need for income protection.

In addition, consumers are likely to turn to their spouses, co-workers and parents for help with benefits decisions – in part because those decisions can affect them, too, and in part because those are the people to whom they most relate. So the network of those affected by benefits decisions is also the network that helps make them.

“There’s a fundamental shift in our industry to voluntary benefits that puts the purchase in the hands of employees,” says Mike Fish, vice president of the Hartford’s voluntary benefits.

The company is launching a push toward more user-generated content so that consumers can share their stories about life and disability insurance. “We view the addition of customers’ stories to our websites as a valuable part of our educational efforts. We believe that employees will better understand the value of insurance benefits after hearing directly from customers how the coverage helped them,” Fish says.

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