In a December survey of nearly 1,500 U.S. workers, 86% say it is important to be able to customize all their benefits to fit their individual lifestyle. Seventy-six percent of those surveyed by TNS Omnibus say it’s important for them to design their own disability insurance instead of one-size-fits-all coverage chosen by an employer, and 82% claim they would likely sign up for a disability plan that allows them the chance to choose the size of their payments.

Women and younger workers were particularly likely to favor customizable benefits. Only half of men, but 56% of women, agree that it is extremely or very important to be able to customize benefit choices to fit their lifestyle. Americans in their 40s are more likely to value the option than older worker, and millenials are more likely than any older group to say personalization is important.

“Consumers today can customize everything — from music and TV to clothing and cars, and our recent survey shows they want to customize their benefits, too,” says Mike Fish, vice president of voluntary benefits with the Hartford.

To that end, the carrier’s new DisabilityFlex product aims to allow employees to create their own income protection with choices on:

  • Benefit amount — how much they receive weekly, from $200 to $1,000.
  • Start date — how quickly payments begin, from 8 to 30 days after the non-work-related injury or illness that is covered by the plan.
  • Duration — how long payments run, up to 104 weeks.

DisabilityFLEX is fully funded by employees and is currently available to companies with 50 to 999 people. The Hartford says it will offer the coverage to companies with 1,000 or more employees starting in May.
Look for more about the customization in voluntary benefits in the March 1 issue of EBN.

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