When employees were asked to rate benefits in terms of their importance, regardless of whether or not they were available through their employer, financial protection benefits saw some of the highest gains. Findings show:
• On a scale of importance from one (not at all important) to 10 (extremely important), 53% of employees rated long-term disability insurance an eight or higher, a seven-point increase from 2008;
• Half of employees rated short term disability insurance an eight or higher, up from 45% in 2008; and
• Fifty percent of employees gave an eight or higher rating to accidental injury coverage, a 10-point increase from 2008.
The study also finds employees 45 and older consider long-term disability more important than life insurance as a benefit.
Although employees rate the importance of benefits higher, participation has remained relatively constant since 2008 across benefits.
Unum’s research also shows employees have had less access to printed benefits education materials and in-person benefits education since 2008, and that some employees are not provided enough time to make informed choices.
The 2010 survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Unum from December 6-8, 2010, among 1,712 adults ages 18 and older who are employed full- or part-time.