Group Disability Insurance protects your employees from financial risk in the event of an employee disability.
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You might be an architectural firm that is trying to recruit a star CAD drafter away from a competitor. You might be a civil engineering firm that loses a veteran account manager to an injury, which leaves many of your key clients without a trusted partner. If you are not prepared, situations like these would mean not only a significant financial burden for the affected employee in the form of medical bills and lost wages, but also a potential loss for your business.
What Is Group Disability Insurance for building design professionals?
Group Disability Insurance provides protection for an employee’s income should an employee become disabled due to an illness or injury. When an employee is unable to come to work due to a disability, he or she can suffer significant financial burden. Group Disability Insurance will provide employees part of their wages until they can hopefully return to work.
Group Disability Insurance, as part of a compelling benefits package, can also provide your company a means of attracting top talent. Moreover, it can help to give peace of mind to your employees and build loyalty and trust, and it may contribute to boosting employee retention and decreasing turnover.
If you are a small business, Group Disability Insurance may be a vital insurance policy to carry. In a competitive hiring environment, small businesses must consider how they can attract and retain talent that could otherwise be drawn to larger companies with deeper pockets. A top-notch benefits package that includes Group Disability Insurance can go a long way and help boost your business’s bottom line.
Here are a few examples in which Group Disability Insurance could help shoulder the financial burden for a disabled employee who needs time away from work:
- Your lead interior designer is injured unexpectedly while on vacation and cannot continue his normal working hours.
- One of your engineers must go on maternity leave after the birth of her baby.
- Your lead architect develops a neuromuscular disease and is unable to perform the detailed work required for his job.
Why do I need Group Disability Insurance for building design professionals?
Did you know that 50 percent of Americans between the ages of 35 to 65 will become disabled for 90 days or more? That means a good number of workers will suffer a temporary or permanent disability in the course of their careers. Business owners must keep this common risk in mind when planning for the long-term success of their company. Employers should consider providing their employees with financial protection in the face of disability or injury and building a benefits package that can attract outside talent.
Your employees will likely want you to offer disability insurance to provide them some measure of financial stability in the event of an injury or illness that disables them. Group Disability Insurance not only protects employees but also gives your business the financial ability to retain a key employee even though the disabled employee may be temporarily unable to meaningfully contribute to the company’s bottom line. It’s a win-win situation for both parties.
- Your chief engineer is unexpectedly injured at home, leading to a six-month disability. He is the primary earner in the family, and his wife and four children depend on him for their household income. Fortunately, Group Disability Insurance covers his lost income for the six months, which gives the family financial stability even after the accident. Moreover, your company is able to retain a critical employee, who returns to full productivity after his recovery.
By offering Group Disability Insurance, you can minimize your company’s financial risk while at the same time attracting great talent with this benefit. When deciding which company to join, talented professionals are looking closely at the employee benefits packages offered by competing firms.
Furthermore, providing Group Disability Insurance may be mandated by law in certain states. Some states require employers to provide temporary disability insurance to their employees.
What is the difference between Group and Individual Disability Insurance?
Group Disability Insurance is usually offered by an employer to their employees. Group Disability Insurance sponsored by an employer will cover all employees, regardless of pre-existing health conditions. However, once an employee leaves the company, the coverage stops.
Individual disability insurance has no connection with the employer. The insurance company will underwrite the insurance policy for the individual based on a calculation of risk unique to that individual. Individual disability insurance usually has higher premiums than Group Disability Insurance but provides more extensive coverage. Many employees will supplement their employer-sponsored Group Disability Insurance with an individual policy.
What does Group Disability Insurance cover for building design professionals?
If an employee becomes disabled, Group Disability Insurance will pay him or her with a percentage of their pre-disability income for a defined period of time. The percentage varies, but employers will usually purchase Group Disability Insurance that covers 50 to 60 percent of income.
If the employee has other sources of income triggered by the disability, such as workers’ compensation or Social Security disability insurance (SSDI), Group Disability Insurance will take this into account and reduce payments accordingly.
- One of your architects is injured while on vacation and goes on disability for one year. His regular yearly income is $120,000, but he will also receive $20,000 of Social Security disability insurance. Your company’s Group Disability Insurance will pay 50% of his regular income minus the SSDI: ($120,000 – 20,000) x 0.5 = $50,000.
What types of Group Disability Insurance are there for building design professionals?
As an employer, there are two types of Group Disability Insurance in the market based on the period of time covered:
Short-Term Disability Insurance
Short-Term Disability (STD) usually begins shortly after the disabling illness or injury and lasts for less than a year. Your employee may have to wait a few business days before receiving payments.
Common life events covered by Short-Term Disability include:
- An unexpected, disabling injury
- Pregnancy or birth of a child
- Prolonged sickness
- Post-operative recovery after surgery
Long-Term Disability Insurance
Long-Term Disability (LTD) usually kicks in once STD benefits end, generally anywhere from 90 to 180 days after the disabling illness or injury takes place. Long-Term Disability will provide a portion of your employee’s income if the disability leaves the employee unable to work for a longer period of time. LTD can provide coverage until the employee can return to work or is no longer disabled. In some cases of permanent disability, coverage won’t end until the employee reaches retirement age.
Common life events covered by Long-Term Disability Insurance may include:
- Chronic illness
- Mental illness or mental disorder
- Degenerative diseases without a cure
- Back pain
- Accidental injuries that have a prolonged effect
- Cardiovascular disease
- Circulatory diseases
- Heart attack
Do I still need Group Disability Insurance if I provide workers’ compensation?
Yes, it’s important to consider Group Disability Insurance even if you already offer worker’s comp. Worker’s compensation will cover workers who are injured or become ill because of the work they do for your company, providing for both medical expenses and lost wages. For debilitating injuries or illnesses that do not occur in your workplace, worker’s compensation will not cover any percentage of your employee’s lost wages—but Group Disability Insurance will.
- One of your engineers is commuting to work and gets into an accident on the freeway. His back injuries render him unable to work for three months. Worker’s compensation excludes the commute to work in its coverage, but your Group Disability Insurance will cover part of his lost income.
As the owner of a building design business, offering Group Disability Insurance to your employees will safeguard their financial stability even in the event of an illness or injury that renders them unable to work. At the same time, this insurance coverage, as part of a robust benefits package, gives business owners the ability to attract and retain key talent. When you are considering the financial benefits of offering a comprehensive benefits package, note that Group Disability Insurance can give current and potential employees peace of mind and an important safety net.