Would your clients cope financially with disability?

RBC report shows most Canadians do not have adequate provisions

Would your clients cope financially with disability?
Steve Randall

A rising number of Canadian workers are taking time off due to disability but most are not financially prepared.

A new survey from RBC Insurance found that 68% of working Canadians have some experience with taking time off work due to disability, but only 50% have disability coverage either through workplace benefits or personal insurance they've purchased.

The share with insurance coverage has dipped 5 percentage points since 2018 and that’s not because Canadians aren’t aware of the risk. Two thirds said that being forced to take 3 months off work would mean serious implications for them and their families.

"It's troublesome to see an inverse trend between the number of Canadians who need to take time off for a disability, and those who have the coverage in place – or the finances – to do so," says Maria Winslow, Senior Director, Life & Health, RBC Insurance. "With half of the working population without disability coverage, many Canadians are exposing themselves to financial risk."

Family support
Just 43% of respondents said they’d had a conversation with loved ones about the financial impact of not being able to work for 3 months or more.

While 92% believe that support from family and friends is critical when suffering or recovering from a disability, a similar share (91%) cited having proper financial assistance (91%) while workplace support completed the top 3 (87%).

"Being off of work for a disability can have serious consequences affecting one's financial situation, including having insufficient funds to cover regular living expenses such as your mortgage, bills and even groceries," explains Winslow. "It's important that Canadians talk with their family and take action so they are prepared for future financial implications of not being able to work."