FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MARK YOU CALENDARS: DISABILITY INSURANCE AWARENESS MONTH BEGINS ON MAY 1
Second Awareness Campaign from LIFE Brings Industry Together to Encourage Americans
to Focus on their Disability Insurance Needs
Washington, D.C. – April 24, 2007 – The organization that made life insurance hard to miss in the fall, brings disability insurance top of mind this spring. The nonprofit Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education (LIFE) is putting industry professionals on notice: Get ready to see your clients and prospects because Disability Insurance Awareness Month begins May 1.
Since 2004, LIFE has led the successful effort to educate millions of Americans about life insurance during Life Insurance Awareness Month in September. This year the organization aims to do the same with DIAM, to provide a focal point for the industry to come together to communicate to the public about the importance of disability insurance.
“Becoming disabled and not being able to work is one of the greatest financial risks people face, yet disability insurance continues to be one of the most overlooked and misunderstood types of insurance today,” said David F. Woods, CLU, ChFC, president of the LIFE Foundation. “Using the widely acclaimed LIAM campaign as our model, DIAM will be an opportunity for the industry to band together in support of an equally important cause.”
LIFE’s DIAM Plans
In addition to coordinating the industry-wide DIAM campaign, LIFE will spearhead the awareness-building effort in May through a variety of activities including:
Kickoff press release – On May 1, 2007, LIFE will issue a press release that highlights the findings of a White Paper it commissioned from the global consulting firm Milliman, Inc. The study examines changes that have occurred over the past several decades in the prevalence of disabilities, the average duration of disabilities and the probabilities of becoming disabled.
Satellite media tour – On May 7, 2007, LIFE will conduct a satellite media tour with inspirational speaker and author, Mike Nolte, who in 2003 suffered third-degree burns when his parked car was hit from behind by a truck and exploded. Mike credits disability insurance with enabling him to recover from his life-threatening injuries and will share his story with television and radio stations around the country to motivate more Americans to take action and assess their coverage needs.
Radio media tour – LIFE’s president David F. Woods will talk about disability risk and the need for disability income protection via a national radio media tour on May 29, 2007.
Public Service Announcements – LIFE will distribute a series of audio PSAs to thousands of radio stations across the country that feature commentary from LIFE’s president David F. Woods as well as a woman whose financial well-being was safeguarded during a health crisis by disability insurance coverage she had through work and on her own.
Advertising – The May 21, 2007 issue of Newsweek magazine will feature LIFE’s first-ever consumer print ad that focuses on the need for disability income protection.
LIFE website and blog – Information about disability risk and disability insurance will be highlighted on LIFE’s website and blog throughout the month of May.
e-greeting cards – LIFE will offer a suite of electronic greeting cards, designed to give insurance professionals a new, cost-free way to communicate with people in their communities during DIAM and throughout the year.
Producer webinar – On May 10, 2007, LIFE and the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) will jointly host a disability insurance web conference for MDRT members. Brian Ashe, CLU, past chairman of LIFE and past president of MDRT, will emcee the conference, which will feature top producers sharing insights on how to connect with both individual and employer clients during DIAM.
Companies Get Behind DIAM Too
With DIAM fast approaching, companies and associations are also gearing up to take advantage of DIAM. Companies are planning a variety of activities to support the May campaign including hard copy and electronic communications to both individual and employer clients, producer marketing kits, producer incentive programs, trade and consumer advertising, outreach to the consumer news media, DIAM content on Internet and Intranet sites, and much more.
The list of official DIAM participants includes such leading companies as the Principal Financial Group, Illinois Mutual Life Insurance Company, MassMutual Financial Group, The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, Berkshire Life Insurance Company of America, CIGNA, Union Central Life Insurance Company, The Hartford, Colonial Supplemental Insurance, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, The Prudential Insurance Company of America, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, Anthem Life, Greater Georgia Life, UniCare Life & Health, Assurant Employee Benefits and American Fidelity Assurance Company, American Public Life Insurance Company. Other industry organizations supporting DIAM include the Council for Disability Awareness, America’s Health Insurance Plans, JHA, the Association of Health Insurance Advisors, LIMRA International, the International DI Society, Petersen International Underwriters, Integrity Services and Solutions, Disability RMS, and Custom Disability Solutions.
“Disability Insurance Awareness Month is a great way to promote awareness about the importance of disability insurance to consumers and agents,” said Mike McCord, chairman & president of Illinois Mutual, one of DIAM’s earliest and most enthusiastic backers.
"Many Americans aren’t protecting their most valuable asset – their ability to work and earn an income,” said Jerry Patterson, vice president of marketing for the Principal Financial Group. “Disability Insurance Awareness Month is a great reminder of the importance of ongoing evaluation of disability insurance needs as part of an overall financial plan," added Patterson.
LIFE urges all companies and associations that play a role in the disability insurance business to participate in Disability Insurance Awareness Month. Organizations interested in learning more about the campaign, resources available and information on how they can get involved are encouraged to visit www.life-line.org/diam. Companies and other industry groups do not need to be financial supporters of LIFE to participate in DIAM.
About Disability Insurance Awareness Month
Disability Insurance Awareness Month (DIAM) was created to get American workers to think more about the need to protect their greatest asset – their ability to earn an income. Held in May, DIAM is an industry-wide effort that is coordinated by the nonprofit Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education (LIFE).
The Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education (LIFE) was founded in 1994 in response to the public’s growing need for information and education on life, health, disability and long-term care insurance. LIFE also seeks to remind people of the important role insurance professionals perform in helping families, businesses and individuals find the insurance products that best fit their needs. To learn more about these topics, please visit www.life-line.org.