Although one in three Canadians will be out of work for more than 90 days and 72% say they would face serious financial difficulties as a result, most have not talked about how they would deal with the situation.
A survey conducted by RBC Insurance reveals that 67% of Canadian workers have not discussed how they would make ends meet without regular income. Asked why they have not broached the subject, the two most common answers given by respondents was that they did not know how to start the conversation (cited by 20%) and that it made them feel uncomfortable (cited by 19%).
Indeed, many said they would only be open to the conversation if they or someone they know were actually confronted with disability; 34% say they would talk about it if their own financial situation worsened and 23% would discuss the topic if they personally knew someone who had missed work because of a disability.
RBC also notes that 43% of those surveyed do not have disability insurance through their employer, and suggests that workers need to confirm what kind of coverage they have and then take steps to obtain protection.
"Working Canadians cannot ignore the real risk that they may be off work with a disability sometime in their working careers," says Mark Hardy, senior manager, Life and Living Benefits, RBC Insurance. "There is a mistaken perception that a disability 'will never happen to me,' but becoming disabled is a real possibility during our careers. Disability can occur suddenly, and beyond the serious financial implications, there's also the emotional toll to consider, which further underscores the need for conversation."