Canadians Unprepared for Disabilities

By Andrew Rickard | January 22 2015 08:39AM

Three quarters of Canadians say there would be “serious financial implications” for their families if they were to become disabled and unable to work for three months.

In a survey conducted for RBC Insurance, 76% of respondents said they would have trouble managing debts or saving for retirement if they had to leave work for more than three months because of a disability.

However, only 27% of those surveyed said they have discussed the potential financial consequences of a disability with their families, and just 16% have individual disability insurance coverage.

As for how they would pay basic expenses if they could not work, 34% said they would dip into their personal savings, 29% would rely on their spouse or partner's income, 19% would count on government support, 16% would cash in investments, and 15% don't know what they would do.

"Industry research shows that 26% of Canadians say they could not pull together $2,000 over the next month if an emergency expense arose; and more than half of Canadians believe they would find themselves in financial difficulty if their pay was delayed by even a week," comments Mark Hardy, senior manager of life and living benefits at RBC Insurance. "These findings emphasize the need for Canadians to ensure that they have the appropriate level of coverage in case of a long term disability."