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CDA 2011 Advisor Disability Awareness Study
The Disability Divide: Advisor Study

The gap between consumers' attitudes - and advisors' perceptions of those attitudes - about disabilities and their potential threat to their financial security.

Beliefs About Disability

Consumers believe that anyone can become disabled at any time.
Advisors predict that consumers view disability as an unlikely occurrence.

In fact, eight out of 10 consumers think that a disability "could happen to anyone at any time."

  • Only 5% of the survey's respondents said "disability happens infrequently."
  • Possibly because most respondents viewed disability as caused by an accident or injury rather than an illness, only 6% think that they can do anything to avoid it, such as living a healthy lifestyle.
  • What's interesting to note, is that even though consumers think most disabilities are accidental, they still don't seem to believe that they can be avoided by simply being more careful.
  • Consumers seem to deny the possibility that an illness might interrupt their income.

Advisors significantly underestimate how many consumers think a disability can strike at any age.

  • Nearly half of advisors predicted that consumers would agree that "disabilities happen infrequently." That's nearly 10 times more than the percentage of consumers who actually responded this way.
  • Advisors did accurately predict that consumers wouldn't think that they could do much to prevent disability, like living healthier or being more careful.
Advisors may be anticipating what objections they will hear from some consumers. But this "disability divide" seems to indicate that more consumers may be receptive to income protection than advisors assume, or that the objections consumers give to advisors may not represent their true feelings.

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