Three-Quarters (76%) of Working Canadians State Serious Financial Implications For Family if Disability Keeps Them Out of Work for 3 Months

Only a Quarter (27%) Have Discussed Financial Implications of Disability with Family Members

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Toronto, ON – According to a recent survey conducted by Ipsos Reid on behalf of RBC Insurance, most Canadian workers would suffer severe financial hardship if they were forced out of work with a disability.

Three-in-four (76%) Canadian workers ‘agree’ (39% strongly/36% somewhat) that should they become disabled and unable to work for three months there would be serious financial implications on themselves and their family (such as going into debt or having their retirement impacted). Just one in four (24%) workers ‘disagree’ (6% strongly/19% somewhat) with this sentiment.

Despite the concern, only about a quarter (27%) of employed Canadians have discussed with family members how they would be able to handle the financial impact of a period where they could not work for three months or more, compared to three-quarters (73%) who indicate that they have not had such discussions.

This figure does not even increase substantially among workers who indicate that they’ve taken time off in the past because of a disability (33%).

While Fewer are Talking About It, Even Fewer Have Coverage Outside of Work…

Fewer than one in five (16%) Canadian workers say they’ve purchased individual disability insurance that is outside any workplace coverage they may have, compared with over four in five (84%) who state that they’ve made no such purchases.

Among Canadian workers who have not purchased an individual policy, one in ten (10%) don’t know what disability coverage is, while a quarter (23%) have not thought about their chances of becoming disabled. Other reasons for not making this purchase outside of workplace coverage include:

  • Already being covered by employer (30%)
  • Have other financial priorities (23%)
  • Will dip into savings (7%)
  • Too expensive/not affordable (2%)
  • Some other reason (5%)

If put in a situation where they were unable to work for three months or more, some of the top ways of paying for essential living expenses such as food and rent/mortgage include personal savings (34%), spouse or partner’s income (29%), government support (19%), cashing in investments (16%), and credit cards/lines of credit (16%). One in five (15%) indicate that they don’t know how they would pay for these expenses.

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted between July 14th to 18th, 2014 on behalf of RBC Insurance. For this survey, a sample of 1,000 working Canadians from Ipsos' Canadian online panel was interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/ - 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all working Canadian adults been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Sean Simpson
Vice President
Ipsos Reid
Public Affairs
(416) 572-4474

About Ipsos Reid

Ipsos Reid is Canada's market intelligence leader, the country's leading provider of public opinion research, and research partner for loyalty and forecasting and modelling insights. With operations in eight cities, Ipsos Reid employs more than 600 research professionals and support staff in Canada. The company has the biggest network of telephone call centres in the country, as well as the largest pre-recruited household and online panels. Ipsos Reid's marketing research and public affairs practices offer the premier suite of research vehicles in Canada, all of which provide clients with actionable and relevant information. Staffed with seasoned research consultants with extensive industry-specific backgrounds, Ipsos Reid offers syndicated information or custom solutions across key sectors of the Canadian economy, including consumer packaged goods, financial services, automotive, retail, and technology & telecommunications. Ipsos Reid is an Ipsos company, a leading global survey-based market research group.

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About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. Ipsos ranks third in the global research industry.

With offices in 86 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across six research specializations: advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, public affairs research, and survey management.

Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,712,4 million (2 274 M$) in 2013.

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Three-Quarters (76%) of Working Canadians State Serious Financial Implications For Family if Disability Keeps Them Out of Work for 3 Months


Sean Simpson
Vice President, Canada
Ipsos Public Affairs