Many employees lack an income replacement plan should they be unable to work for a prolonged period of time — creating a real opportunity for advisers in the employee benefits space. In 2014, fewer than 40% of employees in the private sector had short-term disability coverage, and just 33% had long-term disability insurance, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The number of employees with gap coverage is staggeringly lower. Fewer than one in 10 bought additional disability coverage or supplemental products, such as critical illness, according to new research from Cigna, which surveyed nearly 1,400 part-time and full-time employees ages 18 and older.

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