Thanks in part to social distancing – and perhaps an uptick in Pinterest and Instagram use – many Americans are taking on do-it-yourself work. According to a February 2021 survey from the Farnsworth Group and the Home Improvement Research Institute, 62% of homeowners started a DIY home maintenance, replacement, repair or remodeling project in the last month, with 75% saying they are preparing to soon begin one.1 The more time people spend at home, the likelier they are to want to take on some task, large or small.
Although people should feel safe at home, injuries can happen anywhere and could have significant financial ramifications if warranting emergency care. According to latest data from the National Safety Council, 54% of preventable medically consulted injuries in the U.S. took place at home in 2019 — that’s more than 26 million people.2
Not only does this underscore the importance of proper safety precautions when completing DIY work, but with medical costs continuing to rise, it emphasizes the value of a strong benefits package.
Preparing for a wrench in your plan
At a time when people are investing financially in home upgrades, the last thing people need is another medical bill. In the U.S., 48% of employees say they can’t pay for an unexpected out-of-pocket expense of $1,000 or more without taking on debt, according to the 2020-2021 Aflac WorkForces Report.3
For business owners, who are busy with a variety of tasks, having a well-equipped benefits toolbox can help provide employees with added financial protection from the unexpected health expenses of injuries. Two helpful remedies are supplemental accident and hospital insurance plans, which can be offered at little to no cost to employers and help with expenses health insurance doesn’t cover.
Accident coverage can help with costs related to an injury such as emergency room treatment, ambulance transportation, follow-up visits and more. Some policies even include benefits for injuries sustained during sports activities, which may be important to parents as schools and community centers begin offering activities in the spring and summer. In addition to paying benefits for a covered hospital confinement, some options for hospital coverage can also help with the cost of surgeries as well as diagnostic tests and health screenings.
Don’t do it alone
Handling things solo may come naturally to business owners. However, managing a benefits plan without some help can get complicated fast.
A benefits consultant, agent or broker can connect an employer with the right insurance carrier for not only benefits, but also for access to digital tools for administration, enrollment, ongoing education and customer support. Partnering with a benefits professional means receiving expert advice and customer support — but it could also help save yourself and your business precious resources. By working with a benefits consultant, 76% of employers say they get more for their money and 70% say their company offers a better benefits package.3
An added bonus: When employees see their employer looking out for their needs – like providing access to supplemental insurance – research shows they are likely to be more satisfied with their benefits, and it even helps with employee retention.3
Put on the finishing touches
Employers have a lot on their plates right now, and upgrading a benefits plan may seem low on their to-do lists. However, with the help of a benefits professional, it is a workplace update that is good for employees, making it also good for the business.
Virgil Miller is president of Aflac’s Individual Benefits Division and executive vice president of Aflac U.S. He is responsible for leading the U.S. teams driving individual benefits, including the U.S. independent career sales agent distribution team, consumer markets, service and administration, analytics, quality assurance, business services and Communicorp, Aflac’s wholly owned marketing and printing solutions subsidiary.
1 “COVID-19 DIY Home Improvement Impact Tracker.” The Farnsworth Group and Home Improvement Research Institute. Accessed March 2021. https://www.thefarnsworthgroup.com/resources/weekly-covid-tracker-diy-results.
2 “All Injuries — Overview.” National Safety Council. Accessed March 2021. https://injuryfacts.nsc.org/all-injuries/overview.
3 The 2020-2021 Aflac WorkForces Report is the 10th annual Aflac employee benefits study examining benefits trends and attitudes. Conducted by Kantar on behalf of Aflac, the study captured responses from 2,000 employees and 1,200 employers across the United States in various industries. Learn more at Aflac.com/AWR.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not a solicitation for insurance. Aflac includes Aflac and/or Aflac New York.