Signing Up Young Teachers for Disability Insurance

Can invincible 20-somethings see the value of paying for disability insurance?

In California, the retirement system for teachers includes long-term disability insurance that starts payments after a year of missed work, but shorter-term missed work due to illness or injury is not covered. The California Teachers Association (CTA) has long offered its members a short-term disability policy through The Standard to fill that gap. This program has been highly popular with members, but enrollment among younger educators was lagging, and CTA asked EWR to help improve marketing to this group.

A series of focus groups and a survey among Millennial members of CTA revealed a great deal about this audience’s awareness and perceptions about disability insurance. We were able to identify:

  • The themes and values most successful at motivating young educators to pay for disability insurance;
  • Key pieces of information that communicate the urgency of purchasing now (despite youth and generally good health); and
  • Strategies for conducting and targeting outreach.

Our focus groups helped CTA and The Standard develop and refine a direct mail campaign, making sure that the images resonated with the target audience and communicated the right message; that the language used was easily understood; and that key information was prominent in the materials.  When the mail campaign we helped create launched in 2015, it produced a strong increase in enrollment among young educators.

We have been working with Emma White for more than eight years on various market research projects both quantitative and qualitative. Emma has helped our organization develop successful strategic marketing and communication campaigns for our service organization.  Emma is a partner in the success of our work! She genuinely cares about our organization and offers help well after the research project has concluded.

– Carole Anne Luckenbach, CTA


Audience research, targeted messaging, & strategic consulting.