Aflac, the leading provider of voluntary insurance at the worksite in the United States, announced enhancements to its Short-Term Disability policy.

Designed especially for small-business owners and their employees, Aflac Short-Term Disability offers new features that improve customer experience and reward customer loyalty.

"Unfortunately, accidents and illnesses may result in unpaid time off of work. For so many Americans, this can mean the loss of a paycheck and unplanned out-of-pocket expenses that can have an enormous impact on employees’ financial stability and lifestyle," said Keith Pellerin, vice president of Product Management and Innovation at Aflac.

"With Aflac Short-Term Disability insurance, if a policyholder is unable to work, they’ll have the cash needed to pay living expenses, giving them the ability to focus on recovery and not financial worry."

The Social Security Administration estimates that 1 in 4 20-year-olds in the workforce today will suffer a disability before they retire, and a LIMRA study found that 6 in 10 Generation X and Y employees said an income loss due to illness or injury would have a significant financial impact on their households.

Understanding that the loss of even one paycheck can be financially troubling for many Americans, Aflac developed two new features for its Short-Term Disability policies – guaranteed-issue conversion and the Aflac Value Rider.

Aflac Value Rider: This enhancement uses the unique concept of paying a cash benefit to Aflac Short-Term Disability policyholders who have the Aflac Value Rider on their policy. Under the Rider’s terms, an Aflac Short-Term Disability policyholder with the Aflac Value Rider on his or her policy would be paid up to $1,000, less any claims paid for every consecutive five-year term that a claim is not filed on the policy.

Once this time frame has passed and the policyholder is paid, the five-year process repeats itself for up to five consecutive terms.

Guaranteed-issue conversion: For some time, Aflac has offered the convenience of guaranteed issue to new applicants of Aflac Short-Term Disability insurance. However, underwriting was still required for those who wished to upgrade or add units of coverage to their Aflac Short-Term Disability policy.

The new guaranteed-issue conversion enhancement will make this process easier for policyholders.

When a policyholder gets sick or hurt, Aflac pays cash benefits fast. For six decades, Aflac insurance policies have given policyholders the opportunity to focus on recovery, not financial stress.