The Hartford Financial Services Group has launched a new disability insurance product designed to help small business owners.

The insurer said that the new group disability product will allow owners of smaller businesses to offer income protection as an employee-funded benefit. The insurance will be offered to businesses on a stand-alone basis, meaning the coverage does not need to be purchased in conjunction with the insurer’s long-term disability insurance.

According to the The Hartford, the new disability insurance product is available to employers with 50 to 999 employees and is beneficial for business owners who want to provide the additional benefit without increasing their costs, or those who are paying for the benefit but need to shift this cost to their employees.

The Hartford’s Group Benefits executive vice president Ron Gendreau said that the company’s national survey shows employees at small businesses are not as satisfied with their benefits as workers at mid-size and large companies. The poll also found these employees were less likely than their peers at larger companies to be offered life and disability insurance benefits.

"We hope to raise awareness among business owners and their teams about the role that disability insurance plays in helping them grow and achieve success. We also intend to work with our brokers and agents to ensure hassle-free implementation for business owners who wish to add this coverage," Gendreau said.