You sit down with your new employer to discuss benefits, and they mention providing a low-cost or free life insurance policy. Great! You’re set, right? Don’t be so sure… Insurance provided through an employer group policy, especially life insurance, is likely not going to be sufficient for your needs and those of your dependents.
We’re human. If someone gives us something for free – or even cheaper than we expect – we jump at the chance to take it. This is completely understandable, but you shouldn’t let the “too good to be true” nature of employer-provided insurance blind you from seeing what you really might need coverage-wise. A life insurance plan provided through your employer likely amounts to only one or two times your salary. True, you may have the option to purchase additional coverage through your employer’s plan, but even this additional coverage might not be sufficient.
If you find yourself in between jobs, and you have lost your employer-provided life insurance, your dependents will be left vulnerable in the unthinkable case of your death. Just like other workplace benefits, employer-provided insurance is not portable. You could leave your job for a number of reasons – health issues, termination, retirement, or simply wishing to move on. Even taking a leave of absence or switching to a part-time schedule could affect your eligibility for benefits. To protect against dangerous gaps in your insurance coverage, the smart thing to do is to purchase your own individual life insurance policy.
Another factor to consider is your age and health status. If you are young and healthy, now is the best time to purchase life insurance in the individual market. Your premiums will likely be lower, and as you age your premiums may be higher, or it may be more difficult to qualify for coverage. Avoid potentially being declined in the future by securing the coverage you need now.
Opinions vary on how much life insurance the average person needs. Most experts recommend 10 times your salary. Some individuals may be able to get away with purchasing less, or even with sticking with or adding to their employer-provided coverage. That’s great! However, people with large numbers of dependents or significant debts will certainly need the most coverage they can afford. An independent insurance agent can assist you in determining how much life insurance you should have based on your own unique circumstances. Reach out today to get a quote from an agent with the experience to understand what you need.