Every employee has different financial responsibilities in life. It could include having student debt, a mortgage, or children. If you're fortunate enough to be given life insurance coverage from your employer, you may think you don't need more life insurance, and the matter is settled.
While employer-provided life insurance is a nice perk, it's typically a one-size-fits-all approach that might not sufficiently cover your specific needs. In this article, we'll explore the benefits, potential gaps, and limitations in employer-provided life insurance policies and how to ensure you get the coverage you need.
Benefits of An Employer-Offered Life Insurance
Offering life insurance as part of the employee benefits package demonstrates a genuine concern for the welfare of employees and their families. It reflects the company's commitment to providing valuable support beyond the workplace.
Here are some of the significant benefits that employer-provided life insurance offers:
Early Protection: For those who are just starting their careers, life insurance is probably the last thing on your priority list. Plus, you might not have the money needed for it. Employer-provided life insurance can give you some financial security for your dependents.
Immediate Eligibility: Employer-provided life insurance comes without background checks and medical examinations, meaning you can secure protection for your loved ones from day one of your employment.
Savings: Since employers generally pay for all company life insurance premiums, you can save your money and use it for other essential things.
Added Coverage: If your needs change, you can increase your coverage. That means having more protection based on your salary.
Enhanced Protection with Riders: Riders or optional add-ons can be instrumental in safeguarding your family's financial well-being in unforeseen circumstances. They can cover critical accidents, illnesses, or if you can't work anymore.
The life insurance your employer offers you is a good start. However, life can be full of surprises; sometimes, those blindsides can surpass what this insurance covers. Here are some of its potential gaps and limitations.
Not Enough Coverage
Generally, employers provide about $50k to $100k worth of coverage or a year's salary. Sure, this range is reasonable enough. However, this amount may not stretch far if you have significant financial responsibilities or dependents primarily relying on your income. Experts suggest getting life insurance coverage worth at least ten times your salary.
You'll Lose Your Coverage if You Lose Your Job
If you face unexpected job loss or switch jobs, the coverage provided by your employer may disappear along with it. This loss of coverage can leave you and your dependents vulnerable, especially when financial stability is crucial.
If Your Health Declines, Getting Coverage Is More Tricky
A medical examination is a standard part of applying for most private life insurance policies. If employer-provided life insurance is your only coverage, and you suffer a health problem that forces you to leave your job, you can lose your coverage altogether. At that moment, it might be too late to buy an affordable policy if you can obtain one at all.
Minimal or No Coverage for Your Spouse
Your employer-provided life insurance policy might not provide coverage for your spouse. Even if it does provide coverage for your wife/husband, the protection may be limited. If something happens to your spouse, there may be insufficient financial support to cover expenses or provide for your family's needs.
No Cash Value
Employer-provided life insurance is generally term insurance, meaning it's designed to cover you for a specific period and doesn't accumulate cash value over time. It contrasts with private policies that build any cash value you can use or borrow against.
Get the Coverage You Need with Supplemental Life Insurance
Supplemental life insurance adds a layer of protection to ensure you and your loved ones have comprehensive coverage. This type of insurance allows you to customize your policy to suit your circumstances and financial responsibilities better.
Generally, your employer may offer supplemental life insurance as an add-on. Here's the catch: your employers won't pay the premiums but you. If you choose to get this optional benefit through your employer, your options will depend on your employer's offer.
It includes what type of coverage is available, how much coverage you can purchase, and whether a medical examination is necessary.
On the other hand, you can shop for a private individual policy for more coverage. With the power of the internet, you can do a life insurance plan comparison without leaving your home. You can easily explore various options from different insurance providers, allowing you to choose a policy that best aligns with your budget and specific needs.
A considerable or decent amount of life insurance is one that'll provide a death benefit that can safeguard your loved ones from financial struggle and an amount that you can afford. While employer-provided life insurance may offer a good starting point, it's essential to recognize its limitations. Understanding these gaps can empower you to take proactive steps toward securing the right level of protection for your family.