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Every life insurance policy is different, this includes policies provided by employers. It is important to read over your coverage rules & regulations carefully, especially if you are trying to decide whether or not to purchase your own coverage. Things you will need to look for include:
- How much coverage is available
– How long you must be an employee before coverage kicks in
– If you have to contribute any money to the policy
– What type of coverage is available
– If you will continue to be covered once you retire form the company
These questions will help you better understand your employers life insurance coverage and if it will be sufficient for your needs.
Although you may be receiving life insurance through your employer, if you plan on a career change then you may need to find your own life insurance policy. Since employers usually carry group life insurance (where they are covering many people at once), they may have a special rate and plan set up by the life insurance company. This means that you would not be able to simply take over your own payments if you left the company.
If you are comfortable with the employers life insurance policy, review it carefully and find another policy that matches the protection benefits closely. If price is an issue, determine what is essential for your life insurance policy and find a policy that includes those needs at a reasonable cost.
There are two basic types of group life insurance that are often offered to employees, term life insurance and universal life insurance. The main difference between these two types of life insurance is that universal has the option of changing your premium payments and death benefit as your needs change. If you want to be covered under your employer's life insurance policy, but want the flexibility of deciding what you will pay what death benefits your beneficiaries will receive, then ask your employer if you can choose to take part in a universal group life insurance plan.
One thing to consider, when hearing that you can be covered by your employer's life insurance policy, is if you will have to pay in. Just like any other insurance offered by your employer, some may be free to you and some may require a co-payment. If the policy does require a co-payment from you, chances are that it will be much cheaper than you would pay on your own. However, you would also have more choices if you were to take out your own policy. Once you discover whether or not you will have to pay in to receive life insurance from your employer, you should then decide if taking out your own life insurance policy would be a better advantage to you.
Some very comprehensive employee benefit packages will not only give the employee life insurance coverage at low or no cost, but the employee's spouse as well. At times, this can even extend into the retirement years. If you are lucky enough to find a benefits package that includes spousal life insurance, be sure that you consider all of its aspects, as you would your own life insurance policy, before deciding if it is something that could truly benefit you and your spouse.
Although you may receive free life insurance through your employer, there is a good chance that it may not be enough. Many life insurance policies covered by employers are lower amounts that will not pay for much more than burial costs and funeral expenses. It will be nice for your family to have these expenses paid; however, they may need more than that to cover your portion of the household income, especially if you are the main income earner. For this reason, it may be necessary for you to seek an additional life insurance policy that will give your dependants something to live on while they grieve and adjust to the lost income.
One way to obtain free life insurance is to find a job that offers a paid life insurance policy as a benefit. Remember that you will have less freedom within the policy if it is paid for by your employer and the decision of how much life insurance coverage you receive will be decided for you. Furthermore, your life insurance policy will be terminated should you leave the company for any reason.
You should have the right to name your own beneficiaries. If not, and your employer names him or herself, then it is considered 'key man' insurance and is not a benefit of employment.
There are several reasons why having your own supplemental life insurance policy, on top of the free life insurance policy provided by your employer, may be beneficial. These reasons include:
- Your employer's life insurance policy may cover minimal expenses
– Your family may need money to pay off a large mortgage and to help replace your lost income
– You will likely lose the policy if you switch jobs
– You can borrow against your own policy later on down the road
Having a life insurance policy that is “yours” is always a wise idea, especially if you have a family.
The next time you are searching for a new career, ask your potential employer if a life insurance policy is part of the benefits package. While the lack of a life insurance policy should not be a reason for you to turn down a good job, it will be nice to know that you are receiving that added benefit that could someday help your family.
If your employer does offer a life insurance policy as part of the benefits package, read the policy carefully to determine the coverage. It may be necessary to purchase additional life insurance.
If you currently receive a paid life insurance policy through your employer, it's important to determine if that coverage will continue once you retire. Some companies will extend their entire benefits package to their retirees, however others will not. You may be able to find these answers in your life insurance manual or by asking someone in a management position or in human resources. If you determine that the employer does not pay your life insurance policy post-retirement, you will need to come up with a plan to pay for your own final expenses.