Life Insurance

Why Your Employer-Provided Life Insurance Is Not Enough

Aug 18, 2020
Coworkers having a conversation
When you are weighing job offers, benefits are often a deciding factor. Employer-covered perks like health insurance, paid days off, or 401(k) matches are incentives to take a new job. But make no mistake—free doesn’t always mean best. This is especially true when it comes to employer-provided group life insurance. If you signed up for your company’s plan, and assumed that it provides ample coverage, your family could be at risk. Here’s why.

There Are Some Perks Of Employer-Provided Life Insurance

Your company’s group life insurance plan does have a few advantages. You can usually enroll for free or close to free—which is cheaper than you’ll find on your own—and sometimes you can buy more at a discount. Group plans are also easy to qualify for. They won’t scrutinize your health with a medical exam. This is a big deal if you have a pre-existing condition, which often leads to higher premiums or being uninsurable. The process won’t require a lot of effort, so there’s no reason not to sign up—especially if it’s free. This doesn’t mean your family is completely protected, though.

Where Your Company’s Life Insurance Policy Falls Short

Not Enough Coverage

Typically the biggest concern with your company’s life insurance plan is insufficient coverage. Most plans offer one to three times your salary. If you earn $45,000 per year, you could see up to $135,000 in coverage. The reality is, only a fraction of workers have coverage of more than $100,000. It seems like a lot until you realize how much you actually need. A basic needs calculator can do the math for you. Think about all of the expenses your family would need covered (mortgage payments, childcare, college tuition, living expenses), and ask yourself—would my coverage through work be enough to take care of my family if I passed away? If not, you may want to consider buying a policy to supplement the coverage you have through your employer.

You Can’t Take It With You

Another potential downside of your employer’s plan is portability. When your job ends, usually your life insurance coverage does too. Unless you’re staying forever or your position is 100 percent safe, parting with your plan is inevitable. Staying enrolled may be possible when you leave, but it won’t be free.

Start Shopping For Supplemental Coverage

Your first glimpse of life insurance may have been with your company’s HR department. Or a form you scribbled through during open enrollment. It’s possible you signed up and haven’t looked back. If you’re ready to revisit your family’s needs, you’re one step ahead of most. From there you can calculate your family’s gap in coverage, and find a policy that bridges that gap between what your employer provides, and what you need. Employer-provided life insurance is a good thing, but you can’t afford to overlook your family’s complete coverage.

If you’re interested in learning more about life insurance with Ethos, you can get started by filling out a few questions to get a quote.

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