Many people receive life insurance through their employer. This coverage often offers affordable rates and a brief application process. The result? A one-size-fits-all insurance plan. But is this benefit providing the coverage you truly need?
Here are three common myths about employer-provided life insurance and the reality behind those myths.
Myth #1: “My employer-provided life insurance is all I need.”
Reality: Often, life insurance coverage through your employer is limited to 1-2 times your annual salary. The problem with that is your “salary” doesn’t include commissions, bonuses, or second incomes. It doesn’t paint your whole financial picture. If you have dependents, you generally need at least 10x your income.
Also, buying life insurance is an investment, so you’ll want to be mindful of your family’s needs, which may be more than what your employer-provided insurance offers. Would that amount be enough to support them long-term if something happened to you?
Myth #2: “It’s my life insurance policy. I have complete control over it.”
Reality: When you opt for employer-provided coverage, your employer owns and controls the policy, not you.
If your employer decides to cancel or reduce the benefit, you could be left without coverage or with not enough coverage to last. And those seemingly affordable rates that your employer initially charges can increase each year, unlike rates for an individual Term policy, which do not increase as you get older.
Myth #3: “My life insurance goes with me, job to job.”
Reality: In most instances, your policy ends when you leave your old job. Life insurance obtained through your employer stops when you stop.
When you change jobs, you will need to replace any employer provided life insurance that you relied upon. With your own (individual) life insurance, you’re in control, no matter what happens.
Take a moment to examine your family’s total financial situation. If something happened to the main earner, what would be needed to pay off the mortgage, support the family day-to-day and put the kids through college?