Is my employer benefit plan life insurance enough?

If your employer provides life insurance as part of your benefits package, and also ponies up for some or all of the cost, congratulations! You’ve got a great deal, because life insurance is particularly beneficial if you’re married, have a life partner, and have a family, or are planning to start one.

This basic, employer-paid life insurance is often equivalent to one or two years’ salary, which is usually enough if you’re single. But what if you’re not? And is it enough?

4 life insurance “what-if” scenarios to consider

What if I die?

No one likes to consider it, but that’s what life insurance is for — to answer the worst possible “what-if” questions. In this case, if you’re relying solely on the life insurance your employer offers, it’s usually not enough.

Experts generally recommend purchasing life insurance coverage worth at least seven times your annual salary in order to protect your family.

Why? Consider your mortgage and other debts; the cost of raising and educating kids; home maintenance and other expenses; factor in whether your spouse is working, and the size of his or her salary — it does add up.

What if I lose my job?

Your job may be stable and secure, but things can also change rapidly. If you lose your job for whatever reason, your insurance may be at risk if it’s not transportable — that is, transferrable to your next posting. You may be able to convert your group coverage to single coverage, but the premiums will likely go up. Of course, you could expect to resume your life insurance at your next employer, but not all companies offer this coverage.

What if I get sick?

If a health issue causes you to stop working, then you’re losing coverage at a time when your family could need it most. And, given your declining health, you’ll likely have a hard time buying a new plan.

What if my spouse or partner dies?

Even if your spouse doesn’t work, or has a lower salary, the long-term financial impact is still significant. The financial value of a stay-at-home spouse — childcare, home and lifestyle maintenance — should be factored in.

2 options to consider for the “what-if” scenarios

Since employer-paid life insurance is rarely enough, buying additional coverage from your employer makes sense — provided it’s available and reasonably priced. But look into it. It’s often priced higher than basic insurance. So when comparison-shopping, make sure it’s apples-to-apples.

Option #1 — CoverMe® Term Life insurance*: It’s an easy-to-get supplement to your employer life insurance. It covers gaps, especially following big life events such as a baby, home purchase or home reno. Plus, you can get $100,000 to $1 million coverage, in $25,000 increments, so you’re getting exactly the protection you and your family may need.

Option #2 — FollowMe Life Insurance*: Picks up when your group life insurance ends, whether it’s through a career change, layoff or retirement. You can apply within 60 days of your group plan ending, and get coverage without a medical questionnaire to fill out.

How much life insurance coverage do you have at work? Go through the “what-if” scenarios, and ask yourself if it’s enough.

* CoverMe® Term Life Insurance and FollowMeᵀᴹ Life Insurance are underwritten by The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company

† Conditions, limitations and exclusions apply. Please see the policy for full details.