Optimizing your clients’ coverage when they have insurance at work
Many people with group insurance believe that all of their insurance needs are covered. Sometimes this is true - but other times it is not. Here are some questions to help your clients figure out where they stand.
Question #1: Do you have enough life insurance?
Everybody deserves a proper insurance Needs Analysis, whether they have workplace converge or not. This means looking at income replacement, debt coverage, estate planning, and other needs to determine the ideal types and amounts of coverage.
For clients that are single and don’t have financial obligations that they share with others, their existing workplace coverage might be plenty. For those with a spouse, children, or more complex requirements, workplace coverage might not be enough.
A Needs Analysis can prevent anyone from jumping to conclusions and provide an objective picture of whether workplace coverage is sufficient or needs to be supplemented.
If more insurance is needed, some workplace plans will offer the option of increasing the amount of coverage, but many clients will have reasons to prefer adding individually-owned life insurance instead.
Question #2: What if you leave your job?
It’s important to look at the details of the client’s workplace policy to understand what options are available if they change jobs, get laid off, or move to a lower-seniority or part-time role.
Not all workplace insurance policies can be transferred to a new employer or converted to a personal plan, and this could potentially leave a client exposed.
Another reality is that employers sometimes change or reduce the coverage they provide to employees. It’s worth keeping track of any changes in a client’s benefits package and considering how personal insurance can provide a back-up.
When it’s time to retire, clients may have the option of retaining their group insurance coverage or converting it to an individual policy, but again, it’s smart to know the terms and conditions. For example, if the coverage will be reduced in retirement, it might be worth securing some additional coverage today.
Question #3: What if your health declines?
If a client experiences a serious medical condition that forces them to step away from their job, things can get complicated.
The good news is many workplace insurance plans include disability coverage that could be invaluable at a time like this. The bad news is, if the illness leads to a change in their employment status, it could impact their life insurance coverage when they need it most.
Again, conducting a Needs Analysis, understanding the limits of the workplace coverage, and plugging any potential gaps with a personally-owned policy is the best way to protect a client - no matter what happens to their health or employment situation.
Question #4: Is your spouse covered?
Couples often assume that it’s only important for the main breadwinner to have life insurance, but it’s not so simple. The loss of a lower-earning or stay-at-home spouse can have a profound impact on household finances.
For starters, the surviving spouse will likely want time away from work, and unless their employer is willing to pay for that time, insurance can help replace lost income.
In addition, the surviving spouse will now carry more family responsibilities on their own, which might leave them with less time and energy for work, or the need to hire assistance.
A proper Need Analysis should encompass the entire family unit. If a spouse is not sufficiently covered by workplace policies, it’s worthwhile to consider more personally-owned coverage for them, too.
It’s great when a client can obtain free or low-cost insurance at work. But it’s essential to validate that the amount of coverage is sufficient, to know how the client will be affected if they change jobs, what could happen if they experience health problems, and whether their spouse and others key people are also adequately covered.
For many, the best solution is to supplement workplace coverage with their own personally-owned life insurance policies. The sooner a client puts their personal coverage in place, the easier it will be to qualify and the less it is likely to cost. At Beneva, we’re here to support you and your clients, so let’s get to work!