Voluntary life insurance is a plan to protect your financial assets, which provides cash benefits to the beneficiary following the loss of an insured. It’s an optional benefit provided by employers. Employers pay a monthly fee in exchange for the insurance company’s guarantee of payment on the death of an insured. Employer sponsorship usually means that the cost of life insurance premiums for voluntary policies is cheaper than individual insurance plans sold on the market.
Understanding Voluntary Life Insurance
A lot of insurers offer voluntary life insurance plans that include additional features and benefits. For instance, a policy could allow policyholders to purchase insurance beyond the amount of guaranteed issue. Based on the increase, the policyholder might be required to provide documents proving that they meet certain health requirements. Another option is coverage portability, which allows an insured to keep the life insurance policy following employment. Every employer has its own rules regarding the portability of the policy. The rule is that it should be anywhere between 30- and 60 days following the policy’s termination and the filing of documentation.
Another option is to increase benefits faster. It is possible to receive the death benefits out over the insured’s lifetime in case they’re declared terminally sick. Also, there is the option to buy life insurance for couples, spouses, and dependents according to the insurer’s definitions. Additionally, a significant advantage offered by many employers is the possibility of deducting costs from salary. Payroll deductions are beneficial for the employee as they allow for the quick and easy payments of the premiums.
Alongside other benefits, certain insurers offer additional riders, like cancellation of premiums and deaths and dismemberment rides. Riders are typically executed in the event of a dispute and are at a cost.
Voluntary life insurance is usually accessible to employees right away or shortly after hiring. If an employee opts out, coverage might be available at open enrollment or following an eligible life event such as marriage, baby’s birth, adoption, or divorce. The selection of the best kind of voluntary life insurance is a matter of assessing current and future needs, and it is contingent upon your circumstances and objectives. Also, it’s important to compare the plans offered by employers with plans from other companies to ensure that it’s among the most effective life insurance policies available.
Types of Voluntary Life Insurance
There are two kinds of life insurance policies that are voluntary and offered by employers: whole life and term life. This is also known as group-term life insurance. The face amounts could be multiples of an employee’s salary or declared values such as $20,000 or $50,000 and $100,000.
Whole life insurance with a voluntary component.
Voluntary whole life covers all the life of the person who is insured. If coverage for the whole life is chosen for a dependent or spouse, the policy will protect the insured’s life. The typical amounts for dependents and spouses are smaller than those available to employees. Similar to all-life policies that are permanent, the cash value is accumulated according to the underlying investments. Certain policies apply the same fixed interest rate to the cash value, while others permit flexible investing in equity funds.
Life insurance with a term of choice.
The term “voluntary” refers to an insurance policy that protects for a specified period that could be five years, 10 to 20, or more years. The building of cash value and variable investing isn’t the primary features of voluntary term insurance. Therefore, rates are lower than their full life equivalents. The premiums are set during the term of the policy, but they can be increased after renewal.
Voluntary Life Insurance vs. Standard Term Life Insurance
The standard term insurance policy is a type of policy that is purchased privately through an insurer. In terms of coverage, of paying a cost to receive a death benefit like the term life insurance offered by employers, There are some distinctions.
A term policy or any other type of life insurance through an insurance company you own will usually require the submission of a medical form. It could be as simple as filling out a form, or it could involve giving the insurance company the right to communicate with your physician and access your medical documents. The insurance company might let you purchase the policy you’re seeking; however, any negative medical information may affect the cost of the policy and other aspects of the policy that you’re eventually provided with. In addition, the company may decide to deny coverage entirely.
The term life you choose to purchase through your employer is guaranteed and does not require you to submit any medical information, at a minimum, for the minimum levels of death benefits provided by your employer’s plan. This could be a significant benefit for employees who have certain medical conditions that might prevent the purchase of private insurance.
Size of the Death Benefit
Suppose you are looking to buy an insurance policy for a term with an insurance company that is not part of your group’s insurance plan. In that case, you’ll have the option of selecting death benefits within the confines of the benefits the company could offer and their underwriting requirements. This can be a large selection.
For term insurance policies offered as voluntary life insurance, you can only be limited to the death benefit amounts offered. If you want to buy a higher death benefit, your insurance provider might allow this option. However, you’ll generally have to undergo the process of medical underwriting.
Continuation of the Policy
Suppose you buy a term policy on your own. In that case, it will remain active for the period that the policy’s death benefits are payable, with an equal premium until you can pay the monthly premiums for the policy. It could be for 10 years and 20 years or 30 years, or any other time. Changes in employment will not have any influence on the policy status.
Life-term policies with a voluntary clause could or might not come with an option to convert in the event of your departure from the company. There is a cost, and the premiums could be higher. It could also be necessary to switch to a different type of policy, for example, a permanent kind.
Do I need to get life insurance on my own?
Though nearly everyone benefits by having life insurance, voluntary Life insurance is a great product to have in the following circumstances:
- Pre-existing medical conditions. Voluntary life insurance will be guaranteed for a certain face value regardless of the employee’s medical background. This is very helpful for those who have been denied life insurance in the past or have been offered the policy at significantly more expensive rates due to existing conditions. When applying for insurance, voluntary life does not require applicants to undergo medical examinations or the doctor’s report.
- Certain employees want to have life insurance; however, they haven’t yet gotten into the habit of purchasing an independent policy beyond the workplace. They don’t have any additional life insurance. Employer-sponsored life insurance offers them the chance to ensure their loved ones financially in case they pass away.
- They should add to their existing life insurance policy. Employees may have an insurance plan for life, but they bought it several years ago. In the past, their circumstances may be different, like becoming married or having kids. Employer-sponsored voluntary life lets them add additional protection for their group at costs usually lower than the rates they would be when they were paid on an individual basis.
Suppose an employee is satisfied with the protection they receive through the voluntary life insurance plan offered by their employer plan. In that case, they may be interested in purchasing life insurance on their own, especially when the plan offered by their employer cannot be transferred. An individual insurance policy may be more suitable for those who want permanent coverage instead of the company’s life insurance plan.