4 reasons employers should offer supplemental life insurance

Opinion

Depending on a family’s needs, supplemental life insurance can build on the employer-provided life insurance benefit. (Photo: Thinkstock) Depending on a family’s needs, supplemental life insurance can build on the employer-provided life insurance benefit. (Photo: Thinkstock)

For the majority of consumers, their only life insurance is from a group basic life plan provided by their employer. For some — especially those with a spouse or children, educational expenses, a mortgage or other debt — this standard life insurance offering may not be sufficient to ensure financial wellness.  

Supplemental group life insurance, which augments the life insurance offered by an employer, enables employees to protect their families’ financial security. But according to LIMRA, a research, learning and development organization, only about one-half of employers offer supplemental life insurance plans. 

Related: Workplace financial wellness programs are growing

Depending on an individual family’s needs, supplemental life insurance can build on the employer-provided life insurance benefit, and helps employers give their employees the future financial security their employees need. For those employers who are not currently offering supplemental life, here are four key reasons they should start: 

  • Many employers can offer employees the financial security of supplemental life insurance without increasing their benefits budget. Because supplemental life insurance is opt-in and chosen by individual employees as appropriate for their situations, employers can offer supplemental life insurance as an option at no additional cost to the employer. Employees can then customize their coverage to their needs depending on their financial responsibilities. 

  • Many group carriers offer employers help in enrolling employees in supplemental life. Employers can host on-site enrollment sessions lead by a life insurance expert or hold a webinar led by the carrier followed by online enrollment. Many carriers even offer customized enrollment materials for each employee — all without adding to the employer’s human resources teams’ workload. 

  • Financial security is tied to employees' productivity. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has found that when employees have to spend time and energy worrying about providing for their families, they are more productive. Appropriate life insurance is a key factor in overall financial health, and provides employees with the peace of mind that lets them focus their energy elsewhere. 

  • Comprehensive benefits packages contribute to higher employee satisfaction and retention.The Society for Human Resource Management has also found that benefits offerings are important to employees’ decisions about what companies to work for and how long to stay. Offering a benefits package that includes supplemental life insurance coverage allows employees to customize benefits to their own needs. 

With the loss of a loved one, many families also lose their income, which can be not only emotionally devastating, but financially devastating as well. When employers offer a complete benefits package, including one that promotes financial wellness, it gives their employees peace of mind, and helps attract and retain top workers. 

Though life insurance is rarely a topic that families want to think about, employers can help employees obtain the right amount of insurance to protect their finances by offering supplemental life insurance options. For those employers who are not currently offering these benefits, in many cases they can be added at no expense, with little additional time required to administer them, and at great potential benefit to both the company and its employees.

Related: 

Behavioral finance: Getting workers to do the right thing

MDRT president discusses life insurance in benefits packages

Closing the protection gap through outsourcing

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