NU Online News Service, June 18, 6:20 p.m. – MetLife Inc., New York, says the effects of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks show that employers and insurers need to do more to educate workers about their group life insurance benefits.
The company notes in a new group life report that only 53% of U.S. residents have any life insurance coverage at all, and that workers who do have coverage are often confused about the policies, bad at keeping insurance records in the right places, and unsure about how to assess their insurance needs.
Some employees, for example, know that group life benefit amounts are based on compensation. But sales representatives and other employees who depend heavily on bonuses and commissions may not realize that benefits are usually tied to base salaries, rather than total compensation, MetLife says.
MetLife also discovered in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks that many survivors had no idea which insurers had covered their loved ones. In most cases, the company says, employees kept copies of their benefit information at work. The same devastation that killed the employees destroyed their insurance records.
Insurers can respond to the lessons learned from Sept. 11 by helping employers educate employees about the importance of life insurance and providing tools that employees can use to assess their insurance needs, MetLife says.
MetLife says employers can help by encouraging employees who need more coverage than the basic group life plan provides to buy more coverage.
MetLife has posted the report on the MetLife Research Center section of its Web site, at http://www.metlife.com/Applications/Corporate/WPS/CDA/PageGenerator/0,1674,P558,00.html