Got Life...?

Got Life…?

. . . Insurance, That Is.
Is Group Life Right For You?

For more than 25 years I did what most employees do when it comes to choosing life insurance. I checked the box that came with my open enrollment materials and chose the amount of coverage I needed. It seemed affordable enough and required little effort on my part. Check the box and done. Easy. Payroll deduction to follow.

When I started my own business, however, I discovered a pleasant surprise when I went to purchase my own life insurance policy: I got about 10% more coverage for about 15% less money! “WOW! This is great,” I thought. But . . . did that mean my former company ripping me off all those years?

The answer to the previous rhetorical question is no, not at all. My former employer was providing a fair benefit based on group pricing practices. But was it always right for me? How does group pricing affect life insurance rates? Consider the following:

  • Group pricing lumps ALL employees into one big, giant figurative pot
  • Some of these people are healthy, some are not
  • Some are males, some are females
  • Some are younger, some are older
  • Some rarely get behind the wheel of a car
  • Some have driving habits like Dennis Anderson
  • And so on

Put this all together and you can easily see the plusses and minuses of such a system. While it may be an oversimplification, the healthy pay a premium (pun intended) to ensure (also intended) the unhealthy are covered. The nonsmokers pay a little extra than they might otherwise to permit coverage for those who smoke and have a statistically lower life expectancy. Naturally, the end result of such a system is that Group Life is a better deal for some in the pool than it is for others.

This does not make Group Life Insurance bad! It certainly provides employees, many of whom may be uninsurable or in a high-risk category, with a much needed benefit. And it may be a good deal! But unless you check, you’ll never know for sure if it’s the best option for you and your family.

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC):

“A term life insurance policy covers you for a specific number of years, or term, such as 10, 20 or 30 years. It pays a death benefit only if you die in the insured term. Term insurance generally offers the largest insurance protection for your premium dollar. A term life policy has lower premiums than a cash value policy of the same amount; however, it does not build up cash values that can be used in the future.”

“Term Life” is usually considered “pure” insurance. There’s no savings feature. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. It pays a death benefit if, and only if, you die. That’s it. As a result, premiums for this type of insurance will typically be your best bet for the combination of protection and affordability. For most, this will represent the best value and most closely resembles Group Life.

To help you ascertain how your group policy stacks up, here are some estimates for a $100,000 policy at a few different ages. Your actual results will most likely vary based on a variety of factors. But this gives you a pretty good idea of what you might expect to pay if you bought insurance on your own.

Age 30 – Male: $10.88  –  Female: $10.88
Age 40 – Male: $13.66  –  Female: $13.66
Age 50 – Male: $27.06  –  Female: $24.41

Monthly Term Life Insurance Rates
Assuming 20-Year Fixed Premium for $100,000 Death Benefit
Preferred Rate, Non-Smoker, CA Resident
Life Insurer Rated A+ (Superior) by A. M. Best

(Caution: Do NOT cancel or forgo existing coverage until you determine your eligibility for any insurance policy! Most policies will require a physical examination – paid for by the insurance company by the way – to verify health and the mere providing of a quote does not bind coverage. The above figures are illustrative quotes as of this writing, not contracts, and subject to change or modification at any time.)

Like any decision involving money, it pays to compare features. And not everyone needs insurance, by the way! But if you are contemplating additional life insurance or would like a quote to compare with your own group life policy, please let me know how I can help.


Finn Financial Group