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What is Voluntary Life Insurance?

What is Voluntary Life Insurance?

by

JG Wentworth

April 17, 2024

4 min

man with paper umbrella protecting family

In today’s world, having adequate life insurance coverage is crucial for ensuring that your loved ones are financially protected in the event of your untimely demise. While many employers offer basic life insurance as part of their employee benefits package, these policies often provide insufficient coverage. This is where voluntary life insurance comes into play, offering employees an opportunity to supplement their existing coverage with additional protection.

Voluntary life insurance, also known as supplemental life insurance, is a type of life insurance policy that employees can purchase through their employer, typically at group rates. Unlike basic employer-provided life insurance, which is usually limited in coverage and may not be portable if you leave the company, voluntary life insurance allows you to tailor the coverage to your specific needs and maintain the policy even if you change jobs.

How Does Voluntary Life Insurance Work?

Voluntary life insurance is typically offered as an optional benefit during the employee enrollment period or when a qualifying life event occurs, such as getting married, having a child, or experiencing a significant change in financial circumstances. Employees have the opportunity to select the desired coverage amount, which can range from a modest sum to several times their annual salary.

The premiums for voluntary life insurance are typically paid through payroll deduction, making it a convenient and hassle-free way to maintain coverage. The premium rates are often lower than those offered through individual life insurance policies, as the employer leverages the group’s purchasing power to negotiate better rates with the insurance provider.

Benefits of Voluntary Life Insurance

Voluntary life insurance offers several advantages to employees, including:

  1. Flexible Coverage Options: Employees can choose the coverage amount that best suits their needs, ensuring adequate protection for their loved ones in case of an untimely death.
  2. Portability: Unlike employer-provided basic life insurance, voluntary life insurance policies can be portable, meaning that employees can take the coverage with them if they change jobs or retire.
  3. Affordable Rates: Group rates offered through voluntary life insurance programs are typically more affordable than individual life insurance policies, making it easier for employees to obtain adequate coverage.
  4. Simplified Underwriting: The underwriting process for voluntary life insurance is often streamlined, requiring minimal medical underwriting, especially for lower coverage amounts.
  5. Additional Coverage Options: Some voluntary life insurance programs may offer additional coverage options, such as accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance or dependent life insurance for spouses and children.

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Considerations When Choosing Voluntary Life Insurance

While voluntary life insurance offers many benefits, it’s essential to carefully evaluate your options and make an informed decision. Here are some factors to consider:

  1. Coverage Needs: Assess your financial obligations, outstanding debts, and potential future expenses to determine the appropriate coverage amount needed to protect your loved ones.
  2. Existing Coverage: Review any existing life insurance policies you may have, such as individual policies or coverage provided through professional associations or organizations, to avoid duplication and ensure adequate overall coverage.
  3. Premium Costs: Evaluate the premium costs associated with different coverage levels and consider the long-term affordability of the premiums, especially if your financial circumstances change.
  4. Beneficiary Designations: Ensure that your beneficiary designations are up-to-date and accurately reflect your wishes regarding who should receive the life insurance proceeds.
  5. Conversion Options: Understand the conversion options available if you decide to leave your employer or retire. Some voluntary life insurance policies allow you to convert the coverage to an individual policy, potentially at higher rates.

Voluntary life insurance can be a valuable addition to an employee’s overall financial protection strategy. By taking the time to understand the options and making an informed decision, employees can ensure that their loved ones are adequately provided for in the event of an untimely death. It’s always advisable to consult with a financial advisor or insurance professional to determine the appropriate coverage levels and explore alternative options that may better suit your specific circumstances.

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The information is provided for educational and informational purposes only. Such information or materials do not constitute and are not intended to provide legal, accounting, or tax advice and should not be relied on in that respect. We suggest that You consult an attorney, accountant, and/or financial advisor to answer any financial or legal questions.