Some companies offer group life insurance, a few at no cost to the employee and several with a small cost. With some group life insurance plans they are guarantee issue (G.I.) which means there is no health underwriting to qualify. Most often companies will base the amount of life insurance you are eligible for on your income. For example: If you make $30,000 per year, you can receive either 1x your salary ($30,000) or 2x ($60,000). In many cases you can “buy-up” or increase you insurance for an additional cost.
For many people G.I. life through the employer is the only way they can get life insurance because they have things in their personal history either health related or criminal such as DUI’s and felonies. G.I. life is a great opportunity for them and it would be recommended for them to buy as much as is allowed.
However, with many group life plans though, in order to receive the benefit you must be currently employed with the company. I don’t know many people that are planning to die at their job! But keep in mind there many different life plans available that a company can choose and this only speaks to one kind so it may not apply to your particular plan. It’s always good to read your policy and ask questions.
If your employer makes “voluntary” life insurance options available you should always consider taking advantage of those plans to purchase additional life insurance, this is at an additional cost of course. You may ask yourself, why do I need to purchase additional life insurance if my employer already provides it at little or no cost? That’s a great question and I would refer you to the 3rd paragraph 2nd sentence. With most group policies they are not portable, which means you can’t take your insurance with you if you leave your job whether it be voluntarily or involuntarily. So it is always good to purchase insurance protection at your job that is portable and also another couple of reasons is because it is typically less expensive because you get a group or discounted rate and the policies are simplified issue (no physical exams and blood/urine tests required).