My work provides life insurance. I bought a private policy anyway.

Logan Sachon

Logan Sachon

Published July 26, 2019

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When I accepted the offer for my current job, I was excited about the benefits package. There was affordable health insurance, disability insurance, which protects my income if an injury or illness puts me out of work for a certain period of time; and life insurance, which means my family will get a tax-free lump sum to cover bills and expenses if something terrible happens to me.

But the more I learned about life insurance during my time at Policygenius, the more I realized that while my workplace coverage was generous, it wouldn’t be enough to really protect my family in a worst-case scenario. So I decided to buy a private policy. Here’s why.

1. My workplace life insurance isn’t enough

My financial adviser recommends that I have 10x to 12x my annual income in life insurance — a sum that, if invested, would net approximately my current take-home pay and help my partner pay our shared bills and contribute to our shared savings at roughly the same rate we are today.

My workplace life insurance coverage, on the other hand, would cover funeral expenses, but the payout wouldn’t replace my income if something were to happen to me. That’s generally true of group life insurance policies, which typically cover one to two times an employee’s salary.

2. I need portable coverage

I hope to stay with my company a long time, but if I leave it, I’d lose the life insurance I have through them — which is standard operating procedure for workplace coverage. Conversion options are available, but only at costs magnitudes more than private term life insurance. I want to ensure that whatever happens in my career, my family is covered, which means that I can’t depend solely on an employer for life insurance.

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3. I wanted to lock in low rates

If I do end up leaving my job in the future, I could simply apply for private life insurance after the fact. But life insurance prices increase as you age, and some diagnoses can make you ineligible for coverage. By purchasing a private policy, I locked in my rates so that no matter what the future holds, I’ll pay the same premium for the duration of my policy.

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4. Term life insurance is affordable

For example, a healthy 30-year-old can typically get $1,000,000 for under $30 a month.

I hope the term expires and this policy never gets used, but if it does, I sleep better knowing my partner won’t have to fret about money. And my workplace life insurance? I still have it, of course. It doesn’t cost anything, and now it’s just a nice bonus.

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