Job Loss Often Means Loss Of Life Insurance

The recession seems to have a lock grip on our economy right now, and employment numbers get worse by the day.  The loss of health insurance that goes along with the loss of a job is a common subject in the news right now.  Most people can’t afford COBRA when they’ve lost their jobs, and even individual health insurance premiums are out of reach for some families struggling to get by on unemployment.

But what about life insurance?  66% of Americans get their life insurance through an employer.  It’s typically inexpensive, just a few dollars per paycheck, or in some cases completely funded by the employer.  But for a person who gets laid off, life insurance is often just one more thing to add to the list of benefits that are lost in addition to the job.

Basic term life insurance is much less expensive than health insurance, but it might not be something that a family thinks about in the face of a job loss.  Unfortunately, that leaves a family – that might already be facing some of their most trying economic times – with much more potential financial risk.

It is possible to continue group life insurance under COBRA, but I don’t think it’s an option that most people know about.  And while individual life insurance premiums are quite low, it’s easy to procrastinate on the application process.  Although most Americans understand the importance of life insurance, it might be pretty far down on the list of priorities in the event of an unplanned job loss.   Here in Colorado, unemployment reached 6.1% in December – the highest in five years.  And nationwide, job loss numbers are not encouraging.  While it’s not particularly enjoyable to think about being laid off, it’s a good idea to think of the benefits your job includes, and get an idea of the options that are available for continuing or recreating those benefits on your own if necessary.

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