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The #1 Way to Help Employees Protect Their Families – Other Than Wearing a Mask

The #1 Way to Help Employees Protect Their Families – Other Than Wearing a Mask
Posted on Tuesday, August 11, 2020 by Businessolver Team
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If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that life is full of uncertainty.

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When we were all celebrating the start of a new year in January, who among us thought that just a few months later, we’d be in the midst of a global pandemic?

During this time, we’ve all learned to take precautions against the virus. Avoid crowds, wear a mask, wash your hands. All good advice. But there are other precautions we should be taking to protect our loved ones.

Let’s correct the misconceptions

I’m talking about life insurance. Research shows that about 40% of U.S. adults don’t have any! The market penetration rate for life insurance has held pretty steady over the years, but it’s even more concerning considering recent events.

Why do so many people lack coverage? Many think they can’t afford it – in fact, the 2019 Insurance Barometer report found that survey respondents overestimated the cost of life insurance by as much as three times! People know that life insurance is important – it just often takes a back seat to more immediate financial concerns. And, they often think it will be a hassle to apply and get approved.

Now, it’s more important than ever to educate consumers about the critical role life insurance plays in protecting their families and the affordable options available to them. We know employees don’t wake up in the morning excited to learn about insurance. But open enrollment season gives everyone a great opportunity to share information and learn more in a convenient, accessible way.

Not an either/or – life insurance is a both/and

Most people still don’t understand the difference between term life and whole (or permanent) life. Many employers offer voluntary term life insurance, which provides high levels of coverage for a fixed period. The premium cost starts out low and increases over time. Term life coverage is a good place to start for younger people purchasing their first life insurance policies.

But term life does not offer all the protection that most people need. The payments and benefit amount can rise and fall – and the coverage terminates at the end of the term period. Also, coverage often does not continue if employees leave their jobs.

For many people, combining employer-paid term coverage with whole life coverage is the best way to ensure comprehensive coverage for your family through all stages of life. Whole Life coverage premium payments are locked in for the life of the policy and the coverage does not expire – that’s why it’s also known as ‘permanent life’. It is coverage employees can count on through their work life and into retirement – and with a stable premium payment, they know how it will fit in their budgets for the life of the coverage. Whole life also provides a guaranteed death benefit, so insureds know exactly what they are providing for their families after they are gone.

Accessibility, convenience and value

I mentioned earlier that many people think it will be a hassle to apply for life insurance. But when an employee enrolls in whole life coverage through a group voluntary policy offered through their employer, it’s easy and convenient—typically, there are no medical questions to answer, no blood tests to schedule. For most people, rates are usually lower than they would be for an individual policy, and payments are deducted directly from payroll. And if the employer uses an enrollment solution like Businessolver, it couldn’t be easier—employees just select coverage on-line as part of their regular core benefits enrollment process, in just a few keystrokes.

In the past, group voluntary whole life insurance hasn’t been widely available on self-enrollment platforms. But through our partnership with Businessolver, Allstate Benefits is now able to offer our Group Whole Life insurance coverage during the 2020 annual enrollment season. Working together, Allstate Benefits and Businessolver have created one of the few residentially-built group whole life product options in the market. We’re excited to offer it to employers, and ultimately, to employees, to help them fill this critical gap in their financial planning.

We can also help you fill the gap in employee education. Allstate Benefits offers a variety of options for your employees to help them understand the different types of life insurance and what they have to offer. And of course, our representatives are always happy to answer questions. The Businessolver platform also includes great tools like Sofia, their virtual education and enrollment assistant, and their decision support tool, MyChoice Recommendation Engine.

So, keep wearing your masks, keep washing your hands—and keep educating your employees on the variety of options they have to protect their families through this pandemic and beyond.

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Scott DeGraw is vice president of technology partnerships with Allstate Benefits, a leading provider of voluntary benefits products. He works with employers, brokers, benefits consultants and benefits administration platforms across the country to help them meet their employee benefit goals.