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This Web site contains a compilation of more than a thousand consumer finance  columns written by Tony Novak from the 1980s through 2006, updated and reformatted for maximum usefulness today.  New material was added after 2010.

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Waiting for group life insurance

originally posted: 11/22/2006  reposted: 2/18/2011 This post has not been recently reviewed or revised by the author and may be out of date. If in doubt, please send a new question or ask for an update.

Q: I'm interested in $250,000 of short term life insurance for 6 months while changing over to my company's policy.

A: All types of individual life insurance policies are intended to be in place for longer than you indicated but you could always just pay for six months and then simply drop the coverage. However, if the insurance company knows that this is your intention the application will not be approved because the cost of issuing the policy is likely to be more than six months of premium. This is a reason that most insurance companies include questions about your "financial need" in their application forms. The easiest way to get short term life insurance is to use an online enrollment service like that does not require medical evidence or include questions about "financial need". The maximum amount of coverage you can get through this type of immediate issue online service is usually $50,000 to $100,000 per policy but Guarantee Trust Life Insurance Company will issue up to $250,000 coverage per person if you have taken a new mortgage or refinanced an existing home loan within the past year. Otherwise the maximum amount is $100,000. The eligibility requirements are also detailed in the link below. You should also be aware of the limitations of group life insurance through an employer. Many people eventually conclude that relying on group life insurance was one of the biggest financial planning blunders. This is primarily due to non-disclosure of details by employers and the life insurance companies. The industry statistics are that 99 out of 100 people do not (or are not able to) keep their group life insurance policy when they leave their employment and 98% of those group life insurance policies expire worthless - leaving the individual without the intended coverage. In other words, group life insurance is more of a perceived benefit that a real financial benefit because there is no ability to keep the policy in force when your health deteriorated and you need the life insurance the most! At least some of your life insurance should be through an individual policy that is not controlled by your employer's group policy.


More resources:
Best short term life insurance Guarantee Trust Life Insurance "Do I qualify for Guarantee Trust Life Insurance?"