Most employees get life insurance through the workplace

By Maryalene LaPonsie on October 21st, 2012

If you get your life insurance through your employer, you are in good company. A survey shedding light on workplace benefits finds life insurance is the most common voluntary benefit offered by employers. In addition, most employees are taking advantage of the opportunity to buy affordable life insurance through their workplace.

Those are two of the findings from the Guardian Workplace Benefits Study. The survey measures employee attitudes regarding workplace benefits and offers insight into worker life insurance purchasing habits.

Most employees get life insurance through work

According to the study, 73 percent of workers own life insurance. Of those, 63 percent get their coverage through their employer.

Workers may be motivated to buy coverage through their workplace benefits package, since life insurance rates for group plans offered by employers may be less than those available through individual policies. In addition, most employers either pay for these policies in full or share the cost of coverage with their workers.

The Guardian study found 41 percent of employers pay 100 percent of the cost of life insurance premiums for coverage offered through their benefits package. Another 39 percent of employers help pay a portion of life insurance premiums. Only 19 percent of workers say they are responsible for the entire cost of their premiums.

Life insurance is the most common voluntary benefit

Within benefit packages, many employers offer voluntary benefits that provide additional coverage workers can purchase themselves. These benefits may include critical illness, long-term care or disability insurance.

However, life insurance is the most common voluntary benefit with 56 percent of employers offering workers the option to purchase coverage. Workers surveyed for the Guardian study said the perceived advantages of voluntary benefits include affordability and ease of payment through payroll deductions.

Nearly 90 percent of workers agree voluntary benefits enhance the value of their benefits package. Guardian also found workers who believe voluntary benefits add a significant value are more likely to have higher satisfaction with their overall benefits package.

For its study, Guardian calculated a Benefits Value Index that reflects worker satisfaction with workplace benefits. On a 10 point scale, the average level of satisfaction is 6.8. However, for those who see significant value in their voluntary benefits, the Benefits Value Index rises to 7.6.

Although affordable life insurance is available through individual plans, the Guardian study indicates most workers prefer the convenience of low cost coverage offered through employee benefit packages.

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