Originally Published by: Fine Lifestyles Kingston

Through employee benefits packages, many of us secure cost effective insurance with little to no medical underwriting.

This coverage is truly a wonderful addition to an insurance portfolio, but seldom should employee benefits be the only insurance one has in place.

LIFE INSURANCE
Employee benefits plans are designed to provide a predetermined amount of life insurance (i.e. $25,000) or a multiple of your insurable income (i.e. two times annual earnings). Many people have a need for coverage that is more substantial than what their benefits plan provides. A young family may require $500,000 or more of temporary or “term” life insurance while a 55-year-old may be considering his or her estate plan and have a need to secure cost effective permanent life insurance. To understand your unique life insurance need, it is best to meet with an insurance advisor. This professional will walk you through a series of questions in an effort to understand how much insurance and the type of life insurance that is right for you.

CRITICAL ILLNESS INSURANCE
While some employee benefits plans offer critical illness insurance, many plans still do not. Critical illness insurance is designed to pay out a lump sum benefit when the insured is diagnosed with a covered critical illness and survives a survival period. In this day of advancements in medical technology, and easier access to Automated External Defibrillator’s (AED), those who experience a health crisis are more likely than ever to survive the occurrence. Too often there are costs associated with survival that are not anticipated. A husband or wife takes unpaid time off work to care for their sick spouse or child, expenses as a result of travelling for medical treatment, a heart attack victim feels it was the stress of his or her job that led to the heart attack and now wants the financial ability to retire early. Critical illness insurance can provide the funds to help handle these and other costs. If you wonder if you should consider critical illness insurance ask yourself the following, “in the next 10 years am I more likely to suffer from a heart attack, life threatening cancer, or stroke or am I more likely to die?” Make sure to keep the life insurance, but recognize the need for critical illness insurance also exists.

DISABILITY INSURANCE
Disability insurance is designed to replace a portion of earned income when the insured meets the definition of disability. Employee benefits plans generally offer basic long-term disability coverage. Business owners and professionals tend to want and need more comprehensive disability coverage. Individual disability plans can be designed to provide an upscale definition of disability, provide cost of living increases while on claim, or even provide a refund of some premiums if the insured does not submit a claim. These features come with a higher price tag than group disability coverage, but the individual plan is worth the price. After all, disability insurance is helping to protect your greatest asset — your ability to earn an income.

Keep in mind that employee benefits are designed with the “group” in mind not “you” in mind. Work with your advisor to understand exactly what your employee benefits plan covers and provides in the event of a claim. If you discover a gap between what your benefits plan provides and what you and your family need, then it is time to investigate the benefits of personal insurance.

Benefits Consulting Plus Inc is an independent employee benefits and insurance advisory firm. Bryce Parisotto, CFP, works with local businesses to design and implement tailor-made employee benefits solutions. Shannon Bennett-Parisotto, CHS, has 15 years of specialized knowledge with life, disability and critical illness insurance and works with clients on their personal and corporate insurance planning.

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