Group Universal Life Insurance
Group universal life insurance is a benefit provided by employers for employees. A universal policy is a great addition to the menu of benefits provided by the company, and can be entirely employer paid or employee paid. Employees benefit when taking GUL while with an employer, because companies get discounts on insurances due to the fact that there are so many people in the group participating in the insurance. If universal policies are purchased individually, the discount is not available. However, the individual coverage may go up in price after the employee leaves the company, even though the policy remains the same and continues. Monthly or bi-weekly premiums are paid as payroll deductions and continue until either the company decides to no longer offer the benefit, or until the employee no longer wants to participate. Employees will most likely be able to participate without having to submit to medical examinations, as long as enrollment takes place during specified times as indicated by the employer.
Employees will be pleasantly surprised to learn that money deposited into a group universal life insurance policy grows tax-deferred over time. When the company also offers a 401(k) plan as well, then there are two opportunities for significant savings toward retirement, as well as a tool for ensuring money will be coming in after retirement in the form of either a lump sum payment or equal payments provided over the life of the policy holder. Of course the individual will want to ensure that the tenure with the company is a long one in order to continue to take advantage of this wonderful savings tool. Human resource professionals can utilize this type of benefit as a means to lure qualified and talented employees into the company as often happens. Also, providers usually offer the group universal life insurance to the dependents of the employees as well, making it even more attractive, and likely that the participant will stay enrolled for quite a long time.
Group universal life insurance programs will often offer some ancillary programs attached to the policy the employee purchases, such as legal help in the preparation of personal wills. Also, estate planning may be available. These attached benefits can end up saving the individual quite a lot of money. Those consulting with lawyers on the same matters outside of employer sponsored benefit plans will find these services to be quite expensive. If the employer offers a group universal life insurance program, the employee would be wise to take part in it to the fullest extent. So many people wait until middle-age before thinking about retirement, wills and estates. This may be because younger people feel that retirement is so far into the future, or they may not have yet accumulated enough assets to make it important enough to them. "The Lord is my rock, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower" (Psalms 18:2 KJV).
A feature of many group universal life insurance policies is that coverage is available for those people who become disabled and can no longer work. The lower cut off age is as low as 16, and the highest is 75 years old. The range of age may vary depending on the company that offers the policy so be sure to check this out and fully understand how the insurance works. If the individual cannot pay the required premiums to keep the policy in force, this will not be a problem, as the coverage is designed to allow for this. A feature such as this would be a great relief when no other alternative is available for income a difficult time such as this. Coverage amounts can be available for as little as $25,000 or as high as $100,000, depending on the needs and income of the individual taking the policy. There are also options that allow people with terminal illnesses to withdraw funds while still living in order to pay the expensive medical bills that will be inevitable.
Employers can utilize group universal life insurance programs as a means to own life coverage on the employees and use the funds accumulated tax free over time to take care of future liabilities. This may be a less known or less utilized avenue, but would be a creative approach to the problem. Accountants may appreciate the suggestion from management to find more ways to handle the assets. Since these policies may be used to take care of liabilities, it is in the interest of the employer to consider what type of rate should be taken advantage of for the investment. For example, most GUL's have a fixed rate of growth, but there are also opportunities to purchase variable life policies that may be able to grow faster, depending on the performance of the fund.
As with any group universal life insurance policy, there will be exclusions included which should be read and fully understood. For example, there is what is referred to as accidental death exclusions that will pay out percentages of the policy depending on the type of accident which occurred.
Not all accidental deaths are coverable however, and so the purchaser should discuss the exclusions with the provider. Some other types of exclusions, such as the terminal illness situation mentioned earlier, will require that the life expectancy be six months or less. Some other companies may allow a life expectancy of up to two years out. Should any money be taken out for this purpose, the total amount of the policy will be reduced by the amount paid out. Understanding all elements of a policy is key to feeling secure with the insurance investments in later life, when the time comes to begin using them.
Combined Life InsuranceCombined life insurance is also known as a rider policy because addendums are attached to already existing policies to fill in benefit coverage gaps. Companies sell addendums to policy holders, sometimes very cheaply. The industry company makes money while supposedly helping people in their time of need. Who benefits most from this arrangement is in question. Several lawsuits have appeared on court dockets around the country which involve companies that sell combined life insurance. American's have become enamored with new technology that has combined useful products and services, so it only makes sense that combination insurance packages would be found as well. After all, combinations are found in all areas of society because they save consumers as well as industry tons of money. It's not uncommon now-a-days for some businesses to bundle such services as telephone, internet and television into one package. Telephones are no longer just for talking. Some allow users to check email and send text messages. Televisions are being produced that even function as telephones. Combining products and services is definitely the thing to do. The fast food industry realized the savings possibilities years ago when it came out with combo meals. Retailers weren't the only ones to save. Consumers supposedly received more food for less money. Of course, the benefits and pitfalls of this is an ongoing debate.
Christians and churches have also jumped on the combination band wagon. Some churches are a combination of a place of worship, coffee shop, bookstore, and childcare provider. Combining to provide better products and services is not necessarily a bad thing. But, it can be if it serves to deceive people or attempt to get something for nothing. Buying any type of insurance should quite possibly be taken more seriously than many other types of financial transactions. For the most part, insurance benefits are designed to help out in a person's time of need. So believing that a benefit will be made available in time of a crisis only to find out after it's too late that they are not going to materialize can be devastating to an individual or a family. Shop and buy wisely. And don't be fooled by a snappy professional sounding name. Marketing Christ and Christianity has become big business. As a result, there are organizations out there promoting products or services under the umbrella of Christianity. Don't immediately jump just because it sounds safe. "Do not err, my beloved breathren." (James 1:16)
Almost anyone who has ever watched television has probably been presented with the scenario of an injured person who can't work and is worried about paying rent and bills. That's where supplemental coverage, which is another name for combined life insurance, comes into play. Basically, the rider pays for expenses the standard insurance won't cover. Benefits are often paid in cash directly to the beneficiary who then spends the money as he or she feels is the best way to use it. The rider system is designed to help pay out-of-pocket medical expenses, make up for lost wages and other expenses. Unfortunately, this system provides for almost no oversight of what actually happens to the money once it has been disbursed to the policy holder, so there is a tremendous amount of room for abuse. Instead of buying food, paying past-due bills or the rent, it's incredibly easy to just spend the money on frivolous items. An internet search of combined life insurance returned too many sites to look at. But some sites were quite negative. Check out regulations and comments concerning rider policies before buying.
So how does combined life insurance work and what all is combined? Essentially, the rider adds additional coverage to a person's original policy. These addendums override the original provisions of a policy and extend protection to areas that were not included before. Addendums can be attached to the original policy to cover disability, accidents, health, and life. Supplemental disability insurance provides benefits to a person who has been totally disabled and is unable to work. For example, a man works for a masonry company. Scaffolding is involved. The job also involves heavy lifting and climbing. One day this man wakes up and can't move his back because of the heavy lifting. He can't work for several weeks until his back is better. The masonry company isn't at fault. It adhered to all safety regulations. Unfortunately, the man's body couldn't handle such a labor intensive job. His insurance covers most of the medical expenses but not all of them. But, more importantly, his income has stopped. Fortunately, he had bought a combined life insurance policy supplemental disability rider that paid him cash during the down time. That's one way a rider can help. With a disability rider, claims are typically paid after a pre-determined time period. However, limits are put in place on how much money a claim will pay. Generally, they are designed so that a person will not receive more money than they would earn over a given time period. Otherwise people might attempt to get injured on purpose.
Another form of rider that can be purchased as part of a combined life insurance policy is supplemental accident coverage. This rider provides benefits for hospitalization, emergency room services, recovery, surgery and more. Under normal circumstances, supplemental accident coverage will only take effect after all other compensation, such as worker's compensation, have run out. Supplemental health insurance kicks in when illness hits a policy holder or their family. This rider helps pay for some of the expenses incurred during recovery. Finally, supplemental life insurance provides additional cash to beneficiaries following the policy holder's death. It's possible to buy these combined life insurance policies fairly inexpensively. Some companies offer them for under $10. Research any company thoroughly before purchasing supplemental coverage.