For the first time in history,more Americans are covered by life insurance through their employerthan by individually purchased policies. (Image:Shutterstock)

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Employees want to protect what they love most, primarily theirfamily and loved ones. If something were to happen to an employee,an employer-sponsored life insurance policy would help the familymanage expenses, including mortgages, car payments, loans andeveryday bills that often become a burden whena family member passes away. However, there are other benefits tooffering a life insurance policy beyond helping employees preparefor the unexpected.

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Considering the tragic circumstances that must happen for lifeinsurance to go into effect, most employees don't proactively seekout coverage. Many people do not voluntarily think about lifeinsurance or have the luxury of working with a financialprofessional. Therefore, the only place they learn about and accesslife insurance is through the workplace.

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Related: How to reach today's potential life insurancebuyers

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For the first time in history, more Americans are covered bylife insurance through their employer than by individuallypurchased policies. Fifty-seven percent of life insurancepolicyholders obtain it exclusively through their workplace. Thisrepresents an opportunity for employers to offer life insurance toenhance their benefits packages, attract and retain talent and be there tosupport an employee's family through one of life's toughestsituations. Offering a life insurance product sets companies apartfrom industry peers and provides a unique and valuableresource.

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There are several pros to offering life insurance,including:

1. Attract and retain talent in the growing workforce

Today's job market is rapidly growing, and employers must offertop-notch benefits to attract and retain quality talent. Foremployers, today's tight labor market serves as an opportunity torethink their overall employee benefits packages and how it can bea key differentiator among other companies.

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This is where a Voluntary Term Life Program can be beneficial toboth employers and employees. For employers, it provides a way tocomplement an employee benefits program without adding significantcost; for a workforce that's becoming increasingly diverse, it's aconvenient and often less costly way to achieve financialfreedom.

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With that in mind, the right Voluntary Term Life Plan shouldhelp meet employees' needs and include the following:

  • Generous Guarantee Issue Amounts – This helpsemployees take advantage of coverage opportunity, regardless ofhealth history
  • Portability – This feature is a big plus foremployees should they change jobs; it ensures they maintainfinancial protection
  • Plan Options – Consider added features likeLifeAssist®, which provide critical income to employees who suffera severe or catastrophic disability while on approved waiver ofpremium
  • Easy Enrollment – Education about the productis critical in helping employees understand how to get the bestcoverage for their family, along with multiple enrollmentoptions

2. Enhance employee financial wellness

According to Guardian's Workplace Benefit Study, more workers indicatethey are struggling to meet their goals related to saving forretirement and college, managing debt, and protecting their familyin the event of premature death or being out of work for anextended period of time due to a serious illness or injury. TheStudy also found that the top cause of stress for American workerswas their financial situation, yet 1 in 4 working Americans have nolife insurance.

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Employers are finding that they can achieve better results bytaking a more holistic approach to managing workforce well-being,one that includes a strong financial foundation. One key componentis supporting financial wellness with a variety of efforts,including broad insurance benefit options for more adequateprotection such as voluntary life insurance, college tuitionsavings, financial education and benefits enrollment support.

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Additionally, for younger employees who purchase their policies,life insurance can provide support for a future family or otherpersonal life goals. Even more important is that it can help familynot incur debt, like college or credit card debt, or help withfuneral costs should an untimely death occur. While this may be thelast thing on a millennial's mind, life insurance is addedprotection for all life stages.

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With a life insurance offering, employers make an investment byhelping foster a more productive and focused workforce – somethingthat will ultimately help a company's bottom line.

3. Increase employee satisfaction and productivity

When employers help set employees on a path toward betterfinancial wellness, it pays off. As notedearlier, our research shows that financial stress impacts workingAmericans emotional and physical well-being. The results of thiscan be a negative for an employer because financial-related stresscan distract employees at work driving down productivity andoverall job satisfaction.

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And with the changing workplace demographics, millennials aremaking themselves heard when it comes to what will keep themsatisfied in the workplace. Guardian's latest study on millennialfinance reveals that millennials say having a detailed financialplan is equally as important to them as getting a raise. More thanhalf (62 percent) of millennials also say getting financial advicefrom their employer would increase their financial confidence. Thisdata reveals that employers who offer benefits, such as lifeinsurance, have increased employee satisfaction and well-being.

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This financial confidence allows employees to be more productiveand satisfied at work, as well build a foundation of trust withtheir employer. When a company invests in their employees'individual financial health by offering flexible and top-notchbenefits, it will profit in the long run by retaining qualityemployees and building a positive company culture.

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As workers continue to rely on employers for access to employeebenefits, an effective benefits communication and enrollmentstrategy should be top of mind. Research continues to show thatemployees find the enrollment process confusing, and many thinkit's difficult to access and learn about their benefits. Brokersshould develop a strategy to help employers increase enrollmentparticipation through a variety of tools such as product education,decision support resources and online enrollment options. Havingthe right benefits communications plan will empower employees toselect the products that will help meet their family's needs.

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The future is shaped by events – big events that impact familylife such as getting married having children, seeing them grow upand go off to college, and perhaps getting married themselves.Employees want to be there for their families and life insurancehelps individuals protect what they value most. In turn, they willvalue an employer that helps them do so every step of the way.


JudyBuczek is director of group products, life anddisability, for Guardian.

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