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Can You Transfer Employer Life Insurance Upon Job Departure?

Understanding the transferability of employer-provided life insurance is a key consideration for employees going through job changes or retirement. This article will explore the options, processes, and considerations for transferring such policies. The goal is to provide clear guidance on what you need to do to keep your life insurance coverage in times of transition.

Key takeaways:

What happens to your life insurance when you leave a job?

When you leave a job, what happens to employer-provided life insurance is a key concern. Employer life insurance typically ends when employment terminates, whether due to resignation, termination, or retirement.

Exactly when coverage ends varies, although it is typical for coverage to end on the last day of employment or the end of the month of employment.

However, there is the possibility you can port or convert this coverage into an individual policy, though this involves paying premiums independently and adhering to specific deadlines, typically within a month or two after employment ended.

What is employer life insurance portability?

Employer life insurance portability is the option to continue life insurance coverage after leaving a job by converting the group policy into an individual one. This process often leads to higher costs for you since now you must pay the entire premium amount, including the portion the employer previously paid.

How does porting employer life insurance work

To port employer life insurance, you must adhere to strict deadlines, typically within 31-60 days from the date your group life insurance coverage terminates. Porting or converting your coverage will involve filling out a conversion/portability application and filing it with the insurance company, with subsequent responsibility for timely premium payments to maintain coverage​.

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What is the advantage of portability?

There are several advantages to porting or converting your current coverage without interruption. You won’t need a medical exam or be subject to new underwriting or qualifying criteria, and your premium may stay the same.

You want to ensure you review your options carefully; your particular situation may be different, and it may be in your best interest to buy new coverage in some cases.

How to get life insurance after you leave a job

Leaving a job usually means evaluating your insurance coverage needs and goals and making new decisions about your life insurance needs and options. If carrying over your existing employer-provided life insurance isn't feasible, or if it no longer meets your needs, it’s time to consider other avenues for your life insurance coverage. There is usually the option to buy life insurance through your new employer.

You may also want to consider simply getting insurance independently as a replacement to your old coverage or an addition to what you may be able to buy through the new employer.

Here are 5 areas of consideration if you are transitioning from one job to another, to make sure your insurance needs are adequately covered:

  • Evaluate the options. Compare the coverage amount your new employer offers with your previous policy, understand whether the new employer offers term, whole, or universal life insurance, and how these fit your long-term plans. Review the cost of the new premiums under the employer's plan versus the coverage provided.
  • Pros of individual life policies. Individual policies allow you to select coverage amounts and terms appropriate to your needs. Be prepared for health assessments or medical exams usually required for individual policies. Individual policies often have higher premiums than employer-sponsored plans.
  • Considerations when choosing a new policy. These are the most impactful consideration elements, as they can significantly impact your premium rates and coverage options. Consider your debts, dependents, and future financial goals when determining coverage amount. Look for additional features like disability riders or accelerated death benefits that might be beneficial on an independent policy. Plan the transition carefully so there's no gap between when your employer-provided policy ends and when your new coverage begins.
  • Transition to new life insurance. Begin exploring options well before your current coverage ends. Read the fine print to understand your new policy's coverage exclusions, benefits, and terms. Choose a policy that can adapt to changing life circumstances, such as increasing coverage.
  • Unique circumstances. Be aware that new policies may have different stipulations regarding preexisting conditions, especially if you consider buying a policy independent of your employer’s group plan.

Finding suitable life insurance options after leaving a job requires careful planning so you can find the right coverage to meet your needs. Understanding the particulars of different policies and how they align with your personal and financial goals is the best way to make an informed decision.

What should you do with your life insurance when you change jobs?

When changing jobs, it's a good idea to evaluate and compare life insurance options with your new employer and understand how they compare to your previous coverage. If your new job offers better terms, switching might be beneficial. If not, porting your existing policy or seeking independent coverage might be better​​ for you.

Transitioning between jobs can go smoothly with proper planning. With the right guidance, you can take this opportunity to assess and even improve your needs. Whether you port your current coverage to a new employer or decide to buy a separate policy independent of employer-provided options, you can make an informed decision that will serve you well.


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