Life insurance. The benefit you can only receive when you die and yet the most difficult topic to discuss amongst family members. Death isn’t always in the forefront of our minds; however, no one should be burdened with the thoughts of knowing how to pay for a loved one’s death especially during today’s climate. In my profession as a Senior Benefits Analyst, every day I turn on the TV and see more cases that lead to deaths due to the COVID-19 pandemic not knowing whether that number included any of my employees. Some days it has.
Pop quiz: Do you know how much an average funeral will cost you? Of course not. Now think about not having any extra money to pay for a funeral especially in this economy. Here are a few items that you and your family must know BEFORE you’re faced with this tough life changing event.
Know if you’re covered – “Oh. He won’t receive ANYTHING?!? He worked for your company for 30+ years!?!” Exactly. As tough as that may sound you’d be surprised at how much employees fail to cross check this benefit. If this is an employer paid benefit, speak to someone in your benefits department to know how much you ARE covered for because sometimes the basic might not be enough. If you pay for this benefit through your employer…know your numbers! During Annual enrollment, shop around and look into additional options such as Supplemental, Spouse, or Child life insurance benefits and the amounts available to you so that you and your loved ones can be covered. If you’re unemployed – don’t fret because pretty much all major and local insurance carriers sell individual policies out there. Check em out because something is better than nothing.
Beneficiaries – “But that’s his EX-WIFE!?! Why is the money going to HER!?!” Lawd Haammerrcyyy! As a matter of fact…put this at THEE top of your list! MAKE. SURE. YOUR. BENEFICIARIES. ARE. UP. TO. DATE! I’ve seen it ALL. Person A is no longer married, dating, cool, or had a falling out with person B but… yet person B gets it all because person A never did a simple spot check on their beneficiaries since they’ve been hired. Smh. As much I like to sip on some hot tea…THIS is never a laughing matter and there’s nothing I can do. Luckily beneficiaries can be updated at anytime on your own accord and consist of anyone. It’s not just limited to your family members and you can list your BFF, your favorite organization or Trust. Do not wait until annual enrollment. Get up and do it now. Your life just may depend on it.
Have “The Talk” – Nawl fam. We’ve passed the Birds and the Bees stages of our lifetime. I’m talking about the WHEN I die conversation. I’m 36 and in the Millennial generation that is slowly taking more care of our Boomer parents that’s pushing into their 70’s. Yes, It’s a hard pill to swallow in knowing that this day is inevitable but use this time wisely while they’re still here to be proactive instead of reactive. Sit down with your parents, spouses, or children and do a walk-through of how much you’re covered for, what to expect, and who to call. It’s vital that we familiarize ourselves with our life policies before hand because once a love one dies it immediately becomes a business transaction instead of an open window to grieve.
Having awareness of these things does not mean you’re writing a death sentence but don’t allow the lack of Life insurance be an added stressor to this nationwide pandemic and the anxiety that’s already rolled within it. Unlike other benefits you’d never know when you’ll need to use this one. Having life insurance is literally the final piece to your puzzle so don’t get caught without it. Do everyone a favor and give you and your family a peace of mind but most importantly a sense of security by getting your affairs in order today. This is real.
This feature was submitted by Dev Devdevdev and written by Ashley Eichelberger
Ashley Eichelberger is a 2006 graduate of Jackson State University and a 2021 MBA candidate at Texas Woman’s University with an emphasis in Human Resources Management. Presently, she works in Human Resources as a Senior Benefits Analyst for a fortune 500 company with of over 7 years of behind the scenes experience from both Corporate and Insurance carrier environments. Her specialties include administration of Union and Non-Union Health & Welfare Group plans on a multi-state level, retirement benefits, employee wellness programs, and often travels nationally throughout her company educating employees on the importance of employee benefits.