Many employers now offer or expand employee coverage in the areas of long-term, disability, accident, critical and universal life insurance.
Long-term care insurance helps people needing help with daily living for the long haul, perhaps from a health setback or old age. It pays a daily amount for professional help in a facility or person’s home, or from a community organization. Some policies cover temporary need, say, up to five years, giving employees the security of knowing they’ll have help coming back from a medical crisis. Other long-term insurance continues to pay as a person ages.
By replacing lost income, disability insurance reassures employees who worry about what will happen if an accident or illness takes away their ability to earn a living. Short-term disability pays out for up to two years while long-term disability helps for longer periods, sometimes for the rest of an employee’s life.
Employers offering accident insurance as part of a work benefits package help protect against the consequences of accidents. Employees’ families may be helped as well, since some policies pay heirs a lump sum if the accident takes an employee’s life. Besides the death pay-out, accident insurance typically pays a monthly amount to the policyholder while that employee suffers the accident’s negative effects.
If it’s not an accident threatening an employee, it could be a critical illness. Against that, critical insurance offers employees a hedge against the calamitous financial impact that serious illnesses often have. Also known as catastrophic illness insurance, this workplace benefit can supplement healthcare coverage by paying out a lump sum to a sick employee. The money can be used as needed, perhaps toward a deductible or noninsured medical expense.
Universal life insurance accumulates a cash value by investing premiums. Policyholders can change premiums, death benefits and the savings component according to their financial goals. This control is one advantage of universal life. The cash value accumulates tax free and the employee can borrow against it, pay for education, use it toward a home down payment or loan, or toward starting a business.
Taken together, offering a comprehensive workplace benefits package can help employees feel secure in their situations, while telling talented, would-be employees that the company practices solidarity with workers through thick and thin.