Should You Offer Life Insurance in Your Benefits Package?

September 22, 2015

Narcissists. Entitled job-hoppers. Smartphone addicts. That’s what millennials are, right? Despite their bad reputation, Joel Capperella (an Entrepreneur contributor) said they’re also "the best hire." Let's indulge in a little perspective. Gen X got a bad rap, too, when they were "just a bunch of slackers" entering the workforce. And when you think about how Boomers behaved in their adolescence, well, suffice it to say every generation has its youthful indiscretions.

The truth is that millennials bring their own set of strengths to the workplace. Capperella said they’re "fiercely inclusive," achieving "stronger decision-making" because they're "more likely to build culturally-competent teams." Despite their bratty reputation, they're "highly self-sufficient." And they don't just want a job. They want a purpose.

Millennials expect a lot from their workplaces.

Younger workers think big-picture when they’re vetting job possibilities. Unlike older generations, they don’t expect to fit their personal life around their nine-to-five obligations. Rather, they want the nine-to-five to reflect who they are and contribute to their quality of life.

In response, corporate giants Google and Facebook have created state-of-the-art campuses with amenities like gyms, free haircuts, ping pong, massage, sleep pods, treadmill desks, natural lighting and really good food.

Younger workers expect a lot from their group benefits too.

Gen X and Y workers want benefits – good ones – although the type of benefits they want may be unconventional. For example, take life insurance. That’s a benefit businesses are not required to offer. In 2010, only 44 percent of businesses did. Yet the proportion of Gen X and Y workers who are interested in life insurance is high: A recent study found that these workers represented 75 percent of workplace life insurance customers.

September is Life Insurance Awareness Month.

Now is a good time to acknowledge where the gaps are in the coverage that Gen X and Y workers receive. As it turns out, the gaps are significant. To illustrate the point, take these findings from a 2015 study by LearnVest and GUARDIAN.

  • Many Gen X and Y life insurance customers (65 percent) rely exclusively on their workplace coverage.
  • The average amount they'd need to provide for their dependents was over a million dollars.
  • The average coverage they actually carry was around $390,000.
  • Almost one in five don't know what their current coverage is.
  • Meanwhile, 70 percent feel confident that their insurer will meet their needs when the time comes.

There’s a moral to this story.

While some businesses still don’t offer life insurance in their benefits packages, Gen X and Y workers want this type of coverage. To attract the most valuable candidates, businesses need to meet them there. Second, the coverage that many businesses do offer isn’t sufficient for most employees, who may not even know they’re being underserved.

We encourage you to educate your workforce on life insurance this month: what it is, what they may not know, when to find out, and how much coverage to get. We also encourage you to add or expand your life insurance offering, if you haven’t already. While you may not be able to provide your workforce with sleep pods and free haircuts, you can still attract some of the “best hires” among Gen X and Y: The secret is a competitive benefits package. Contact our benefit advisory services to learn more.