Group Versus Individual Life Insurance Policies

Here's how to find out whether you'll get a better deal purchasing coverage through your employer or on your own.

I’m starting a new job, and among the benefits I get is life insurance that equals my annual salary. I also have the option of buying extra coverage at a group rate. Is this a good deal?

The free coverage is definitely a good deal. But before jumping on the extra coverage, compare the group rates with how much it would cost to buy a comparable policy on your own. If you’re healthy, buying an individual policy could be less expensive and you may be able to lock in the rate for a longer time period than the group coverage.

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Kimberly Lankford
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

As the "Ask Kim" columnist for Kiplinger's Personal Finance, Lankford receives hundreds of personal finance questions from readers every month. She is the author of Rescue Your Financial Life (McGraw-Hill, 2003), The Insurance Maze: How You Can Save Money on Insurance -- and Still Get the Coverage You Need (Kaplan, 2006), Kiplinger's Ask Kim for Money Smart Solutions (Kaplan, 2007) and The Kiplinger/BBB Personal Finance Guide for Military Families. She is frequently featured as a financial expert on television and radio, including NBC's Today Show, CNN, CNBC and National Public Radio.