Additionally, if your spouse has a policy and you are concerned about shared dependents, Holeman says you may want to consider increasing their coverage to help offset the loss of your policy.
“If you are newly unemployed and you want to continue [having] life insurance, you should probably jump on that as soon as possible,” Holeman says. Insurers typically look favorably on employment as it can indicate whether you can pay your premiums. They may not see you as a risk if you can show that your unemployment was recent and you have strong job prospects.
Another way to show financial strength is through your assets. Holeman explains that insurers may be more inclined to sell you a policy if you can show a consistent history of paying for things like a car loan or mortgage.
For those who are worried that they may be losing a job — and are able to pay the premiums on a new policy — buying coverage on the open market while still employed may be easier, Holeman says.
Talk to your HR team
Your former employer “likely offers a financial wellness program to help you better understand what benefits you truly need,” says Jessica Gillespie, senior vice president and head of distribution at Prudential Group Insurance. HR teams can also explain any pandemic-related allowances, such as coverage extensions for employees who are temporarily laid off, furloughed or working reduced hours.
If you are interested in keeping the same policy, Holeman suggests talking to your HR team to see if you can convert it to an individual policy. You also may have the option to transfer your coverage to a new employer if it carries the same type of policy. Some insurers are extending porting and conversion windows so employees have more time to make the switch.