As a business owner, your most valuable asset in your company is, and always will be, your best people. Key employee life insurance is needed because, at any given moment, a business can suffer from a key employee’s death in a number of specific ways. One is the loss of the person’s management skill and experience, especially in a business with little management depth. This is a true custom-tailored plan that helps businesses accomplish long-term goals, multitask dollars, and protect assets while building lasting wealth.
Key person life insurance reimburses a business for economic loss when an employee who is critical to the success of the business dies. Key employee life insurance is not a specific type of policy, but a way to use life insurance to off-set a significant business risk. A key employee may or may not be an owner; however, key employees are generally highly paid and responsible for management decisions, and exert a significant impact on sales and enjoy a special rapport with customers and creditors.
If a business suffers from a key employee’s death, the business notifies the employee that it intends to purchase a specified amount of life insurance on the employee’s life and obtains the employee’s written consent. The business applies for and is the owner and beneficiary of a policy on the key employee’s life.
Key person life insurance serves a number of uses benefiting a business, both during the key employee’s life and after the employee’s death. Death proceeds are generally exempt from federal income tax when the notice and consent requirements have been met. If the insured employee doesn’t die while employed, the policy’s cash value is available to the business.
Key person life insurance demonstrates financial stability to creditors. If the key employee is an owner of the business, the policy can help fund a buy-out of a business interest when death occurs. If the employee lives, the policy’s cash value can be used to provide employee compensation.