General Insurance Description

Union Plus Insurance Education

General Insurance Description

No one likes to think about the misfortunes that might come our way. Whether you're single or married, a parent or grandparent, insurance coverage can help ensure financial security for you and your loved ones. Insurance may be the key to helping safeguard the future of your family.

Employer-provided insurance plans may not provide enough protection, which is why plans (like the Union Plus programs described on this site) can be valuable:


Accident and Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D)


Insurance plans that do not come directly from your employer also help you maintain coverage if you transfer jobs or if you're ever out of work.

When you purchase insurance, you should check to see if it pays benefits in addition to any other coverage you may have. (Union Plus affordable insurance provides benefits in addition to your employer's plan or other individual insurance.)

With so many types of insurance, deciding which works best for you can be confusing. So read below to learn more about what types of supplemental insurance are available and whether or not the types of coverage fit your needs.

Life insurance - and the difference between term and whole life coverage

Life Insurance

Do you have bills, a car loan, mortgage, dependents? If you were to die suddenly, what kind of financial hardship would result? Would your spouse or children be left without basic support? Would your burial costs impose undue financial hardship on others? As uncomfortable as it is to think about these questions, they are at the core of sound life insurance decisions. If there are people who depend on you, life insurance may be valuable financial protection.

Life insurance provides a certain amount of money (called the "death benefit") upon your death to someone you select as your beneficiary. In return for this protection, you pay the insurance company periodic payments, known as "premiums." The premium amount generally depends on factors such as the amount of coverage you selected (how much money your dependents should receive), your age, gender, medical history and whether you intend to build up cash value in your policy. Some policies may require a medical exam.

Two of the most common types of life insurance are term life and whole life. Depending on you, and your family's needs, term life and whole life can provide the financial security you need.

Term Life

You pay a premium for coverage over a specific period of time (a term) of one, five or ten years - or to a specific age, such as 70. At the end of your term, your policy ends. Death benefits are paid only if you die within that term of years.

Typically, you may renew your policy at the end of each term (your beginning age will determine how much your premiums will be each month). These term insurance policies are "renewable" for one or more additional terms even if your health has changed. Each time you renew the policy for a new term, premiums will be higher due to your new age.

Some term insurance policies are also "convertible." This means that before the end of the term period, you may trade the term policy for a whole life policy even if you are not in good health. Premiums for the new policy can be quite a bit higher than you have been paying for the term insurance.

Because the premiums for term insurance increase with age, young and middle-aged people benefit greatly from term life's economical rates. Term life could be a great choice for those in need of additional protection - such as families with young children, mortgages, college tuition costs and other large bills.

Accident and Accidental Death and Dismemberment insurance plans

The two most common types of accident insurance are:Accidental Death or Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D); these types of coverage provide a benefit if you die as a result of a covered accident. It is guaranteed to be issued - that is, it is not based on underwriting (as life insurance is). AD&D also includes dismemberment benefits when an accident results in the loss of limbs, eyesight or hearing without resulting in death.

Accident insurance coverage typically costs less than life insurance (term or whole life) because it pays on accidents only - not illness.

Accident insurance is important because it can help close the coverage gaps left by other insurance coverage programs - life, health, workers' compensation and disability. It can cover expenses other plans may not. Accident insurance can also provide "living benefits" or payments that the insured can receive while he/she is still alive, such as payments for dismemberment.

Be sure to compare your coverage when you're selecting a plan and determine exactly what types of accidents are covered. Your employer may provide accident insurance - but you typically need accident protection off-the-job, where most fatal accidents occur. In fact, nearly 9 out of 10 deaths and about two thirds of disabling injuries suffered by American workers occur off-the-job.1

1 Based on 2010 data from Injury Facts , 2012 Edition