Key Person Life Insurance

Looking to keep your company protected with Key Person Life Insurance?  Having an important (key) employee replaced can take a lot of money and time. The time it takes to transition and replace your key person may result in lost customers. Let’s see  how to avoid this potential disaster.

Key Person Life Insurance

Key person life insurance provides a death benefit that can aid in covering financial losses if your key person employee were to die. This helps in maintaining the continuation of the company for the sake of customers, staff members, and creditors.

Having a key person life insurance policy for your best employees also solidifies their worth to your company, making the relationship stronger.

More aspects of key person insurance

  • You can use the death benefit to develop and recruit a replacement for a key employee
  • Coverage is a company asset that improves your business’ creditworthiness when borrowing funds for commercial purposes
  • The cash value of the policy might be available to your company via a loan or withdrawal if required
  • The premiums, which are non-deductible, are paid by the company

Life Insurance Blog can assist you in going through the proper channels and establishing your company with the most suitable key person life insurance policy at the best rate.

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Purchase Key Person Insurance to Keep Your Company Protected

This post will go over key-person life insurance: what it is, who requires it, and how to get the best rate possible. We will also address the tax ramifications a company could face upon taking out key man life insurance policy.

Key-Man Business Life Insurance

What is it?

You may have noticed already that there are a few terms that keep popping up.

Key person, key employee, and key man business life insurance mean the same thing and can be used interchangeably. Key man life insurance is taken out by a company that keeps someone covered whose absence from a company would produce significant financial difficulty.

Essentially, whoever is important to the continuation of an organization can be a key man. The company addresses who the key person is, and life insurance is purchased by the company on said individual. The company then pays the premiums, and in the event of the key man’s death, funds are allocated to the life insurance beneficiary of the key man – the business.

Is Your Company Protected with Key Man Life Insurance?

Who are your Key Employees?

Key employee business life insurance must concentrate on a few primary categories: (1) company survival or continuity, (2) troublesome or impossible to replace, (3) bank loan or SBA financing.

  • Company survival or Business continuation: Key employee insurance must be used for any individual within the company who’s sudden passing would impact the survival or continuity of the company. Key Person Insurance provides creditors with comfort knowing that the business won’t miss a beat if the insured individual passes away.
  • Impossible to replace: Key person life insurance must be used for any staff member whose unanticipated passing would make it troublesome or impossible for the company to get replaced.
  • Bank loan or SBA financing: Key man life insurance will be needed for any business owner who wants to take out a bank loan or an SBA.

Key Person Employee Examples:

  • Owner: The owner of a business, particularly if the loss impacts the long or short-term viability of the company, like negatively impacting the business’ status with creditors, or the organization’s capacity to obtain financing.
  • Technical: A software engineer or scientist who produced the business’ intellectual property would surely be thought of as a key-man insurance candidate.
  • Sales Leader: A sales leader, particularly if the individual has turned into the main employee for most of the business’ primary customers, and generates a decent portion of the company’s revenue.

Establishing How Much Key Man Life Insurance is Needed

There are numerous approaches to establish how much key-person insurance a company should take out.

Overall, the amount to be determined should be what the company can afford without affecting other aspects of the company. A few areas to keep in mind are replacement costs, income multiple, and the company’s revenue percentage.

Replacement Cost

If a key employee needed to be replaced, what would it cost the company?

Factors to take into consideration would be the time needed to locate a substitute. You would also need to have the staff member trained and informed about the ins-and-outs of the company. Meanwhile, income would be lost while this is taking place because of the key employee’s absence. As such, the loss of revenue should be included.

The average figure is ten times the key person’s income.

Income/Salary Multiple

Although this is a simple valuation approach, it fails to take the company or key employee into consideration. You can just take the existing key employee’s revenue and multiply it 5 to 10 times.

Company Revenue Percentage

What is the key person’s percentage of the contributions made to the overall revenue of the company? After the contributions of the key person are figured out, that figure must be multiplied by the amount it would require to get someone to replace the key person. This timeframe is generally 1 to 3 years.

A fast method for determining the value of a key person is to establish the staff member’s contribution percentage to the gross or net profits of the company. Afterward, that figure should be multiplied by two years for the gross profit percentage. For net profit percentage, the amount should be multiplied by 5 years.

For instance, if 20% is contributed by a key employee towards the business’ net profit and the organization’s annual net profits are $1,000,000, then $200,000 is contributed by the key employee yearly. As such, key man life insurance policy of $1,000,000 would be required with the net profit percentage [(10% X $1,000,000) X 5 years].

Key Person Insurance Underwriting Requirements

Here are the basic underwriting requirements for a key man life insurance policy:

  • An underwriter will approve life insurance face amounts between 5-10xs the earned income.
  • Bonuses could be included as well.
  • Several carriers demand that the bonus is regularly paid as per the business’ bonus plan.
  • Further, if the company has awarded the key person with ownership interest, the right company net income percentage can be added to the person’s revenue.
  • Prior to the coverage going into effect, the key person employee must sign an Employer-Owned Life Insurance Acknowledgement and Consent form.
  • Tip: For an employee to become a key person, several states have certain qualification requirements.

A life insurance company will look into how the company established the life insurance amount needed. Key man insurance underwriters need to find out about the key employees:

  • Type of Company: Which type of company is your business? C Corp, S Corp, LLC, Sole Proprietorship, etc.…
  • Revenue: the income level of a key man will be used by insurance companies to aid in establishing the amount of coverage they’re willing to provide.
  • Experience: an experienced key man will be more valuable to the company as time passes. As such, the level of experience aids life insurance carriers in establishing the worth of a key employee.
  • Position in the company: The role of the key man in the company is vital since not just anyone is regarded as worthwhile for the key-man role.
  • Skill set: much like the position in the company, the skill set of a key man aids in determining if a staff member is capable of being a key man.

Types of Key Man Life Insurance

Choosing the proper coverage type is not as easy as it sounds. What type of key person life insurance should you choose?

Occasionally, it’s more prudent to select certain types of life insurance. Is Term vs Whole Life the best or is some other policy better? It depends on a variety of factors that we’ll address below. That said, every individual circumstance warrants experts to figure out the advantages and disadvantages of whole life versus term life.

Term Life Insurance Policies

  • Term life is the cheapest life insurance. It comes in numerous term lengths, and for the term’s duration, the premium is fixed. Term lengths range from 1 to 3 decades, but 1 and 5-year terms are an option.
  • One company represented by us provides a maximum of $1,000,000 worth of coverage for a key employee without an exam needed. As such, if you require coverage and the key employee doesn’t want to go through with an exam, this is an ideal choice.

Permanent Life Insurance Policies

There are a pair of choices when it comes to permanent life insurance: Universal and Whole Life

Whole Life insurance accumulates cash value and lasts for the duration of the insured’s lifetime. One advantage of cash value life insurance is the option to use funds through tax-free policy loans. Liquidity can be supplemented to your company when you truly require it. Further, it can stimulate a key person to remain with the company until their policy has completely vested.

Universal Life comes in Variable, Indexed, and Guaranteed policies.

  • Guaranteed Universal Life generally will last your lifetime. It accumulates cash value at a slow rate in comparison to indexed or whole life insurance, however it is not designed for loans or withdrawals. It is designed to provide lifetime coverage at an affordable rate.
  • Indexed Universal Life Insurance may be worthwhile because cash value is retained through it. The cash value can add more reasons for your key employee to remain longer. Also, in the event of the key person departing, a third party can purchase the policy as a life settlement. Based on the age of the key employee, a business can obtain a better rate if the coverage no longer becomes necessary.

What Kind of Coverage is Ideal for Key Man Life Insurance?

There isn’t one type that can please everyone. Every product has its highlights and advantages. Also, several come with vital life insurance riders, like critical illness, disability, and terminal illness riders. Contact our professionals now to discuss your choices. We will aid you in selecting a suitable for your needs, as well as your company’s.

What Term Length is Needed for Key Person Life Insurance?

The term length should be connected to a certain date down the road, like retirement. For instance, if a key individual is 45 years of age and the anticipated retirement for that person is 65, then a suitable term life insurance length would be 20 years.

Different kinds of life insurance, like universal or whole life, may be more advantageous in stimulating the key employee if they have access to the cash value.

Is Key Man Life Insurance Tax Deductible?

Key employee insurance premiums are not tax deductible. The general rule is that no deduction will be allowed for the following:

  • The life insurance premiums on any policy if the taxpayer is indirectly or directly the life insurance beneficiary under the contract or the policy.

Proceeds for Key Man Life Insurance Tax Treatment

Company proceeds from the key employee life insurance are regarded as revenue, and the company will be taxed assuming Notice and Consent requirements below are met.

Requirements for Consent and Notices

The requirements for consent and notices are met if, prior to the contract being issued:

  • The key person is told in writing that the applicable policyholder plans to insure the key person’s life and the maximum face amount for which the key man may be insured upon issuance of the contract,
  • The key person offers written consent to being insured as per the contract and that this coverage might keep going upon termination of the insured’s employment, and
  • The key man is told in writing that the relevant policyholder is the beneficiary and will receive proceeds paid upon the employee’s death.

Further, an additional form has to be accompanied by the employer’s yearly income tax return. These details are needed:

  • The amount of staff employed at year’s end.
  • The amount of staff who are insured at year’s end as per employer-owned life insurance contracts.
  • Under these contracts, the total of life insurance in force at year’s end.
  • The employer’s contact information and taxpayer ID as well as the kind of business that the employer has.
  • If the employer has the proper consent for all insured staff members, and if not, the amount of insured staff who lack this consent.

How to get Affordable Key Person Life Insurance

Life Insurance Blog is an independent broker. Our licensed independent life insurance agents are experienced and have access to the best companies. We’ll provide you customized quotes and help you through the entire process. We understand that selecting the perfect policy can be a difficult and long process, but we’re here to help you.

Call us at 888-411-1329 if you would like learn more about how Key Person Life Insurance can contribute to the succession of your business. You can also speak directly with one of our Licensed Advisors, we’re here to help! For more information about your insurance needs, visit our Business Life Insurance page.

You can also compare rates from over 40 top rated life insurance companies using our free instant life insurance quoter. It’s found on the side of the page (or top if on mobile).

Thank you for reading our post, Key Person Life Insurance. Please leave a comment or question below.

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Michael Quinn

Michael Quinn is the founder of LifeInsuranceBlog. If you have specific questions or face challenges getting coverage. Please email or call me a call at 888-411-1329 - Either way, I'm happy to help you.

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