When it comes to financial planning, one aspect that often gets overlooked is the importance of death in service benefits. Most people are unaware of what death in service benefits are and how they can provide financial security for their loved ones in the event of their untimely demise. 

At Insure My People we are experts in insurance and we know exactly how you can get the most out of your packages. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the intricacies of death in service benefits, exploring everything from what they are and how they work, to eligibility criteria, pros and cons, payout structures, and alternative options. 



What is death in service benefit?

Death in service benefit, also known as a death in service insurance policy, is a type of life insurance provided by an employer to its employees. It acts as a financial safety net, offering a lump sum payment to the beneficiaries of the insured individual in the event of their death while employed by the company. 

Unlike traditional life insurance policies, death in service benefits are typically offered as part of an employee benefits package and are not dependent on the employee paying any premiums. This means that the cost of the policy is borne by the employer, making it an attractive perk for employees.

However, death in service might not cost the employer as much as you think. To find out if your business could benefit from death in service, get in touch with us today. 


How does death in service benefit work?

Death in service benefits work by providing financial protection to the dependents or beneficiaries of an employee in the unfortunate event of their death. The policy is usually based on a multiple of the employee’s salary, typically ranging from two to four times their annual earnings. 

In the event of the employee’s death while employed by the company, the beneficiaries will receive a lump sum payment equal to the predetermined multiple of their salary. This payout can provide much-needed financial support to cover funeral expenses, mortgage payments, outstanding debts, and daily living expenses.

The payout from a death in service benefit is usually tax-free, making it an attractive option for both employees and beneficiaries. However, it’s important to note that the exact terms and conditions of the policy may vary depending on the employer and the specific insurance provider they have chosen. 


Eligibility criteria for death in service benefit

Not all employees are automatically eligible for death in service benefits. 

Eligibility criteria may vary depending on the employer’s policy and the terms of the insurance provider. Generally, death in service benefits are offered to full-time employees, although some part-time employees may also be eligible. However, temporary or contract workers are usually excluded from this type of coverage.

Additionally, there may be a minimum service requirement before an employee becomes eligible for death in service benefits. This requirement can range from a few months to a year, depending on the employer. It is important for employees to familiarise themselves with the eligibility criteria and ensure they meet the necessary conditions to qualify for this valuable benefit.


Importance of death in service benefits

Death in service benefits play a crucial role in providing financial security and peace of mind to employees and their families. 

Here are some key reasons why death in service benefits are important:

  1. Financial protection: Death in service benefits offer a financial safety net for employees’ dependents in the event of their untimely death. This lump sum payment can help cover immediate expenses such as funeral costs and outstanding debts, as well as provide ongoing financial support for the beneficiaries.
  2. Employee retention and morale: Offering death in service benefits as part of an employee benefits package can enhance employee satisfaction and loyalty. It demonstrates that the employer cares about the well-being of their employees and their families, which can contribute to higher retention rates and a positive work environment.
  3. Peace of mind: Knowing that their loved ones will be taken care of financially can provide employees with peace of mind. It allows them to focus on their work and personal life without the constant worry of what may happen if they were to pass away unexpectedly.
  4. Cost-effective: Death in service benefits are typically provided by employers at no cost to the employee. This makes it an attractive option compared to purchasing an individual life insurance policy, which can be expensive and require regular premium payments.


The benefits of death in service benefits

Like any financial product, death in service benefits come with their own set of benefits.

Here are some key advantages of death in service benefits:

  1. Financial security: Death in service benefits provide a lump sum payment to beneficiaries, offering financial security in the event of the insured individual’s death.
  2. Employer-funded: Employees do not have to pay premiums for death in service benefits, as the cost is typically covered by the employer. This makes it a cost-effective option for employees.
  3. Tax-free payout: The lump sum payment received from a death in service benefit is usually tax-free, providing beneficiaries with the full amount of the benefit.


Understanding the payout structure of death in service benefits

The payout structure of death in service benefits is an important aspect to consider when evaluating the adequacy of the coverage. The payout is typically calculated based on a multiple of the employee’s salary, with common multiples ranging from two to up to 10 times their annual earnings. 

For example, if an employee earns £50,000 per year and the death in service benefit has a multiple of three, the beneficiaries would receive a lump sum payment of £150,000.

It is crucial for employees to review the payout structure of their death in service benefit and assess whether it adequately meets the financial needs of their dependents. Factors such as outstanding debts, mortgage payments, and daily living expenses should be taken into consideration when determining the appropriate level of coverage. 


How to claim death in service benefits

In the unfortunate event of an employee’s death, the process of claiming death in service benefits can be overwhelming for the beneficiaries. However, understanding the steps involved can help simplify the process. 

Here are the general steps to follow when claiming death in service benefits:

  1. Notify the employer: The first step is to inform the employer about the employee’s death. This can be done by the next of kin or a designated representative.
  2. Obtain necessary documentation: The employer will require certain documents to initiate the claims process. These may include the death certificate, proof of relationship to the deceased, and any other supporting documentation as specified by the employer or insurance provider.
  3. Complete claim forms: The employer or insurance provider will provide claim forms that need to be completed by the beneficiaries. These forms will typically require personal information, details about the deceased, and information about the intended use of the benefit.
  4. Submit the claim: Once all the necessary documentation and claim forms are completed, they should be submitted to the employer or insurance provider as instructed. It is important to keep copies of all documents for reference.
  5. Follow up: After submitting the claim, it is advisable to follow up with the employer or insurance provider to ensure that the claim is being processed in a timely manner. This can help address any potential issues or delays that may arise.


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