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A Risk Less Ordinary

Going beyond the basics

Have you considered taking your insurance benefits beyond the basic health, life and disability policies? One excellent way to do it is with special-risk health and life products-narrowly focused policies with special benefit terms. Available through life and specialty insurers, the policies go beyond major medical and life coverages to provide additional benefits for dread disease (such as cancer), accidental death and dismemberment, long-term care, vision and dental benefits if they're not covered under your medical policy, and more. These extra benefits will improve your insurance package, thus helping with employee hiring and retention. But with so many to choose from (and with prices varying widely), how do you decide which, if any, to add to your benefit mix?

Two primary factors come into play: 1) the demographics and needs of your employees and 2) the cost of the product and who is going to pay for it. Marilyn Conyer, vice president of human resources with Accord Human Resources Inc. in Oklahoma City, says white-collar, higher-paid workers are likely to be less interested in supplemental hospitalization policies and more interested in products such as long-term care, while blue-collar, lower-wage employees tend to opt for dread disease and similar coverages.

Most important, says Conyer, "understand what you're being sold. Some policies might look good in the presentation but don't make sense for your employee group." Be sure you're clear on what's covered, when benefits are paid, and what exclusions and limitations apply.

Jacquelyn Lynn is a freelance business writer based in Orlando, Florida.

This story appears in the June 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »