Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Benjamin Carr was a licensed insurance agent in Georgia and has two years' experience in life, health, property and casualty coverage. He has worked with State Farm and other risk management firms. He is also a strategic writer and editor with a background in branding, marketing, and quality assurance. He has been in military newsrooms — literally on the frontline of journalism.

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Reviewed by Benji Carr
Former Licensed Life Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 31, 2021

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It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right life insurance coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident life insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one life insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider.

Our life insurance industry partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from top life insurance companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about life insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything life insurance-related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by life insurance experts.

The Facts of Life

  • Supplemental life insurance adds more to traditional life insurance coverage.
  • You can purchase supplemental life insurance through your job.
  • Supplemental life insurance can be deducted from your check if you choose to do so.
  • Some life insurance policies are free through your employer.

Supplemental life insurance gives you more on your traditional life insurance. Many employers across the United States provide life insurance as a benefit. However, some people may not be aware of their life insurance policy’s coverage limits from the workplace.

The standard practice of life insurance varies by the life insurance type. Regardless of insurance type, supplemental life insurance can expand coverage if you happen to pass away.

Our guide will go over everything you need to know about supplemental life insurance, what it is, where to buy it, and other various facts to help you make a decision. Think of it as supplemental life insurance 101.

Enter your ZIP code to start comparing multiple companies with supplemental life insurance policies.

What is supplemental life insurance?

Supplemental Life insurance allows you to expand your current life insurance policy. If you think you don’t have enough life insurance coverage through your employer or your life insurance company (private insurer), you can purchase a supplemental life insurance policy for more coverage limits.

For example, a life insurance policy worth $20,000 may not be enough for a family of six. A supplemental life insurance policy will extend that limit to a higher amount.

Supplement add-ons are helpful for policyholders who have a hard time getting life insurance due to health conditions.

You may have to explain why you need supplemental life insurance. The subsections below specify two reasons why you should get supplemental life insurance.

Spouse Supplemental Life Insurance

Financial support for your spouse after you’ve passed is a valid reason for supplemental life insurance. With supplement life insurance added to your policy, your spouse can rest assured that they’ll have enough money for burial, funeral costs, debts, and other expenses.

Domestic partners are also included in spouse supplemental life insurance. You can get spouse supplemental life insurance through your job and from a private life insurance company.

The standard limit for spouse and domestic partner supplemental life insurance is between $45,000 and $500,000.

Supplemental Child Life Insurance

Children can also benefit from supplemental life insurance. Expanding your life insurance policy with supplemental life insurance can help children who are beneficiaries. Supplemental life insurance can benefit you if you get a severe injury or pass away from a sudden death accident.

The maximum supplemental life insurance limit is $10,000 to $40,000 for children and other dependents.

Why should you purchase supplemental life insurance?

If you’re not confident with your life insurance coverage limits, you may need to increase benefits. Instead of canceling your life insurance policy, purchase supplemental life insurance. This prevents any losses you’ve already paid for in the last couple of months.

Is supplemental life insurance worth buying under term life insurance and whole life insurance? Let’s review the answers to those questions below.

Getting Term Life Insurance

For cheap life insurance rates, you should buy term life insurance. As the name suggests, term life insurance is life insurance that covers a particular term such as 10 years, 15 years, etc.

The life insurance value is determined by multiplying your yearly income by the number of years of the life insurance term.

If you believe the term life Insurance isn’t enough, you can get supplemental life insurance to add more to your life insurance policy. Also, term life insurance is standard among private insurers.

Getting Whole Life Insurance

Whole life insurance policies are similar to retirement savings. It’s an life insurance policy that lasts you entire life insurance. When paying into whole life insurance, your life insurance policy amount grows.

However, there are disadvantages if your life insurance balance isn’t enough for your spouse, children, and other beneficiaries. To give your whole life insurance policy a boost, buy supplemental life insurance.

If you have it through your employer, go to your employer’s Human Resources department and ask for supplemental life insurance. They may take a few dollars out of your check. Supplemental life insurance through the workplace is known as group supplemental life insurance.

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The Best Supplemental Life Insurance Companies

If you’re leaning toward getting supplemental life insurance through a private company, start with the best companies in the life insurance industry.

Explore the subsections below to learn how much supplemental life insurance will cost per year and how much the best life insurance companies charge per month.

How much is supplemental life insurance?

Supplemental life insurance varies by company and employer. Several factors determine life insurance, such as age and health condition. There’s no clear answer on how much you’ll spend on supplemental life insurance.

According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, disabled veterans can receive low-cost life insurance despite their health conditions.

Typically, a person in their 30s would spend about $168 per year on supplemental life insurance. However, a senior policyholder could spend up to $6,000 per year.

Comparing Life Insurance Rates

The best way to save money on life insurance is through comparison shopping. We researched the best companies in the life insurance industry and compared their average monthly rates. In addition to monthly rates, we included their A. M. Best ratings.

Average Monthly Life Insurance Rates by the Top Companies
CompaniesAverage Monthly Life Insurance RatesA.M. Best Rating
Banner Life$9A+
Guardian Life$10A++
Haven Life$11A++
New York Life$11A++
John Hancock$11A+
Mutual of Omaha$12A+
State Farm$15A++
Northwestern MutualN/AA++
Pacific LifeN/AA+
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These rates are based on the average cost of life insurance. Expect your rates to change. Life insurance companies determine life insurance rates through various factors.

The Difference Supplemental Life Insurance vs. AD&D

Supplemental life insurance is an additional life insurance policy that expands life insurance.

However, AD&D or accidental death and dismemberment insurance will pay out life insurance if you pass away from a sudden accident or if you’ve sustained a severe injury that disables you from working.

Employer-Provided Life Insurance

If your employer provides life insurance, you won’t have to do much at all. Employers usually set up life insurance during the hiring process. As you become an employee, they’ll explain the benefits of working with a company.

Out of all the professions in the United States, federal employees probably have the most benefits. Federal workers have a life insurance program designed just for them, which is called Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (FEGLI).

Portable Coverage

What if your employer doesn’t have life insurance benefits? The answer is to get a personal life insurance policy with supplemental life insurance attached to it. Or you could get something called portable life insurance.

Portable life insurance, or portability, is a perk that provides coverage no matter where you work.

Ask about portability if you’re getting a life insurance policy from a private company. If you’re curious about portability with life insurance from your employer, ask the human resources department if you can keep your life insurance policy after you’ve left.

If you have a whole life insurance policy through your current employer, you can keep it as long as you need it.

How Life Insurance is Different Through Private Insurers

Life insurance is a benefit through your employer doesn’t require you to do anything. Your employer will likely enroll you in a retirement plan, life insurance policy, and other services.

However, you will lose your life insurance coverage when you leave your job.

Private insurers are more hands-on. You’ll need to manage payments and changes to the policy when they occur. Also, you can keep your coverage. Your Term Life insurance will end when the term is over, but Whole Life will continue throughout your life.

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How do age and health affect life insurance?

Age and health conditions are factors that determine the cost of life insurance. Younger policyholders pay significantly less than seniors in the life insurance industry. However, preexisting conditions and other health issues can make it difficult for you to get life insurance.

Shop around for life insurance companies that are familiar with any health problems that you have. A life insurance provider doesn’t usually deal with preexisting conditions may deny your life insurance policy request.

Supplemental Life Insurance: The Bottom Line

Ultimately, you may want to consider adding supplemental life insurance if your term life insurance isn’t enough. Coverage limits around $10,000 is certainly not enough for large families.

Employers have made it easier for employees, but the individual seeking supplemental life insurance through a private insurer will face some challenges.

Prices are increasing. Funeral and burial costs take a lot more from the individual. Therefore, a supplemental life insurance policy will ensure you have everything you need to pay for expenses after someone has passed away.

You find supplemental life insurance in your area by entering your ZIP code in the FREE comparison tool below.