Dream Job, Insurance saving

What’s the definition of a dream job? Many will say a big paycheck to afford what they want. Others would say it is the freedom to pursue their passion. 

 

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A dream job, however you choose to define it, can afford you perks, such as getting the optimum when it comes to insurance.

 

 

This post will review health insurance plans, from what companies are required to provide to which companies go above and beyond for their employees. We’ll do the same with life insurance.

 

 

A dream job can also have a bearing on the savings that you get on personal life insurance. There’s even car insurance by occupation savings. This post will also highlight the multiple ways you can save on your car insurance policy based on your dream job.

 

 

Your Occupation and Health Insurance

Of course, a dream job would include an excellent health benefits package. Here’s the range of employee health insurance, from what health insurance is required, what employers can offer, and who offers the best health insurance. 

 

Health Insurance Requirements

Employers, technically, are not required to provide health insurance. But if you’re a company with over 50 full-time employees (FTEs), meaning those who work 30 or more hours a week, you’re considered an applicable large employer (ALE) and you’ll be fiscally punished if you don’t offer it  — to the tune of a tax penalty of $3,680 per employee, in accordance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

 

While ALEs aren’t required to extend health insurance coverage to an employee’s spouse, they are required to do so to an employee’s dependents, as long as they’re the employee’s biological or adopted children up to age 26.

 

For companies with fewer than 50 FTEs, providing health insurance is voluntary, unless you’re in a state or city that has taken employee health insurance rules into their own hands, like Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, and San Francisco.

 

And the contribution employers are required to pay for each employee’s health insurance premiums is at least 50 percent. 

 

Health Insurance Benefits Employers Could Offer

Since group health insurance is highly valued by employees, employers could sweeten their health benefits package by covering more than 50 percent of the employee’s premium.

 

And most do: Employers paid 67 percent of medical premiums for family coverage plans in March 2020, with an average annual contribution of $13,717, according to data from the National Compensation Survey – Benefits program, released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

 

Employers can also offer healthcare plans that cover medically-related expenses that don’t fall under a traditional health plan: flexible spending accounts (FSAs) and health savings accounts (HSAs). Both are tax-free funds individuals can use to pay out-of-pocket health care costs, but there are differences.

 

FSA funds generally must be used within the plan year, and employers aren’t required to, but they can opt to either provide a grace period of up to two-and-a-half extra months to use the money or allow a carryover of up to $550 per year to use the following year. Since the account is employer-owned, if an employee leaves the company they forfeit their remaining FSA funds.

 

HSA funds are more flexible. Employees can roll over their funds from year to year, and it doesn’t count toward their maximum contribution limit. And since they’re employee-owned, an employee who leaves the company can take their HSA with them.

 

The restriction on an HSA is that it’s only available if you have a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP), which is a health plan that only covers preventative services before the deductible.

 

 

Providers Offering the Best Health Insurance Coverage

Health insurance costs aren’t only escalating for individuals, but for employers too. So it’s not surprising that many companies are decreasing the percentage of their contributions: While we noted employers paid on average 67 percent of medical premiums in 2020, they paid an average of 70 percent just a year earlier.

 

Luckily, there are many industries with above-average health benefits packages. The top 10 are healthcare and social assistance; transportation and warehousing; technical, professional, and scientific services; wholesale trade; mining, quarrying, and gas and oil extraction; manufacturing; finance and insurance; information; management; and utilities.

 

Specifically, the list is at least in the double digits of companies that pay 100 percent of your health insurance premium.

 

If you work for these companies, you get high marks for a dream job; if you don’t, here’s where to apply: Arthrex, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Boston Consulting Group, FactSet, Haver & Boecker, GoDaddy, Jiff, Kimley-Horn and Associates, Pacific Air Systems, Rubicon, SmartBrief, Twitter, Ultimate Software, and ZocDoc.

 

 

Your Occupation and Life Insurance

A dream job should also include free life insurance, right? See what’s required, what’s offered, who offers the best, and if it provides enough coverage for you and your family.

 

Your Employer’s Life Insurance Plan

Similar to health insurance, life insurance is not a requirement for employers to provide either, but there’s no PPACA-equivalent penalizing companies who don’t offer it. And employers who do offer life insurance are not obligated to provide a minimum or maximum amount of coverage, cover any of the premium, or extend coverage to dependents or spouses.

 

But life insurance is a popular supplemental benefit employers offer: Sixty percent of employees had access to a life insurance plan in 2018, according to the BLS.

 

Life insurance from employers is usually basic group-term life insurance and is also usually provided free, but if there is a cost to the employee, it’s minimal.  

 

The coverage of employer-provided life insurance is usually an amount equal to one to two times the employee’s annual income.

 

Employees are also usually automatically covered, and policies are offered on a guaranteed issue basis, which means that no medical exam is required in order to be insured. So since there’s no medical underwriting, employer life insurance is a great advantage for people with pre-existing conditions.

 

Some employers offer the option of buying supplemental group life insurance. This extra coverage is usually an amount equal to three to four times annual income, and it does include medical underwriting.

 

There are several hundreds of life insurance companies available to employers, but if you see Cigna, Lincoln Financial, Prudential, Sun Life Financial, or Unum as your company’s provider, then you are a recipient of the best.

 

But there are many other good ones, including Aetna, Aflac, Anthem, Brighthouse Financial (formerly MetLife), Chubb, Guardian, The Hartford, Liberty Mutual, Mutual of Omaha, Reliance Standard, Securian, and USAble Life. 

 

Your Life Insurance Plan

If you have group life insurance through your employer, you may assume that you don’t need private life insurance. But while it’s convenient to sign up for group life insurance through your workplace, even the best employer-provided life insurance has at least a few downfalls.

 

For one, the payout is typically not enough to cover your family.

 

How much life insurance should you have? An amount equal to 10 times your annual income is recommended. That may sound like an overreaching amount, but you’re ensuring that those who depend upon you not only have the means to cover your funeral expenses and other costs at the time of your passing, but also regular monthly expenses and other ongoing debts, especially while they’re going through the grieving process.

 

And if you would take advantage of an employer’s offer of supplemental group life insurance and you’re in good health, you would usually pay a higher premium than an individual policy. That’s because the rate is being determined for the group, so you’re also “paying” for coworkers whose health prevents them from qualifying for the best life insurance rates.

 

Second, the “term” part of your group-term insurance is that it ends at the end of your term with the company. So any changes in your job situation can cause you to lose your coverage. For example, if you switch jobs to another employer, the only way to keep your benefits is if your new employer offers group life insurance through the same company.

 

In addition to most likely having a gap in your coverage, you’ll be applying for new coverage either at your new job based on your current age and health status.

 

We should point out that there are exceptions to the term limit. A few insurance companies such as Lincoln Financial and Aetna offer what they term “portability,” meaning they let employees keep their coverage even if they leave their company. 

 

And if there has been any benefit of the coronavirus, it’s that many people have become more aware of the fragility of life and have realized the importance of getting financial protection for their loved ones. 

 

When looking into personal life insurance, know that there are also dream jobs with this type of insurance when it comes to determining your rate.

 

Generally, and understandably, if your job exposes you to dangerous health risks, calls for extensive travel, or is defined as being high-stress, your premium will be higher than if you had a safer job because the insurance carrier is taking on more risk to insure you.

 

So occupations that aren’t dream jobs for life insurance include construction worker, farmer/rancher, firefighter, electric power line installer, logger, mine worker, pilot, police officer, professional fisherman, roofer, sales positions that require a lot of driving, trash collector, and truck driver.

 

But the better you rate regarding the other major factors that life insurance underwriters take into account, the more you can offset your higher-risk occupation, such as getting insurance young, being in good health, engaging in non-dangerous hobbies, and having a clean driving record.

 

If you don’t travel for your job, you’re not exposed to dangerous health risks, and you’re not working in all sorts of weather conditions. If you’re an accountant, massage therapist, medical records technician, orthodontist, pharmacy technician, radiation therapist, statistician, or web developer, you have a “dream job” in the eyes of life insurance companies.

 

Your Occupation and Car Insurance

If your perfect job is considered low risk to car insurance companies, you’re in the money — in more ways than one. Let’s note those low-risk occupations, as well as many additional opportunities for car insurance savings based on your occupation.

 

When car insurers are underwriting your policy, they’re looking at studies showing that people in certain professions have lower accident rates than people in other professions.

 

Generally, drivers in the public sector and hospitality occupations pay the most for car insurance, while those with desk-bound professions pay the least.

 

The difference in car insurance rates between high-risk and low-risk occupations can be substantial, on average $105 a month. Car insurance rates for high-risk occupations are $173 a month; for low-risk occupations, about $68 a month.

 

 

Low-Risk Occupations for Car Insurance

You would think that firefighters, military personnel, and police officers would be considered high risk for auto insurance. Not to auto insurance underwriters: To them, those occupations are associated with safer driving habits, along with designers, doctors, engineers, financial analysts, homemakers, mechanics, nurses, psychiatrists, and teachers/professors.

 

Another occupation considered a dream job by auto insurers are government employees: They’re considered low risk not because of the job in itself, but because they get into fewer accidents and file fewer claims than people in other professions.

 

And scientists are considered dream-job auto insurance candidates as well, even though they work in labs. They’re classified by auto insurance companies as being better drivers because the care and detail they take in their occupation translate into being more careful drivers. So they tend to get into fewer accidents.

 

And what do you know: Many of these are among those considered the 10 best jobs in the United States.

 

So you’re not considered in a “dream job” by auto insurers if you’re a chef, a doctor, or a lawyer. Chefs are targeted as high risk because of their long, irregular hours and high-stress levels.

 

The stress and distractions it can cause also make the following non-dream jobs for auto insurance: actors, athletes, bartenders, drivers (obviously), deejays, fitness instructors, hairdressers, restaurant hosts, social workers, travel agents, and waiters.

 

And business executives, an occupation which could be considered a dream job for its salary and perks, isn’t for car insurance either. The rationale is that executives tend to use their cellphones in their vehicles more frequently than other people, which has been proven to be one of the leading causes of accidents. They also tend to drive more expensive vehicles, which makes for pricier car insurance claims.

 

 

Car Insurance Occupation Discounts

The Hartford offers up to a 10 percent discount for your occupation; Nationwide, up to 15 percent. Other major insurers with an occupation discount include Allstate, Esurance, Farmers, Geico, The General, Liberty Mutual, MetLife, Progressive, Safeco, State Farm, and Travelers.

 

So check with those carriers for particulars. As to specific dream-job occupations for great savings on car insurance, here are three.

 

Car insurance for military personnel: USAA offers military members, veterans, and their families some of the best car insurance coverage in the country. Low-cost premiums are up to 30 percent lower than other major insurers, and special policies include a discount of up to 50 percent when actively deployed overseas.

 

Geico also does those in military occupations right with a 15 percent discount to military personnel and veterans, and 15 percent more for those on active duty. Their deployment discount is up to 25 percent.

 

Car insurance for government employees: Geico originated as an insurer exclusively for government employees, so it really takes care of them. Active and retired federal and state government employees are entitled to an “eagle discount,” which is an additional 8 percent off their total premium. They also have additional programs, including scholarships for members’ spouses and children.

 

Car insurance for teachers: Horace Mann Insurance is a company designed specially with teachers in mind, so they offer discounts up to 30 percent off on premiums. They also offer an Educator Advantage package of value-added features and benefits at no additional cost.

 

There’s also California Casualty, a smaller company available in 45 states, which offers discounted insurance plans to teachers as well as firefighters, police officers, and nurses. 

 

Even smaller is Plymouth Rock, which provides a special teachers insurance plan with lower rates for educators and better coverage, available to New Jersey educators.

 

More Job-Related Car Insurance Savings

We’re not quite through yet. Here are three more ways your dream job could net you more green in your wallet.

 

Low mileage discount: You already know that the less you drive for your job, the better that factor is for a lower auto insurance rate. If you drive less than the average person — 12,000 miles a year — you could be in line for a low-mileage discount.

 

You could save on average 5 to 10 percent on your car insurance, but some companies offer even higher savings. 

 

Insurers discounters for this include AAA, Allstate, Amica, Esurance (up to 15 percent), Farmers, Geico, The General, The Hartford, Liberty Mutual, MetLife, Nationwide, Progressive, State Farm (up to 30 percent), Safeco (up to 20 percent), Travelers, and USAA.

 

Membership/Group discount: Check with business groups or professional groups who have joined as part of your occupation. Your membership may qualify you for car insurance savings.

 

That discount availability includes AAA (up to 7 percent), Allstate, Esurance, Geico, The Hartford (up to 20 percent), Liberty Mutual (up to 10 percent), MetLife, Nationwide (up to 7 percent), Safeco, and Travelers.

 

Alumni association discount: Since most auto insurers factor in education in their underwriting (State Farm is one of the few that doesn’t), post-secondary education involved in getting your dream job can get you a lower rate than clients who don’t have collegiate experience.

 

And you can do that one better if you belong to an alumni association, or if you have the opportunity to join one. Ask either the association or your car insurance company whether discounts are available to alumni association members. Geico offers this discount, as does Liberty Mutual, which, for example, offers up to a 10 percent discount to members in the alumni association of Penn State University.

 

We hope we’ve helped show you how well you can rate your job as a dream job, as well as how you can make it even better by taking advantage of occupational discounts.

Tags: Dream job Insurance saving

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