Life Insurance for Business Owners

Female smiling after purchasing life insurance for business owners

Key Takeaways

  • Life insurance can provide financial protection for your family and loved ones in case something happens to you, ensuring their well-being.
  • Life insurance can help protect your small business by providing a financial cushion for your family, preventing them from being forced to sell the business quickly and for less than it's worth.
  • Key person insurance is a type of life insurance that helps keep a business running smoothly after the death of an owner or key team member, providing funds for finding replacements or covering immediate business costs.
  • A buy-sell agreement, combined with life insurance, can ensure the smooth transition of ownership in a business when an owner retires or dies, enabling co-owners to purchase the share left behind.
  • Life insurance for business owners not only offers financial security but also helps secure your legacy and ensures the continuity of your company for future generations.

Do you have a business that depends on you? If so, you may want to consider the importance of life insurance for business owners. Having the right policy or policies in place can help you leave a legacy for not just your loved ones, but for your employees, partners and business as well.

Here's how a life insurance policy may be able to help business owners.

How Life Insurance Could Help Your Family

If you have family or loved ones relying on your income, life insurance can be one way to help protect them in case something happens to you. This can be true for both employees and small business owners. But small business owners may have an additional need for life insurance. Not only can it help provide the income your family might need if you were to die, but it can also help to protect your family from the financial consequences stemming from your business.

Without a death benefit, your family may need to quickly sell the business for less than its worth. For instance, your family may not be able to take over your business in your absence and may be forced to sell it.  Having enough life insurance could help give your family the time they need to either figure out how to keep the business running or to sell it for what it is worth.

How Life Insurance Could Help Your Business

Small business owners may have more than just their family relying on them. For example, what might happen to your partners, employees, and the business itself if you passed away? There are a number of ways to help protect your business with a life insurance policy. Here are two of the common ways.

Key Person Insurance

Key person insurance is designed to help keep a business afloat after the owner or other integral team member dies. Your business would purchase this insurance and make itself the beneficiary. Upon your death, the insurance company would pay the death benefit to your business. That money can then be used to help find your replacement, help cover the costs of losing business in the immediate aftermath of your passing, or help pay creditors and employee severance if the business must shut its doors.

Buy-Sell Agreement

If you own your business with one or more co-owners, the right life insurance policy can help make your buy-sell agreement more feasible. A buy-sell agreement stipulates what will happen to a business after an owner retires or dies. In general, the buy-sell agreement sets up the price and terms of sale for the share left behind by the deceased or retiring owner. Co-owners with a buy-sell agreement who purchase life insurance on each other (also known as a cross-purchase agreement) can use the proceeds of the death benefit to buy up the decedent's share. Without a life insurance policy in place, your co-owners may find it financially impossible to buy your share or keep the business afloat.

The Bottom Line

You may want to consider the importance of life insurance for the future of your family and your business. Life insurance for business owners can do more than just help with financial security for those you care about. It can also help your company pass along to the next generation and help secure your legacy.

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Information provided is general and educational in nature, and all products or services discussed may not be provided by Western & Southern Financial Group or its member companies (“the Company”). The information is not intended to be, and should not be construed as, legal or tax advice. The Company does not provide legal or tax advice. Laws of a specific state or laws relevant to a particular situation may affect the applicability, accuracy, or completeness of this information. Federal and state laws and regulations are complex and are subject to change. The Company makes no warranties with regard to the information or results obtained by its use. The Company disclaims any liability arising out of your use of, or reliance on, the information. Consult an attorney or tax advisor regarding your specific legal or tax situation.