Friday, February 13, 2009

Key Person Life Insurance

Imagine a story of a business owner that found out their passion at an early age. This passion was for formal wear. Yes, tuxedos. A young entrepreneur found the desire for business, as well, at the very young age of 17 during a business class in high school. This passion led to many years of working in other people’s retail stores, then managing the stores, then one day the dream came true, the goal was finally met. After 15 years building a reputation of excellence in this field, a financial backer was willing to grant a loan to this still young entrepreneur. Thus, he was able to buy his own Formal Wear retail store.

This business had an employee that brought in a tremendous amount of revenue from doing on site customer sales. This one employee truly had an impact on the business’s bottom line. Without this employee going on site and working his magic with the customers all year long, the business’s sales would suffer greatly. This is when it dawned on the business owner that if he did not protect his “asset” a great loss to his business could occur. The savvy entrepreneur called his insurance agent and started a conversation about buying “Key Person” life insurance. This entrepreneur didn’t work all of his life to get to where he is to leave himself exposed if an unfortunate event caused him to loose such a key revenue generator for his company. He has built his life around his business and has made a smart move to find protection in a Key Person life insurance policy.

When a corporation is formed it separates the business from the actual owners. In a corporation setting there may be a highly valued employee, also know as, a Key Employee, or a Key Person. A business may want to protect themselves from incurring a loss should that Key Employee from that company die.

Key Person Insurance allows a business to buy life insurance on the life of its key employees. This type of insurance will ensure that the business can continue if that person should die. The reason why a business would be allowed to buy a policy on an employee is because the employee/employer relationship creates something called insurable interest.

This type of insurance policy covers the financial loss that the company may suffer at the employee’s death. The policy is set up that the company is both owner and beneficiary of the Key Person insurance policy.

Further, when the company pays a premium for this type of policy these payments are not deductible business expenses. Conversely, the death benefit that is received by the company from this type of policy is income tax free. Overall, as a rule of thumb, life insurance premiums are not deductible if the person who pays the premium has any direct or indirect interest in the policy or its proceeds.

There are more ways to have life insurance provide protection in your life. An insurance agent can help you understand the products offered through insurance companies. They can also give you a better picture of what product is right for you or your business’s needs.

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