If you’ve lost your job recently, you’re not alone. Unemployment has reached unprecedented levels across the country as a result of COVID-19, with many businesses having no choice but to let go perfectly qualified, hardworking employees. For those left scrambling to find new jobs, the stress can feel overwhelming.

For many of us, our jobs are more than the way we make a living. They shape how we see ourselves and bring structure and purpose to our lives. That’s why losing a job is much more than a loss of livelihood.

As the pandemic continues, many Americans are grappling with the further loss of employee benefits. If you’ve recently lost your job, you’ll be eager to replace some of those benefits – particularly life insurance.

Here are some steps to consider as you start to explore your options.

Step 1: Talk to your HR department
If you’ve recently lost your job, your former employer’s HR department may be able to explain any group policy coverage extensions or pandemic-related allowances you may be eligible for. If you’ve been offered a severance package, you may even be able to negotiate extending certain benefits as part of that.

You may also be able to convert your group policy to an individual policy. If you can take the time to examine your coverage, the cost, and if you need to purchase additional coverage to meet your needs. If you have difficulty comparing life insurance plans or deciding how much additional coverage you need, a New York Life agent can help you figure it all out.

Step 2: Work out exactly how much life insurance you need
This is a great opportunity to discover how much coverage you and your family actually need. Life Happens – a non-profit organization dedicated to providing consumers with unbiased life insurance support – offers a free calculator on their website to make it easier to estimate the amount that’s right for you.

As you review your needs, you might realize that your previous coverage wasn’t totally appropriate for your profile, age and other individual circumstances. Now that you’re in control, you’ll be in a position to consider options that are a much better fit. If you need additional support, aa New York Life agent can help you figure it all out.

Step 3: Close the insurance gap
Once you know exactly what you need, move quickly to close any coverage gaps. You’re job status will be taken into consideration when applying for an individual policy. Acting swiftly can demonstrate your unemployment is recent, and having a list of jobs you’re applying for can help to show it’s hopefully short-term.

You may also be a better candidate if you have a consistent history of on-time payments on credit cards and bills, especially car loans or mortgages. Being able to demonstrate that you are financially stable, and have a track record of it, may sway a company to see your application more favorably.

Step 4: Consider temporary coverage
A temporary solution like term life insurance can also help you to bridge a gap between jobs for a set period of time. It can give you the protection you need now, help you to prepare for the future, with access to features like converting to permanent coverage if your employment status changes.

Term life insurance may be an appropriate option now to get the protection you need in a way that may better fit your current budget.

The stress of losing a job can seem overwhelming, but there are many steps you can take to take control of the coverage you’ve lost. COVID-19 has changed so much of our world, but it hasn’t changed the need for life insurance. Make sure your coverage meets your needs, and explore your options if you need more of it.

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Kevin Maher
New York Life Insurance Company
(212) 576-6955

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