The Importance of Updating your Life Insurance Beneficiary

The Importance of Updating your Life Insurance Beneficiary

April 06, 2023

Who is my beneficiary again? Outdated Beneficiary Designations are more common than you think. 


It is important to update these, regardless of if it is an employer sponsored group life plan or your own individual life policy. If you have recently married, divorced, lost a spouse/partner, or welcomed a child into your home, it may be a suitable time to review.  Even minor changes such as your beneficiary changing their name or address are considerations. 


There are two main types of beneficiaries: 

Primary - The person or persons first in line to receive the death benefit. 

Contingent - The person or persons second in line to receive the death benefit. 


 If the primary beneficiary dies before or at the same time as you, most policies allow you to name at least one contingent beneficiary. In some cases, you can even name a Tertiary beneficiary, the third person in line for benefit. 


How do you update your beneficiary? 


It just takes a few simple steps to make sure that your death benefit goes to who you want to receive it.  Most companies provide a form or website for you to designate your beneficiary, but it is also important that you keep this information with your personal records. 


Ask your Human Resources Manager how to update the life beneficiary with your employer benefits plan or reach out to your agent on individual life policies. Do not take the “set it and forget it” approach. The beneficiary you named when you first obtained the life coverage may not be the right person to receive the benefit later.