How long should key person insurance last?

The duration of key person insurance (the term) should align with the time period during which the key person’s absence would significantly impact the financial stability and operations of the company. There is no fixed time frame that applies universally, as it varies depending on the circumstances of the business and the role of the key person. Here are some factors to consider when determining how long key person insurance should last:


  1. Key Person’s Role: Consider the key person’s role in the company. If their expertise, relationships, or contributions are crucial for the foreseeable future, the insurance may need to cover a longer duration.

  2. Business Growth Stage: The stage of the business can influence the insurance duration. Start-ups may need coverage until they become more established and less dependent on specific individuals, while mature companies may require coverage for a shorter period.

  3. Loan Repayment: If key person insurance is used to secure a loan such as business loan protection, the policy duration may be tied to the loan term. Once the loan is repaid or the collateral is released, the need for coverage may diminish.

  4. Succession Planning: If the key person is actively involved in grooming a successor or transitioning their responsibilities, the insurance duration may be shorter, covering the transition period.

  5. Industry and Market Factors: Consider the industry’s dynamics and market conditions. Rapidly changing industries may require shorter-term coverage, while stable industries may warrant longer-term protection.

  6. Budget Constraints: The cost of key person insurance can vary, and the company’s budget may influence the duration. It’s essential to strike a balance between coverage needs and affordability.

  7. Reevaluation: Periodically reevaluate the need for key person insurance as the business evolves. Adjust the policy duration as circumstances change.

In summary, the duration of key person insurance should be tailored to the specific needs and risks of the business. It’s advisable to consult with insurance professionals and financial advisors who can assess your company’s situation and help you determine the appropriate term for the policy based on your business’s unique circumstances.