5 Life Insurance Questions Educators Shouldn’t Overlook

It can be uncomfortable not knowing things — especially when it comes to something as personal as life insurance.

Woman sitting on couch with a pen and notebook, thinking while looking out window

by NEA Member Benefits

Life insurance can be difficult to understand, leaving people with many unanswered questions. While some can be answered in the fine print, others may require some time-consuming research — and asking might feel a little awkward. 

We don’t want members to feel any question is off limits, so we’ve done the homework for you, compiling this list of some of the more sensitive ones we’ve heard over the years. Armed with this knowledge, we hope you’ll feel ready to take the next step to help protect your family’s financial future.

 
Man sitting at table looking at a cigarette he is holding

Question #1

I’m a smoker. Does that affect my ability to get life insurance coverage?

 
Smoking tobacco products does not automatically disqualify a person from being covered. However, it does affect the premium rate you will be charged due to the increased health risks that come with smoking.

There are plenty of plans available for people who smoke, but the rates may be higher. (You may find more competitively priced smoker rates from NEA Life Insurance Plans compared to what you might find on your own.) In general, your health status regarding coverage is not solely determined by smoking habits, but a larger picture of your overall health. There are also life insurance options with guaranteed acceptance and lower coverage amounts available regardless of health status or smoking status.

 
Man free climbing up a rock wall.

Question #2

I have a hobby that may be considered dangerous. Would this affect my ability to get life insurance?  

 
Risky hobbies will not impact your ability to enroll for coverage nor have an impact on rates. However, certain activities could fall under plan exclusions, meaning that these activities may not be covered should a claim arise. It’s best to read through your plan’s details to better understand what is and what is not covered when it comes to hobbies and activities.

If you have a hobby that could be considered dangerous, it might be wise to consider NEA® Accidental Death and Dismemberment coverage in case of an accident that leads to severe injury or death. As an NEA member, you are guaranteed acceptance into this exclusive plan. Coverage is provided 24/7, everywhere in the world.

 
Older man and woman sitting on house steps smiling at each other

Question #3

What happens if I switch jobs or retire? Does my coverage stop?  

 
Typically, group life insurance coverage is dependent on having a job with the school district or business and their benefit packages. But, if you have a portable plan like the ones available through the NEA Members Insurance Trust, you can take your coverage with you to a new job or even into retirement as long as you remain an NEA member and continue to pay your premiums when they are due.

 
Female teacher sitting at the front of class

Question #4

What if I already have life insurance through my local school district?  

 
Your school district might offer life insurance plans for its employees, typically in the amount of 1x–2x your salary. While that’s a great benefit, it might not be enough to support your loved ones if something unexpected happens to you. Experts recommend having life insurance coverage up to 10x your salary to help cover all the different expenses your family might face in the future.*

This is when your NEA membership can come into play, offering different types of life insurance plans to help ensure your family is adequately protected — there’s coverage options for all types of educators and their families. This calculator can help you get a better picture of the coverage amount you might need.

 
Middle aged woman in a doctors visit while a doctor checks breathing with a stethoscope

Question #5

Do I need a medical exam to qualify for life insurance?  

 
While a medical exam is required for many insurance policies, medical exams are not required for NEA insurance policies, in most cases. For the NEA® Group Term Life Insurance Plan, medical exams are not required for the lower coverage amounts — those under $200,000. Of course, depending on your answers on the application, additional medical information may be required.

For higher coverage amounts, the application process may require members to answer a few health questions about their medical history. Depending on what’s disclosed, the insurance carrier may want to request medical records from your physician, a medical exam, or medical tests.

When a medical exam is required for NEA plans, they are done at no cost to the applicant. A third-party vendor will work around the member’s schedule and can visit them at their home, their school, or any other convenient location. But again, medical exams are not required for most NEA life insurance plans.

These are just a few of many difficult questions that arise when applying for and enrolling in life insurance plans. For additional questions, you can always contact us at 855‑632‑5433.

As an NEA member, you also have exclusive access to other life insurance resources and tools, plus various life insurance programs issued by The Prudential Insurance Company of America.


*CNN Underscored, How much life insurance do you need? 2023.

The policy issued by the Prudential Insurance Company of America may not be available in all states.

NEA Life and NEA Accidental Death and Dismemberment coverages are issued by The Prudential Insurance Company of America, Newark. NJ. The Booklet-Certificate contains all details. including any policy exclusions, limitations, and restrictions which may apply. If there is a discrepancy between the document and the Booklet-Certificate the terms of the Group Contract will govern. CA COA #1179, NAIC #68247 Contract Series 83500.

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