Most companies offer a life insurance plan to their employees as an incentive to work and to help cover the cost to replace anyone important. Having a whole life policy should work exactly how it sounds, but it does not work that way. Whenever you leave a company, get laid off, or the company goes under - you have exactly thirty-one days to obtain your own personal insurance policy.
So, let's say that the company went under on January 1st, or for some reason, you left the company on that date. You will still be covered for exactly thirty-one days, but after that amount of time, you are not covered on the whole life insurance policy that you had with them. This is because you are not part of their group anymore, and unfortunately, the policy you had seventeen years ago has no value.
Depending on the size of the company, most businesses will buy what is known as "group life insurance" for everyone in the company. It is life insurance for more than two people. This is given a much better rate compared to buying everyone their own policy, and it also prevents people from getting the job just for the benefits.
Something to look for with other employers
Companies can have group life insurance one of two ways - contributory and non-contributory. This means that your employer has the option to pay the premium in part or in full, and can affect your paycheck! In the future, it is always good to know if your employer is paying the premium for you, or if they are only going to pay half!