Every business has people who are critical to the operation of the company. Without them, the business could possibly shut down. Key person (or “key man”) insurance is life or disability insurance that covers the loss of a key person in your business. For small businesses, that may include the owner as well as a few essential employees. The policy works by paying the business in the event of the death or disability of a person who is so important to the business that their loss could destroy or substantially hurt the business.
When a company purchases key person insurance, it pays the premium on the policy and is the beneficiary as well. If the “key person” dies unexpectedly or becomes disabled, the company can use the funds to pay off debt, pay expenses until you can find a replacement for that person, pay employee severance packages as well as pay legal costs or the cost of closing the company down in an orderly manner. Essentially, key person insurance gives you options other than simply closing your doors.