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10 Things To Know About Life Insurance In Jamaica

by Deon Clarke | Associate Writer

I’m sure many individuals have lost a family member, a friend, a co-worker or colleague, or even acquaintances to death or terminal and critical illnesses. They have experienced the physical, emotional, and financial effects of this most times, unforeseeable event. What if this were you? How prepared are you to handle the effects of a critical illness? How prepared are you to handle the loss of a spouse or parent? Isn’t it great to know that insurance is designed to assist in filling those gaps in your life?

By providing life, health, and disability insurance coverage, insurance can ensure that you can adequately meet your needs should these events befall you. Life insurance can be essential for protecting your family financially in the event of a tragedy. Sadly, many people go without insurance for one reason or another. However, whether you have insurance or are considering it, let us take a look at 10 things you should know about life insurance in Jamaica.

  1. Life Insurance Providers - The two main life insurance companies in Jamaica are Sagicor Life Insurance company and Guardian Life Insurance company. There are a number of insurance brokers that offer a wide range of insurance products for these companies. Some Jamaican banks also offer life insurance coverage.

  2. Benefits of Life Insurance – Life insurance does come with some benefits such as:

    • Life insurance payouts are tax-free
    • In the event of death, life insurance can cover final expenses
    • In the event of death, your dependents won’t have to be worried about living expenses
    • Coverage for chronic and even terminal illnesses are available
    • The cash value from policies can supplement your retirement savings or can be used for emergencies
    • Some policies have a retirement savings component
    • It helps you to be better prepared for an uncertain future

  3. There are three main types of life insurance available in Jamaica, Whole Life, Endowment, and Term Life Insurance Coverage. It is important for you to know the difference between each so you can select the one that best suits your needs. One cap does not fit all.

  4. It is better to get life insurance when you are young, you will end up getting more coverage for far less.

  5. Make sure you never stop paying your insurance premium, as insurance is usually no longer valid if you haven’t made payments. In insurance terms, this means your policy has “lapsed” so you are no longer entitled to the benefits. There is usually a grace period of thirty (30) days if you have missed your payment.

    Once this time has passed, your policy would be considered lapsed.

  6. If you pay a small amount today for insurance, you will avoid having to pay a whole lot more tomorrow when serious unforeseen circumstances or tragedies occur.

  7. As a policyholder, it is your responsibility to read through your policy thoroughly and familiarize yourself with all the terms and conditions. Ask your agent any questions or concerns that you may have. Make sure that all the details are reflected as discussed.

  8. Premiums may vary for the same or similar coverage from one insurance company to another so do some research to find out the available options and compare benefits and premiums before you purchase a policy.

  9. It is extremely important that you know that most policies do not pay the full coverage until after 2 years. So, if death occurs within the first 12 months of the policy, your beneficiary is only entitled to the premiums that you paid. If death occurs between 13 and 24 months, only 50% of the insured amount is paid. Only after two years is the full amount of the sum insured is paid.

  10. Only about 28% of the Jamaican workforce has insurance coverage. This means that a significant majority of our population is left extremely vulnerable in the event of an unforeseeable event such as death, accident, or illness. As such you will find many persons unable to withstand these eventualities resulting in trauma, reduced spending power and even depression.

Life insurance is everybody’s business. In essence, most persons will never be able to afford the insurance coverage they need to maintain the same level of their current financial situation in the future, however, it is still important that you start somewhere. A little protection is always better than none at all!

I also recommend you read Do You Need Travel Insurance for Jamaica?


  • 5 Top Benefits of Life Insurance, Investopedia,
  • Jamaicans Encouraged to make insurance part of their financial plan | Loop Jamaica, Loop News,
  • The Insurance Act Arrangement of Sections, Ministry of Justice, Insurance Act.pdf

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