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Free life insurance -- no, really

MassMutual offers the working poor a $50k policy to educate their kids -- and pays the premiums for you.

By Donna_Freedman Oct 1, 2010 11:40AM

It sounds too good to be true: a free 10-year term life insurance policy that will pay $50,000 toward your children's education if you die before they finish school.

But the LifeBridge Free Life Insurance Program is real, and it's accepting applications from parents and legal guardians. The $50k can be used for college, trade school, prep school and even preschool, or to pay off a dependent's current student loans.

You may qualify if you are:

  • A permanent, legal resident of the U.S., and between the ages of 19 and 42.
  • The parent or legal guardian of a dependent child or children under the age of 18.
  • Employed full or part time with total family income of between $10,000 and $40,000.
  • The only member of your household who has applied for LifeBridge.
  • In good health as determined by the company.
MassMutual's goal is to write $1 billion worth of LifeBridge insurance. It's more than halfway there, having approved 11,400 policies since the program began in 2002.

Why is it taking so long to get rid of free insurance? Mostly because it sounds too good to be true.

But there really isn't a catch, says spokeswoman Cindie St. George. MassMutual pays the premiums "as a way of giving back to the community."

Since it's hard enough to pay for school even with two adults working, the loss of a parent or guardian may keep some kids from going at all. The insurance "is all about protecting their children's education," says St. George.

The funds are administered by a trust and can be used for tuition, fees, campus housing, books and other expenses. (In one case, LifeBridge paid for a new computer so that a young woman could take classes online.)
If you have more than one child, the money is split evenly among them. Survivors have up to 10 years or until age 35 to use it all.

And if your family's income goes up during the 10-year term? You get to keep the policy anyway.

LifeBridge is available in every state. You can apply by phone or with an agent in your area. Use the agent locator tool to find the nearest office.

To find out more, download the LifeBridge FAQs and/or an application (both are .pdf documents) from the company's Community Responsibility Page.

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