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Layoff insurance available in North Carolina

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Originally Published on Oct. 24, 2018 on www.wlos.com

by Rob Bradley 

BUNCOMBE COUNTY, N.C. (WLOS) — Nearly half of Americans would not be able to afford an unexpected expense of just $400, according to the Federal Reserve. Nearly a third would not be able to pay their bills if they lost their job. But a newly offered insurance program could help those with little to no savings.

Income insurance, or layoff insurance, is now being offered in North Carolina by a company called SafetyNet.

It works like other insurance programs. You pay a fee each month, ranging from $4.50 to $27, and, if you lose your job through no fault of your own, SafetyNet says it will cut you a lump sum check after a claim is filed.

There are a few caveats, the big one being you can’t file a claim within the first 180 days after enrolling, according to the SafetyNet website.

But, if you do meet the requirements, money to help with bills could come much more quickly than it would from state unemployment, according to SafetyNet CFO Danielle Sesko.

“Many times those programs take weeks, if not sometimes months, in order for the paychecks to start coming in,” Sekso said. “With SafetyNet, after a couple of days after an approved claim, we have a check in the mail to those individuals.”

Other companies have offered insurance if you get sick or can’t work because of injury or disability, but SafetyNet says it’s the first to offer income insurance, as well.

“It’s kind of funny, we actually don’t have any competitors right now. So, it has not been offered before, we’re definitely spearheading it.”

The program launched in the Midwest but has been quickly expanding in other states, North Carolina now included.

“With insurance, we have to apply in every single state before we can sell it,” Sesko said. “Insurance is a relatively heavily regulated industry. Our company is headquartered in the Midwest, so we started it there. But, given the strong traction we’ve seen based on where we started selling this policy, we’re now spreading it to all 50 states, one by one.”

Payouts from SafetyNet range from $1,500 to $9,000, with a lifetime cap of $24,000.