Who needs Key Man life insurance?

what is key man life insurance

How do you know when you’ve “made it”?

Maybe it’s when you land the job of your dreams. Or pay off all of your debt. Or marry your soulmate. Or…when your employer pulls you aside to tell you they’re taking out a Key Man life insurance policy on you.

Entrepreneur defines Key Man insurance as “simply life insurance on the key person in a business. In a small business, this is usually the owner, the founders or perhaps a key employee or two. These are the people who are crucial to a business—the ones whose absence would sink the company. You need key man insurance on those people!”

So for most businesses, the key man (or woman) is obvious, but we thought we’d identify, in our opinion, a few people whose companies  might not realize they need it. Here are those people:

James Harden

Not to sound like an insurance agency, but let’s just look at the cold, hard numbers: By virtually any advanced metric you choose, Harden led the NBA in it. Simply put, the Rockets were and are a vastly different team with him on the court. (Take the team’s January swoon when Harden was sidelined by a hamstring injury.) Yes, LeBron is either the GOAT or the SBPOAT (second-best player of all time), but this season, there was no one more important to their team than Houston’s bearded wonder.

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The dancing guy from Mighty Mighty Boss-Tones

First, the obvious question: Yes, these guys are still around. And now, the matter of Ben “Bosstone” Carr, also known as the dance-only member of the band. You might argue that he’s actually unnecessary: He doesn’t contribute a note of music to what is, ostensibly, a musical act. But that’s where you’re wrong. The band is now a touring act, one whose new music is at best something to sit through before the inevitable performance of “The Impression That I Get.” And when that song comes, Carr will be the soul of the performance, dancing his ska-loving heart out.

Donald Glover

The man otherwise known as Childish Gambino is the key man in his role as creator of the hit show Atlanta, but in some ways he’s the key man for his place at the center of all of American pop culture (look no further than his new video for “This is America”). The guy raps, sings, writes, acts, directs … all at an impossibly high level, and with an original point of view that you literally can’t find elsewhere. Atlanta wouldn’t be Atlanta without him.

Amy Adams

What movie doesn’t get a tiny bit better when Amy Adams is in it? (Also considered: Oscar Isaac, Meryl Streep, Taraji P. Henson and Funny Jon Hamm.) Seriously: If she’s not in it, Hollywood might as well not make it. Or at least that was the case with a recently planned Janis Joplin biopic. Adams was set to star, but after she dropped out, the film was canceled.

Kate McKinnon

Justin Bieber and Angela Merkel have two things in common (as far as we know): Spellbinding haircuts, and being lampooned by SNL’s funniest cast member. McKinnon ranks with such Key Man-worthy predecessors as John Belushi, Eddie Murphy, and Kristen Wiig. (No offense to Jim Breuer.)

The ball boys at the US Open and other tennis tournaments

Stay with us: Tennis is not a team sport. And yet, if no one were running in and removing the used tennis balls, what would happen? Chaos!

Bill Belichick

“Tom Brady Reveals That Humanity Will Perish Long Before He Retires” read a recent Onion headline, but the reality is that Belichick is the key man behind the Patriots’ long run of success. (Just ask Eagles fans whether a top-tier quarterback is replaceable.) Sure, it’s hard to imagine New England winning without Brady, but it’s even harder to imagine Brady being this successful without Belichick turning former lacrosse players into reliable NFL contributors.

Lin Manuel-Miranda

Similar to Glover, this is someone the culture needs right now. He hasn’t revealed what he’s working on next, but something tells us his enormous talent will be at the very center of it. (We’re assuming it’s some sort of musical, but hey, you never know. The guy could make a mime act about the Hundred Years’ War somehow beautiful, touching and hilarious.)

So what about you? Sure, you might not have won five championship rings or written a hit musical about the country’s first Secretary of the Treasury, but we firmly believe you are valuable in your own way. Are you Key Man-level valuable? That’s not for us to say. But we suspect that like most of the folks on this list, you’ll know it if you are.


Peace of mind might be closer than you think.

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Louis Wilson is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in a wide array of publications, both online and in print. He often writes about travel, sports, popular culture, men’s fashion and grooming, and more. He lives in Austin, Texas, where he has developed an unbridled passion for breakfast tacos, with his wife and two children.

Haven Life doesn’t sell key-man insurance, and these aren’t meant as actual recommendations. Opinions expressed by the author are their own, and do not necessarily represent the views of Haven Life.

Real Rate is based on your application and third party data obtained during underwriting.

Haven Term is a Term Life Insurance Policy (DTC 042017 [OK1] and ICC17DTC in certain states, including NC) issued by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111-0001 and offered exclusively through Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC. Policy and rider form numbers and features may vary by state and may not be available in all states. In NY, Haven Term is DTC-NY 1017. In CA, Haven Term is DTC-CA 042017. Our Agency license number in California is OK71922 and in Arkansas, 100139527.

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