Life insurance

Life insurance protects your family financially in the event of your death. Money is generally paid income tax free to your beneficiaries, who can use the money for any purpose.

In the event of death, USC Benefits will file a claim on your behalf once they are notified. In order to finalize a life insurance claim Benefits needs an original death certificate to send to Securian (parent company of Minnesota Life, USC’s life insurance carrier).

(You have your own separate insurance information if you’re a Verdugo Hills employee or are represented by NUHW.)

Securian does not pay proceeds directly to minors (under age 18 in most states). We require a certified copy of court-issued letters of guardianship (or conservatorship) for the property (or estate) of the minor. Note that there are two types of guardianship: property and person. Securian requires guardianship for the property (estate).

A note about naming a minor as your beneficiary

Minors may be named as beneficiaries, but this designation raises special issues which may delay a claim payment. Because insurance proceeds cannot be released directly to a minor, the insurance company will need proof of a court-appointed legal guardian for the minor’s estate/property who can receive the insurance proceeds on the minor’s behalf. Even a surviving parent who has custody or control of the minor’s well-being or living arrangements may not be authorized to collect assets on behalf of the minor. The court will ultimately decide who should be the guardian of the minor’s estate. In some instances, state law may allow an insurer to distribute small benefit amounts (typically $10,000 or less) to an adult representative of the minor through the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA). There may be better alternatives to naming a minor as a beneficiary. Consult an attorney to determine what options best match your intentions. An attorney also can assist in preparing what is known as “Letters of Guardianship” for the minor’s estate should you need them to petition the court.

Life insurance coverage type Coverage options Additional information
Basic Term Life
  • One times base compensation
  • $50,000 maximum coverage
  • University-paid (no enrollment required)
  • Coverage reduces to 65 percent at age 65 and 50 percent at age 70
Group Universal Life (GUL) or Variable Group Universal Life (VGUL) 1x, 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x, 6x, 7x or 8x base compensation
  • Maximum coverage is $2,500,000
  • Eligibility for GUL or VGUL is determined by your base compensation
Dependent Term Life Spouse/RDP Child
  • A spouse/registered domestic partner (RDP) is not eligible for coverage if he or she is a benefits-eligible USC faculty or staff member
  • Children are eligible from live birth to age 26
Option 1: $5,000 $5,000
Option 2: $10,000 $10,000
Option 3: $20,000 $20,000
Option 4: $50,000 $25,000

Securian provides a secure site,, which you may access to enroll in and manage your life insurance benefit. Use the LifeBenefits site to:

  • View additional information about your life insurance plan, including coverage amounts and premiums
  • Enroll for coverage and submit Evidence of Insurability (EOI) requirements
  • Designate your beneficiaries
  • Change your coverage or account information
  • Manage your cash accumulation account
  • Use a variety of online resources to help with life insurance decisions, including the insurance needs calculator

Access the LifeBenefits site

  • Visit LifeBenefits site
  • User ID: Enter USC followed by your 7-digit employee ID number (can be found on your paycheck stub)
  • Password: Enter your 8-digit date of birth followed by the last 4 digits of your Social Security number (for example, if your date of birth was August 2, 1960 and the last 4 digits of your Social Security number were 1234, you would enter 080219601234 as your password). Once logged in, you will be prompted to change your password to something you choose.

You may enroll or make changes at any time, but you must be actively at work, and evidence of insurability (EOI) may be required if enrolling after your initial eligibility period. Enroll within 30 days of hire to avoid EOI; coverage begins the first of the month after enrollment.

As an insured under the university-paid basic plan, you and your dependents have access to the following additional tools and resources.

  • Legal, financial and grief resources—LifeWorks provides (to U.S. active employees) access to counseling professionals and related resources and referrals. Contact LifeWorks at (877) 849-6034 or visit (username: lfg – password: resources).
  • Travel assistance services—RedpointWTP LLC (Redpoint) provides (to U.S. active employees) emergency assistance and transport 24/7/365 when traveling 100 or more miles away from home. For service terms and conditions and pre-trip information visit or call (855) 516-5433 in the U.S. and Canada. Elsewhere, call collect (415) 485-4677.
  • Legacy planning resources—Active and retired employees can access these resources at to help them deal with the loss of a loved one or to plan for their own passing.

The following optional service is available to beneficiaries of employees and spouses insured under the Minnesota Life Insurance Company/Security Life Insurance Company group life insurance policies. Access information is provided with claims payment.

  • Beneficiary financial counseling—PriceWaterhouseCoopers provides independent and objective financial counseling resources at a time when they’re most needed. Available to beneficiaries who receive proceeds of $25,000 or more. Contact the HR Service Center at or (213) 821-8100.