This paper discusses risk management tools for unemployment risk in Colombia and the necessity to implement an extensive social insurance program for this exposure. Particularly, it analyzes the determinants for the use of severance payments in low-income households to decrease vulnerability in spells of unemployment sells. Using the 2011 GEIH survey I found that only a small percentage of the low-income households use the severance payments with this purpose. Moreover, through a Heteroskedastic Probit methodology, I show that the determinants for the use of severance payments to deal with unemployment risk are: household income, financial literacy, indefinite formal labor contracts, length of employment spells, public service and household size. From the results, two public policy recommendations arise: i) severance payments are not used in the desired way suggesting a different scheme that should be implemented; ii) financial education is crucial to reduce vulnerability through optimal risk management.