If you’re a police officer or first responder, chances are you’ve already determined you’re in a risky occupation.
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Every turn you’re protecting the citizens of your community, there’s always a risk that you’ll get hurt or, worst case, never make it home.
Knowing this, it is critical that you take the necessary steps to ensure that if you do not return home, your surviving loved ones will have the financial resources to carry on.
Many police officers and first responders are under the impression that life insurance companies prefer to pass on insurance police officers, but the good news is that insurance companies understand risk and many will compete for your business.
To put it bluntly, far more people die in car accidents each year than police officers die on the job. Finding affordable life insurance if you’re a police officer is surprisingly easy.
easy article navigation
- Why is life insurance important for police officers?
- Are police officers considered high risk?
- Are policies through work enough?
- How much life insurance do cops need?
- How do insurance companies determine the premium?
- What types of life insurance are available?
- The best police insurance companies
- frequently asked questions
why is life insurance important for police officers?
Let’s start with an important and confirmed statistic from the official fallen memorial page (odmp.org). In 2020, 359 police officers were killed in the line of duty, of which 332 were men and 27 women.
Now, compare those statistics to the number of people who died as a result of a car accident in 2020, which is 1.36. Sure, many of those accident victims may have been police officers, but you likely understand one risk versus the other.
Whether a police officer dies on duty protecting the public or as a result of illness or an unrelated workplace accident, you should have life insurance so your loved ones are not financially devastated after a loss. .
the risky issues police officers have to deal with on the job are more than the average employee has to deal with:
response to traffic accidents
Officers who work in the traffic division spend most of their time on county or city highways and roads that they are required to patrol. this certainly puts them at risk when assisting in a road collision or confronting an offender trying to get away in a vehicle.
careless shootings at work
since a police officer has been trained and then authorized to carry a weapon, being on duty or sometimes off duty exposes him to the risk of being shot by a perpetrator or even friendly fire due to a situation crossfire.
acting as lifeguards
It is certainly not unusual for a police officer to be placed in a lifeguard position. Whether it’s a bank robbery in progress or a collapsing bridge, police officers will help other first responders by becoming involved in an investigation or canvassing a community to gather facts and evidence.
In any situation, risk is part of the job and loved ones must be financially protected.
Are police officers considered high risk?
Being employed as a police officer means that the officer works in many different situations throughout their employment.
An officer may work vice for several years and then be assigned as a school resource officer. When an officer joins after graduating from the academy, much like a service member, they will likely be assigned to various departments or divisions during their employment.
but when we consider the above statistics and the general risk of being a police officer, insurance companies understand that while police officers take risks on the job, most generally do not consider the occupation to be high-risk. insurance companies.
Are life insurance policies provided through work enough for police officers?
In short, no. unless an officer is single and there are no children. While employer-sponsored life insurance is a great benefit to take advantage of, it won’t cover the financial needs of your surviving loved ones if that’s the only life insurance an officer has.
There are three main drawbacks to employer-sponsored life insurance:
- The death benefit is generally limited to a multiple of an officer’s annual salary, and in many cases, the limit is not enough to replace the deceased officer’s salary for more than a few years.
- Most department or union life insurance policies pay a lower benefit if the officer dies while off duty.
- In general, an employer-sponsored life insurance policy is not transferable. this means that when the officer retires (most can after their 20th birthday), the coverage will not follow the officer.
How much life insurance do cops need?
If an officer has a family, and most do, the purpose of your life insurance policy will be to replace the officer’s income so that surviving family members can continue financially after the officer’s death.
Replacing your income is more than just buying a multiple of your annual salary. When determining the death benefit needed to replace an officer’s income (especially if he or she is the sole breadwinner), the following financial obligations should be considered:
- the surviving family’s annual living expenses
- the balance of the mortgage, if any, on the family residence
- any personal debt
- the estimated cost of college tuition for children in the household
- estimated contributions needed to a spouse’s retirement fund
- the estimated cost of the funeral and burial service
- whole life insurance provides permanent insurance coverage for the life of the insured and cannot be canceled by the insurer as long as premiums are paid. plus, once the policy is issued, the premium can never go up and the policyholder can access the cash whenever they need it for any reason.
- universal life insurance is similar to whole life insurance in that it can provide permanent coverage if you have adequate funds. The difference between the two is that universal life policies are flexible, meaning the policyholder can change the premium payments and death benefit. Universal life insurance is generally cheaper than whole life insurance and typically earns more interest on the cash value account.
- Do you carry a firearm? Since an armed officer may be a greater risk than an unarmed officer, your insurance company will ask when you are and when not carrying a firearm.
- Do you often go out into the field? Since many officers are assigned to “desk duties” either permanently or temporarily, the insurer will ask if you ever go into the field for tasks like investigations , probing and questioning potential witnesses to a crime, or crime scene investigation tasks.
- What security measures do you take? These questions are directly related to following established protocols and whether or not you take additional security measures at work.
- do you handle felony cases? certainly felony cases can be more dangerous than misdemeanor cases, so the company will likely ask if you work on felony and what is your average number of monthly or annual cases.
- what is your specialty? If you have received special training in addition to your normal academic training, the insurer will ask you in what field you have special training.
- competitive prices for poor health classes
- term policies can be converted to permanent policies
- offer 35 and 40 year term policies
- Policies are renewable up to 90 years old
- limited non-medical subscription options
- much higher rates for smokers and smokeless tobacco users
- 35 and 40 year term policies available
- consistently listed in the top 5 for lowest rates
- excellent customer and claims service
- offers temporary coverage for qualified applicants
- does not offer life insurance option for medical exam
- a maximum nominal amount of $1,000,000
- accelerated death benefit not included
- does not offer whole life insurance
- wide selection of term and permanent cash value products
- streamlined underwriting process providing quick policy decisions
- online applications with an average approval time of less than 21 days
- liberal and competitive underwriting guidelines for applicants with various health conditions
- no health screening policies available for healthy non-smokers
- lincoln national does not offer whole life insurance.
- Although claims can be filed online, typical service requests cannot be made online.
- Although a child rider is available, you cannot buy a separate policy for a child.
best life insurance companies for police and law enforcement officers
frequently asked questions
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We have found over the years that, in almost all cases, the calculated replacement income is much higher than a multiple of 3 or 4 times an officer’s annual salary.
what types of life insurance policies are available to police officers?
Police officers will have the same access to life insurance products as anyone else.
Although there are quite a few types of life insurance policies available, many of them are hybrids of the basic types of insurance policies available.
term life insurance
term life insurance continues to be the most affordable type of life insurance for income replacement.
Most companies will offer term policies with policy terms from five to thirty years. and, in recent years, several companies have begun to offer policies with terms of up to 35 and 40 years.
Since a term policy does not provide permanent coverage and there is no cash component attached, term life insurance will always be the most affordable option.
permanent life insurance
Permanent life insurance guarantees a death benefit for the life of the insured as long as premiums are paid. A permanent policy (sometimes called cash value life insurance) also has a cash component that will build value over time and earns tax-deferred interest based on the investment performance of the insurer issuing the policy.
The two most popular permanent life insurance policies are whole life and universal life.
life insurance without exam
No exam life insurance is usually term life insurance, but it is also available as whole life insurance.
No-exam policies are generally preferred by applicants who are healthy and prefer to forgo the inconvenience and privacy issues associated with a life insurance medical exam.
Also, since the medical exam is not required, the insurance company can usually issue a policy in a matter of days instead of weeks and months when an exam is required.
Premiums are slightly higher without exam policies, as the insurance company accepts more risk by forgoing the medical exam.
How do insurance companies determine your premium?
A police officer’s life insurance policy is written much the same as any other applicant’s. Certainly, age and health are the most dominant factors for qualification, but many companies use a supplemental questionnaire once it reveals that he is in the police force.
You can expect to provide some information to the insurer on the following topics: