Being a police officer is one of the toughest job positions out there and it takes a lot of bravery to become a policeman. Police officers protect civilians while exposing themselves to dangerous situations and risking their lives on a daily basis. Because of the responsibility that comes with working in law enforcement, most police officers will think about the safety of their families at some point.
Police officers may often wonder how their families will maintain themselves in case anything happens to them, especially if the police officer is the breadwinner at their home. That is why life insurance for police officers is important; it allows police officers to ensure their family’s financial future.
- Available Life Insurance for Police Officers
- Is Life Insurance Expensive for Police?
- What If You Are In The SWAT Team?
- How To Get The Best Rates?
- Choose an Independent Agent
- Additional Information Required
- Life Insurance Coverage from the Department – Is It Enough?
- How Much Coverage Do You Need?
- Can You Afford Life Insurance?
- Importance of Life Insurance for Police Officers
Available Life Insurance for Police Officers
What many officers don’t know, however, is that they have life insurance options that are just like civilians’ life insurance options.
With similar prices and similar bureaucratic processes, it is not hard to find the best life insurance option; all you have to do is choose the most appropriate option for you and find an independent agent to assist you!
Here are some of the most popular options:
Term Life Insurance
Term Life Insurance is the most common option among civilians and police officers. It is the cheapest life insurance option and also the one option in which you won’t be getting your money back.
Why is that? You may wonder.
It’s simple: Term Life Insurance, as its name suggests, only covers a limited amount of time (term) of your life. There are several options but, depending on the insurance agent or agency you hire, you can choose between 10, 20, or years of term life insurance.
If by the end of your term life insurance, you still haven’t used your insurance for anything, the money you spent in premiums and fees won’t be returning to you; this is similar to a car or home insurance, in which you pay the premiums and, if you don’t use your insurance at any given moment of its coverage, that doesn’t mean you’ll get your money back.
Permanent Life Insurance
Now, if you’re unsure about Term Life Insurance and its no cash value policy, Permanent Life Insurance might be the better option for you. Although this type of life insurance is more expensive than term life insurance.
Permanent Life insurance does allow the policyholder to accumulate cash value over the years, which is placed in a savings component that can be used for loans!
Differently from the term life insurance, the permanent policy won’t last for a set period of time; it will last from the day you sign the contract until the day you pass away.
Another feature of a permanent plan is that the premium value will stay fixed throughout your life, and that is actually quite beneficial for the policyholder, given that, even though market prices are always increasing, the amount of money you have to pay won’t increase!
There are different types of permanent life insurance, such as Whole Life Insurance and Universal Life insurance. The premise for all of them is the same: they will be kept for the rest of your life; however, there might be some differences regarding premiums and flexibility.
Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance
A Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance is a type of permanent life insurance in which you don’t need to undergo medical examinations or answer questions related to your health condition. Because of that, this type of insurance sometimes is referred to as the “no questions asked life insurance”.
This type of life insurance might be a great option for officers who are severely ill and who would probably not be able to acquire a life insurance service otherwise.
For instance, people with HIV or who have had an organ transplant are not always qualified to have life insurance, and this is when guaranteed life insurance comes in; this type of insurance offers coverage to people with such conditions!
The thing with the guaranteed plan is that, even though it allows people with health problems to get life insurance, it actually has a period of time that is called ‘waiting period’.
If the policy owner passes away during this waiting period — which can be 2 or 3 years after they sign the contract —, their beneficiaries will not receive the policy’s death insurance. Instead, the beneficiaries will only receive the amount that was paid in premiums during the waiting period plus interest.
To know more options and details, consider reading this guide on life insurance for dummies.
Is Life Insurance Expensive for Police?
Life insurance policies are virtually the same for everyone. Except if you work in professions that are considered risky, which includes being a police officer.
Although police officers should be able to get life insurance at the same rates that civilians do, the streets are becoming increasingly more dangerous for police, and insurance companies cannot risk losing money in case the policyholder passes away.
Keep in mind that that doesn’t mean a policy for police officers is much more expensive than civilians. In fact, if police officers contact the right independent agent, they might even get it for the same rates as civilians!
However, it is important to note that there are different careers within police departments; some of which are more dangerous than others. For instance, evidence technicians working in the police don’t put their lives at risk as often as police officers who are out on the streets, putting their lives on the line every single day.
Usually, police officers who are looking for a plan consider term life policy as the best option for them, given that this type of insurance only covers a set amount of time — which may be just enough time until they retire — and is the least expensive option.
However, if you’re not into undergoing physical exams, guaranteed issue life insurance, although more expensive, might be a better option.
What If You Are In The SWAT Team?
Even though police departments offer basic life insurance to their employees, SWAT members — as well as other officers — might consider getting an extra plan.
Term Life insurance plan might be a good option for SWAT team members, given that you can choose a certain number of years in which you’ll be insured by the insurance policy.
For instance, if you’re retiring in 10 years, a 10-years term policy would work for you, as you’ll get to work while knowing that your family shall be financially protected in case anything happens to you on duty.
The SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) team is specially trained to face highly dangerous situations. Consequently, SWAT team members put their lives on the line very often, even if they are skilled and have a lot of training to handle risky situations, and it is not impossible to pass away on duty if you are a SWAT team member.
Because of that, insurance companies tend to charge higher rates to police officers who work in the SWAT team.
However, it is important to take into consideration the cost-benefit of getting a life insurance plan as a SWAT team member: although it might be slightly more expensive, you’ll rest assured that your family won’t face any money-related difficulties if you pass away!
How To Get The Best Rates?
First of all, you need to keep in mind that life insurance rates will vary depending not only on the type of policy that you choose (Term Life Insurance, Permanent Life Insurance, Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance, etc.), but the rates will also depend on your gender, age, overall health condition, lifestyle, and, in this case, they will depend on your occupation as well.
Younger, healthier clients will get the best rates possible. Now, if you’re older or if you have a medical condition, these rates will certainly increase, no matter which insurance company or independent agent that you choose to hire.
Additionally, women usually get lower rates, given that they have a longer life expectancy and, generally, have healthier lives.
Your lifestyle will also impact on life insurance rates: if you drink or smoke, you’ll pay higher premiums than a person who doesn’t drink nor smoke.
Other than varying depending on these conditions that can’t be changed or that are hard to change, rates also vary depending on the company or independent agent that you pick. This is precisely why it is so important for police officers to do a thorough research when looking for the best life insurance rates.
With the aid of the countless tools that are available online, you can insert your data and find the best options for yourself in a matter of minutes. It is also recommended to shop around different companies or independent agents’ websites and/or offices so that you can learn what is the average rate for people with your age, health, lifestyle, occupation, etc.
Choose an Independent Agent
While insurance companies provide you exclusively with their own life insurance options, independent agents will present you with options from several different companies.
In a nutshell, when you hire an insurance company, you’ll have fewer options to choose from and you may end up spending more money to get life insurance than you would if you had contacted an independent agent.
On top of that, independent agents have a lot of experience with different types of policyholders, thus they can help you get the life insurance coverage that fits you to a tee! Not to mention that independent agents are experts in their field of work and they can explain the complex parts of getting life insurance in simple terms.
Life Insurance Guideline is an independent insurance agent dedicated to ensuring that our clients, whether they’re seniors or police officers, will get the best life insurance within their budgets and needs!
We offer the most popular and affordable life insurance options, including Term Life Insurance, Permanent Life Insurance, and Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance.
Additional Information Required
In most cases, your policy will cover for your death, no matter the circumstance. Still, you should keep in mind that there are some ways in which your life insurance will not cover your death!
Term Life insurance, especially, stipulates a few different death cases that are not covered by its policy. Police officers looking for a policy shouldn’t feel uneasy, though!
The risks associated with working in law enforcement, such as death by firearm, for instance, are all covered by life insurance policies.
However, death by firearm is only covered by the life insurance policy in case the policyholder is a victim of murder. In the cases in which the policyholder uses a firearm to commit suicide within the first year of purchasing the policy, insurers are not obligated to pay the death benefit to the beneficiaries of that policyholder.
Another case in which death by firearm is not covered is when the policyholder is shot due to involvement in criminal activities. For instance, if the policyholder is shot to death while robbing a bank, he will not get the death benefit from the insurer.
It is worth mentioning that life insurance companies and independent agents are entitled to having a contestability period; that is, after the policyholder’s death, insurers have a limited period in which they can investigate their client’s death to ensure that the death isn’t a fraud or that the client didn’t pass away due to causes that were not included in the policy.
Another death case that is not covered by term life insurance is death due to the influence of alcohol. Usually, life insurance companies and independent agents will not issue life insurance for clients who drink heavily. However, there are cases in which the policyholder withholds such information when they are still in the process of getting life insurance.
If this client dies in a car crash that happened under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the insurer will not be obligated to pay the death benefit.
Any dangerous hobby may also impact the policy. If you have such hobbies (e.g. skydiving, scuba-diving, etc.), you must mention it in your application.
Keep in mind that withholding information from, or providing false information for, your insurer during the process of getting the life insurance policy will result in your contract becoming void once you pass away. That is why insurers have the contestability period so that they can ensure that the policyholder didn’t lie at any point.
For instance, your beneficiaries will not receive the death benefit if you pass away and your insurer finds out that you didn’t disclose an unhealthy habit of smoking.
Death caused by natural disasters is not covered by term life insurance either. In case the policyholder passes away during a hurricane, earthquake, or tsunami, for instance, the insurer is not obligated to pay the death benefit to this client’s beneficiaries.
Life Insurance Coverage from the Department – Is It Enough?
Even though police departments offer basic life insurance coverage for their employees, you still may question whether that is enough or not.
As humans, we know that we’re all going to pass away at some point. Some of us get to live their whole lives while some of us pass away way too soon, unfortunately.
Worst yet, police officers, firefighters, and first responders — the people who risk their own lives to protect our society — may have their lives taken away from them while on-duty.
Sometimes, these heroes don’t have a family yet. At other times, when a police officer passes away, he or she may be leaving a husband/wife and children behind. And, if you have children and a spouse, you may often wonder what their financial situation would be like if you were to pass away.
Would a life insurance coverage that is equal to 12 months of your salary be enough to help them make it through? Would that money be enough to pay all the bills plus save some money to help pay for your children’s education?
If the answer to these questions is negative, then you should definitely consider hiring an independent agent to help you find the best life insurance option for you and your family!
How Much Coverage Do You Need?
To ensure that your family and loved ones will be financially stable after your death, getting a policy is a good option to be considered for such.
Naturally, you will have to decide how much life insurance coverage you need by analyzing what are your family’s financial needs in the present and what expenses they could have in the future.
What Should Be Considered as Expenses?
First of all, you need to write down information about your family. Are your children old enough to provide for themselves? Does your spouse have a means of providing for the family, in case your children are still young? Do you have an aging parent who will need to be taken care of?
These are questions that you should ask yourself when trying to come up with an estimated value that will represent your expenses. Preferably, you should consider needs-based expenses, such as the following:
Financial Support: For instance, you can consider 5 years of your annual income as adequate financial support for your family. Let’s consider that your annual income is $60,000. In this case, the financial support would be $300,000 ($60,000 x 5 years);
College Tuition Fees: College tuition expenses change depending on the institution, undergraduate program, type of institution, years of education, and whether your children will go to an in-state university or out-of-state university.
In order to ensure that your children will have enough money to pay for their education, you should calculate college costs assuming that your kids will go to a private, out-of-state university and that their program will last 4 years, at least.
Costs of Raising a Child: Every parent knows just how expensive it is to raise a child these days. In 2017, the estimated cost of raising a child was approximately $15,000/year. Multiply that number by the number of years until all of your children reach 18 years old and you’ll have an estimated value of how much your family will need.
Debts: For this section, you should include all of your credit card expenses, mortgage, bank loans, and/or car loans.
(Optional) End-of-Life Expenses: Your death will take a toll on your loved ones. Because of that, you probably don’t want your family to also deal with the financial burden that comes with arranging a funeral, getting a casket, etc., so you may want to work these expenses now.
(Optional): Supporting Aging Parent: If your aging parent will need medical attention after your death, you should include the expenses of admitting your parent to a nursing home and also the expenses of medical care for an elderly person.
How to Calculate an Estimated Number?
The first thing you should be aware of is that your life insurance coverage will have to be enough to replace your current income, at least. Once you’ve made that calculation, you will already have an estimated number of how much coverage you will need.
The next step to finding out what is the ideal life insurance coverage for you is to calculate what are your current expenses and the debts that you have. Afterward, you can subtract your income from your total expenses plus debts, and the result of that calculation will be the minimum value of coverage that your family will need in case you pass away.
Can You Afford Life Insurance?
Once you are done with all these calculations, you might come face to face with a mindblowing number. This is when you will need to ensure that you can afford such a life insurance coverage.
Don’t freak out, though! If your calculations indicate that your family will need at least $1,5 million to make ends meet without your income, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your life insurance will be impossible to afford.
If you’re a healthy, young individual, your term life insurance premiums can be as low as $40/month! However, permanent life insurance and guaranteed issue life insurance premiums are significantly more expensive than term life insurance, so you should pay attention to that, as well.
Importance of Life Insurance for Police Officers
Police officers are part of a line-of-work that requires a lot of bravery and that an individual has a heroic trace in their personality. This profession is one of the most praiseworthy professions but also one of the most dangerous careers that one might want to follow.
The Streets Are Getting Increasingly Dangerous For Police Officers
In the past, police officers didn’t have to be as fearful for their lives as they are nowadays. Our society used to pay more respect to those who put their lives on the line every single day to protect our lives and to help bring order to our society.
Unfortunately, things have changed over the years. Police officers are getting murdered every day, all across the globe, and the threats against police officers are getting increasingly more common.
Recently, riots against law enforcement have put police officers’ lives at risk even further, and the support that these riots are receiving is alarming.
Life Insurance Coverage Will Ensure Your Family’s Future
Thus, police officers are obligated to start thinking about the worst-case scenarios and to think about the future and safety of their loved ones in times like these.
With the increasing number of riots, police officers are in danger every time that they put on their uniforms, and it is highly important that you think about getting an additional policy, as the insurance provided by your department might not be enough.
Unfortunately, every time you leave the house to go to work, it may be your last time seeing your family, and, because of that, you need to make sure that your family will be able to make it through after your death.
You certainly want your children to be able to go to college and you’ll want your family to be able to afford the mortgage expenses so that they’ll still have a roof over their heads.
Getting a life insurance policy will ensure that all of your family’s expenses and debts will be covered in case you pass away on-duty. Your spouse and children’s future will be financially guaranteed if you get life insurance coverage that has a generous death benefit.
Advantages of Getting Life Insurance
The advantage of getting a life insurance policy — whether it’s a term life insurance, permanent life insurance, or guaranteed issue life insurance — is that it isn’t as expensive as you might think it is, so you can easily afford it with your police officer salary.
It is highly recommended that you look for life insurance even if your department already offers life insurance to its employees.
There are different life insurance options for police officers in the market. The process of getting life insurance is the same as it is for civilians, so you should have no problems finding the best option for you and your beneficiaries.
Keep in mind that, sometimes, the life insurance coverage offered by your department might not be enough to ensure that your family’s needs are covered.
At Life Insurance Guideline, we are committed to helping police officers find the perfect life insurance option for them. Get an instant quote here or contact us through our online communication channels. Alternatively, you can fill the form available here.