If you work as a police officer or other first responder, you’ve probably already realized that your line of work is dangerous.
There is always a chance that you could get hurt while working a shift safeguarding the people in your town, or worst case scenario, you might not return home at all.
Knowing this, it’s imperative that you take the required actions to make sure that, in the event that you don’t return home, your surviving loved ones will have the means to carry on.
The good news is that insurance companies realize the danger and many will compete for your business. Many police officers and first responders believe that life insurance firms avoid insuring police personnel.
To put it frankly, a lot more people pass away in car accidents each year than they do as police officers. It’s surprisingly simple to find affordable life insurance if you’re a police officer.
Why are police officers required to have life insurance?
Let’s begin with a crucial and verified figure from the Officer Down Memorial Page (odmp.org). 2020 saw the death in the course of duty of 359 police officers, 332 of whom were men and 27 of whom were women.
Now contrast those figures with the 1.36 fatalities attributed to automobile accidents in 2020. Despite the fact that many of the accident victims may have been police officers, you’ll probably be able to compare one risk to the other.
A police officer must obtain life insurance so that heirs won’t suffer financially in the event of their passing, regardless of whether they pass away while on duty guarding the public, from illness, or in a work-related accident unrelated to their duties.
Compared to the ordinary employed person, police officers face more dangerous situations while on the job:
Response to Automobile Accidents
The majority of the time is spent on highways, county roads, or municipal streets by officers assigned to the traffic division. This undoubtedly puts them in danger whether assisting at a roadside accident or dealing with a criminal who tries to flee in a car.
While at work Accidental shootings
Being on duty or occasionally off duty puts a police officer to the risk of being shot at by a perpetrator or even friendly fire due to a crossfire situation because they have been trained and then permitted to carry a firearm.
First Responders in action
Being a first responder while working as a police officer is definitely not uncommon. Police officers will aid other first responders by getting involved in an investigation or canvassing a community to acquire information, whether there is a bank heist going on or a bridge is collapsing.
In either case, taking risks is part of the profession, and family members need to be financially secure.
Do people think police officers pose a high risk?
A police officer’s job requires them to work in a variety of settings over the course of their career.
After serving in vice for a while, an officer might be given the position of school resource officer. Like a military member, an officer will likely be allocated to several departments or divisions when they are hired after graduating from the academy.
However, when taking into account the figures previously given and the overall risk of being a police officer, insurance firms recognize that, although police officers do assume risks while on the job, the profession isn’t often seen as being high-risk by insurance companies.
Are the life insurance policies that police officers receive through their jobs sufficient?
Simply put, no. Unless a police officer is childless and single. Although employer-sponsored life insurance is a wonderful benefit to take advantage of, if it is the only life insurance an officer has, it won’t be enough to cover the financial demands of their surviving loved ones.
The three main issues with employer-sponsored life insurance are:
- Ordinarily, the death benefit is restricted to a multiple of an officer’s yearly income, and in many circumstances, this limit is insufficient to replace the wage of the deceased officer for more than a few years.
When an officer passes away while off duty, most life insurance policies provided by the department or union provide a less sum.
- An employer-sponsored life insurance policy is typically not transferable. This implies that the coverage will not follow the officer when he or she leaves (most can after serving 20 years).
- The required amount of life insurance for police officers
The goal of an officer’s life insurance policy, if he or she has a family—and the majority do—is to replace the officer’s salary so that the surviving family members can maintain their standard of living following the officer’s passing.
It takes more than just spending a multiple of your annual pay to replace your income. The following financial commitments should be taken into account when calculating the death benefit required to replace an officer’s salary (particularly if he or she is the only breadwinner in the household):
- The annual living expenses of the surviving family
- the family home’s mortgage balance, if any.
- Any individual debt
- The approximate expense of any children in the home attending college
- Needed contributions for a spouse’s retirement account, as estimated
- The approximate cost of the memorial service and burial
- The projected replacement income is almost always larger than a multiple of three or four times the annual salary of an officer, as we have discovered over the years.