Why is Life Insurance Important for Police Officers
Jessica Fox 06-06-2022

Getting Life Insurance for Police Officers

Life Insurance For Police Officers

No one would argue against the fact that police officers have high-risk jobs. Law enforcement puts their lives on the line every day to serve and protect their communities, so cops must have above-average life insurance policies to protect them and their families.

Many police officers believe their employer-sponsored life insurance coverage is sufficient. However, it’s usually not enough to protect their family from financial hardships. Despite having a risky profession, police officers can get competitive premiums that match what civilians pay, simply by shopping around to find the best life insurance for police officers.

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Why Cops Need Top-Notch Life Insurance

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 3.5 in 100,000 law enforcement officers die in the line of duty, making being a cop one of America’s top 10 most dangerous jobs. 

Although partaking in high-risk activities typically results in steeper life insurance premiums, this isn’t the case for police officers. Insurers offer competitive life insurance policies to law enforcement, so it’s worth your time to shop around for quotes until you find the right coverage for you. 

Is Employer-Sponsored Life Insurance Enough?

Just because it’s convenient that cops have employer-sponsored life insurance, it doesn’t mean it provides adequate coverage. 

Here’s why having just employer-sponsored law enforcement life insurance isn’t what it’s cracked up to be, especially if you have a family:

  • Your family will only “benefit” from 2-4 years of your salary.
  • This benefit might not be applicable if the police officer didn’t die in the line of duty.
  • If you leave the force, life insurance for police officer policies isn’t always portable. Which could mean you’ll lose your life insurance coverage.

Unfortunately, most law enforcement life insurance through your employer doesn’t cut it — unless you’re single.

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How Much Life Insurance Does a Cop Need?

When figuring out how much life insurance you need, most insurers suggest multiplying your salary by 7-10 to give you a rough idea. The best place to start is to see how much your employer-sponsored life insurance offers and then seek out additional private coverage. 

However, aiming to replace your salary shouldn’t be your sole life insurance determiner. If you have a family to protect, then you want to base your life insurance needs on these other financial obligations:

  • Living expenses for your loved ones
  • Funeral and burial costs for you
  • The remaining mortgage on the family home
  • If you need to contribute to your spouse’s retirement fund
  • Household debt
  • Your children’s tuition

Understanding the full financial implication of your passing away suddenly will help you determine how much life insurance you truly need. 

The Best Life Insurance for Police Officers

If you’re looking into law enforcement life insurance, you have quite a few policy options to consider.

  • Term life insurance: this is the most affordable choice because it doesn’t have a cash component, but it offers income replacement for 5-40 years.
  • Permanent life insurance: this offers a death benefit to beneficiaries and a tax-deferred interest cash component — as long as payments are up-to-date. There are two popular types of permanent life insurance:
    • Whole life: provides fixed premiums and the ability to withdraw cash at any point, no matter the reason.
    • Universal life: this coverage lasts a lifetime, but the policyholder can alter premium amounts and death benefits. It also tends to be less expensive than whole life insurance.
  • No exam: this is a term or whole life insurance that is more expensive, as insurers don’t require a medical exam. However, these policies are quick to activate versus exam-based policies that can take weeks to initiate.

Not everyone will want or need the same type of life insurance, so understanding your options can help you find the right fit for you. 

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Determining Law Enforcement Life Insurance Premiums

As a police officer applying for life insurance, the application process is identical to civilians until you indicate that you’re in law enforcement. Once insurers know you’re a police officer, there are a few additional questions you’ll need to answer to help insurance companies set your premiums, like:

  • Are you a field officer?Are you temporarily or permanently assigned desk duty, or are you a field agent — patrolling, investigating, or canvassing?
  • Are you armed?Are you regularly armed? If so, this indicates you’re at greater risk than an unarmed officer.
  • Are you in major crimes?Working in major crimes is riskier than other officers, so insurers will want to know about your caseload.
  • Do you have specialized training?If you have additional training, insurance will want to factor this into your premiums.
  • Do you take additional safety precautions?If you follow additional safety measures, this is another consideration for insurers.

These questions all help insurers get a better sense of the risk you’re in and what your premiums should be, as a result. 

Life Insurance for Law Enforcement

Every high-risk professional needs to ensure they have adequate life insurance for their family, just in case. Although law enforcement has employer-sponsored life insurance, it often isn’t enough to protect their beneficiaries if they die in the line of duty. 

It’s crucial that police officers review their employer-sponsored life insurance policy and then look into bumping up their coverage. After all, law enforcement officers may protect their communities, but they also must protect their families in their absence. The best life insurance for police officers is having enough to care for their beneficiaries should the worst happen. 

Jessica FoxJessica Fox has been a freelance writer for five years, with a specialty in health, wellness, and insurance. During this time, she’s written for some of the biggest B2B and B2C brands from around the world. Jessica is also the mother of two young daughters and loves coffee, writing, and working out.