First responders—police, firefighters, and EMS workers—spend their shifts responding to disasters and emergencies from which many people would flee. They often deal with hazardous diseases, natural disasters, and violent outbursts as a normal part of their job. Unfortunately, these risky situations can increase the chances that a first responder will suffer a job-related injury or death.1
Even sadder, the COVID-19 crisis has increased the number of job-related deaths, as first responders are often forced into face-to-face encounters with COVID-positive individuals.2 These sobering statistics mean that it's vitally important for first responders to have life insurance that provides financial protection for their loved ones.
Below, learn more about the life insurance options that are available to first responders.
What Coverage Options are Available?
First responders can choose to include different provisions in their life insurance policy. The latter can also be bundled with other insurance products—like disability or dismemberment insurance—to provide even more protection. You'll need to choose a policy that fits your own unique situation. Some of the coverage options include:
- Mortgage life insurance, which will pay off your mortgage in the event of an untimely death.
- Term life insurance, which provides coverage of a flat amount for a certain number of years; after these years elapse, the policy can either be renewed for an additional cost or canceled. Term life insurance doesn't have any residual value at the end of the term (like whole life does), but is also generally available at a lower cost than whole life insurance.
- Whole life insurance, where monthly premiums build up a residual cash value in the policy.
Because first responders have such a risky line of work, it's usually better to take advantage of the life insurance policies and products that are directly targeted to first responders. This will reduce your risk of rejection and, in many cases, allow you to access life insurance at a more affordable cost.
What Should First Responders Consider When Deciding on Life Insurance?
There's no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to life insurance, and the right insurance product for you will depend on your finances and your family situation. If you have young children and a large mortgage but expect to be on much stronger financial footing in a couple of decades, a 20-year term life insurance policy may be a good idea. If you'd like a way to set aside funds for yourself or your loved ones, a whole life insurance policy could be the answer.
Some of the questions you'll want to ask when making this decision include:
- How much are my debts? It's generally a good idea to get enough life insurance to extinguish all of your debts, with some left over to cover funeral costs.
- How long do I expect to spend in this career? What will I do after it’s over? If you're hoping to retire soon, you may be able to request that your insurance be recalculated after retirement; in many cases, this will reduce the cost.
- Who are my dependents, and how long will they rely on my income?
The answers to these questions will help you narrow down your feasible life insurance options.
Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax planning or legal advice. We suggest that you consult with a qualified tax or legal advisor.
This material contains only general descriptions and is not a solicitation to sell any insurance product or security, nor is it intended as any financial or tax advice. For information about specific insurance needs or situations, contact your insurance agent. This article is intended to assist in educating you about insurance generally and not to provide personal service. They may not take into account your personal characteristics such as budget, assets, risk tolerance, family situation or activities which may affect the type of insurance that would be right for you. In addition, state insurance laws and insurance underwriting rules may affect available coverage and its costs. Guarantees are based on the claims paying ability of the issuing company. If you need more information or would like personal advice you should consult an insurance professional. You may also visit your state’s insurance department for more information.
All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.