Correctional Officers and Life Insurance
Life Insurance for Correctional Officers
In a previous blog post, we have discussed the importance of life insurance among different varieties of law enforcement personnel. The key point being in previous blogs is that this line of work poses an immediate danger on a typical shift. The chance of burdening a family with possible financial ruin is a real threat.
Sometimes it does not even come down to the situation where death is the result. Serious injury can also be a major factor to consider in this line of work. You may be under the impression that obtaining life insurance as a correctional officer could be difficult due to the added risk. Many of you may also think that what you have through your employer is sufficient coverage.
If you are currently a correctional officer or an employee within a correctional facility, Good Life Protection wants to help. Flat extras and other forms of increased premiums is what we want to make sure we avoid. We want to help you navigate the life insurance market to get the best possible policy. A policy is not always the face amount and premiums paid.
Good Life Protection wants to help you find the most comprehensive policy for you and your family. We do this by actively working with dozens of the major life insurance carriers. We want to make sure we find you the best fit possible.
Why is Life Insurance for Correctional Officers so Important?
I am sure most people think that police officers face more danger on a daily shift than someone working in corrections. This is not true and may very well be the opposite. Working corrections, in my opinion, poses as much danger if not more for the officers. Let’s think about it and break it down for a moment.
Scenario 1- Dangers for a correctional officer – Life Insurance for Correctional Officers
A correctional officer books in a new custody or a “non-law-abiding citizen” into a county jail. They search them and make sure they are weapon free and book them on a felony charge. The thing that is often overlooked is that the police officer now gets to leave, leaving the criminal behind at the jail. The police officer does go back out and patrol to re-enter danger.
What about the correctional officer left dealing with 200+ criminals charged with violent crimes?
- They often are not happy to be in jail.
- Most have a strong disrespect for law and authority figures.
- They often have a problem controlling emotions and making strong decisions.
- They are now behind a glass reinforced door or a set of sliding bars and angry.
The correctional officer is going to be the last person they have respect for. They most likely see them as a barrier to the freedom they once had.
This is where Correctional Officers Jobs become Dangerous
I think I have painted the picture of why the job can be dangerous. Violent attacks on officers happen much more often than everyday society believes it does. A big reason for this is because it does not catch the attention of the media. Only unless formal charges are brought onto the individual for the attack, making it public knowledge.
Over 30 homicides occurred on correctional officers over a span of 15 years. That seems like a low number doesn’t it? Although, the average person purchasing life insurance usually is not expecting to die. It is for the mere possibility that if you do die, your family is covered. You do not want to leave the burden debt on your family. Especially when they already must go through the grieving process. This number also does include:
- Over 1200 work-related injuries- with 18 percent resulting in disability
We will not dive into why this makes a disability policy another strong addition to your financial portfolio. I am hoping you are seeing the trend I am trying to illustrate.
Let’s take another viewpoint on it.
Scenario 2- Dangers for a Correctional Officer – Life Insurance for Correctional Officers
In scenario number 1 we discussed what happens in county jail’s after an inmate has been brought into the facility. We also assumed that the inmate was searched properly before entering. This meaning they are free of all weapons that could be harmful to others. What is guaranteeing that this search was done properly or even at all?
I have seen this in my career in law enforcement. Inmates brought in from the streets by the patrol officer with stashed drugs or some form of a weapon. Or often an item that could be dangerous.
Correctional officers are often put in these kinds of scenarios. Therefore it is important to have life insurance; do not hesitate in this decision.
How does this impact your life insurance rates? – Life Insurance for Correctional Officers
A life insurance carrier will consider your employment as a potential risk factor. Not all life insurance carriers treat these risks the same way. They cannot hold your career against you in a manner that will affect your actual health rating.
What they can do, is add what is a “Flat Extra” charge to your premium dollars. Typically, these run-in increments of 25%. The lowest flat extra charge will be the 25% more and in most circumstances, it can go up to 250%. These extra fees have nothing to do with your actual health. These are all outside factors such as habits, lifestyle or occupation.
The goal would be to avoid these all together if possible. Often, a good explanation of job duties or a well-drafted cover letter to the underwriting staff, can help lower or avoid these extra expenses. This is not always a guarantee. At Good Life Protection, we try to do everything possible to help you achieve the lowest rates. Picking the right life insurance carrier can also help in these situations.
When facing these extra charges, it is in your best interest to work with an independent agency who represents most of the carriers. Being able to pivot and move carriers is essential to achieving the best rates possible. Always feel free to contact Good Life Protection to see how low we can get your premiums down to the best possible rate.
Your overall health impacts your life insurance rates more!
The point of this blog is to illustrate the difference your occupation as a correctional officer can have on life insurance rates. The main thing to remember is, your health is the most important factor. It carries the heaviest weight on your application.
We have touched on this in other blog posts, but you need to be transparent with your agent. This includes disclosing all the relevant facts. Putting all the pieces together and finding a company that fits is the agents‘ job. The only way the agent can do this effectively is if you afford them the opportunity to do so.
Maybe you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Regardless of what your current health status is, Good Life Protection would love to help navigate you through the process. We try to make everything as stress free and expedited as possible.
The Good News? – Life Insurance for Correctional Officers
A few moments ago, we touched on the potential of a “flat extra” charge being extra fees on your life insurance policy. The good news? Often this will not happen and can be easily avoided.
Truth be told, you could be looking at the exact same rates as if you worked an office job. Many things may be considered which we will touch on in a moment. The life insurance carrier is going to want more detail on the situation. The more you can explain the better. Well, it is obvious, explanations that show less risk and not more.
Here is examples:
- Do you work in a minimum-security facility or maximum security?
- Are you a front lines correctional officer or civil employee?
- Are you secured on your post such as working as a control operator?
- Do you carry a weapon during any typical shift?
- Do you have any special certifications?
- Are you a riot or emergency response or special unit tactical team?
All these additional items could determine what kind of flat extra charge you are assessed on your life insurance premium. In most circumstances, it should be obtainable to get normal life insurance rates. Of course, it does matter what carriers you are working with. Or if you are working with a captive or independent life insurance agent.
So LOW RATES are impossible…. why do you need it so bad?
Law enforcement, in general, is a job where the spouse often does not work and stays home to take care of kids or other obligations. Getting Life Insurance for the Primary Income Provider. Do not underestimate the value of this. In fact, the spouse that stays home needs adequate coverage as well.
How much do you think it will cost to replace her as the homemaker? How much do you think it may cost to hire for daycare if something was to happen? It is probably much more than you think.
The insurance being provided by your employer is not the only coverage you need. There is a reason insurance companies do not ask about work related life insurance on applications. The reason is, it virtually does not even count. If you leave your employer, the coverage is gone. If your employer restructures benefits or life insurance options, your coverage may be gone. Lastly, If you retire and the coverage is not portable or possible to keep in retirement, coverage again is lost.
You need to have an outside private policy in place to protect against these scenarios. A good rule of thumb is to have enough coverage in place that equals about 10x your annual income. You may want to consider even more if your spouse currently does not work. The added stress of not being in the job field for years and possibly having no savings to fall back on could place a tremendous burden on your family.
This does include having enough life insurance in place to add funding for your children’s school or final expenses for yourself. So, let’s assume you make $50,000.00 per year. Look into policies at least providing $500,000.00 in coverage over a set amount of years.
What options do you have now or what kind of life insurance should you consider purchasing?
Life Insurance for Correctional Officers
You typically have three forms of life insurance you can investigate purchasing.
- Whole Life Insurance
- Term Life Insurance
- Universal Life Insurance
We can take a moment and explain these.
Whole Life Insurance – This form of purchase is going to have a strong upside. It is permanent and will take you to the finish line. The cost is typically higher. Although, you do not have to worry about renewing or expiring contracts with your life insurance.
Term Insurance – This form of life insurance is the bare minimum you should buy in addition to your benefits provided by your employer. This will be the cheapest form of insurance you can buy. It will expire or need to be renewed at some point throughout your life.
*Side Note- Try to run a term at least the duration that takes your kids through college. A lot of dependency will be removed by this stage of life. In the case of your unexpected death, the shock it provides the family will be less than the earlier years of their lives.
Universal Life – This is somewhat of a hybrid- This carries the same potential for a cash growth life insurance policy has but offers flexibility and different structuring. For example, a Universal Life policy does not automatically have to take you to age 121. You can structure Universal Life Policies to take you to –
These policies, if executed correctly and structured accordingly, can be a powerful tool in your financial portfolio. My inside tip would be to at least buy the term insurance with the ability to convert the policy to a permanent policy down the road if need be. It is a great way to protect your family now and keep all doors and options for you. Makes it easier to decide based on budget now and revisit the situation down the road.
How does the process work? What to expect? – Life Insurance for Correctional Officers
To begin, I recommend working with an Independent Agent representing many different life insurance carriers. Let them do the leg work for you but be transparent with them from the beginning.
Life Insurance for Correctional Officers Underwriting is the most important step to get out of the way unless you choose to buy a policy that requires no medical exam. Inform your agent of your situation. Let him put together the beginning pieces of the puzzle so he or she can get your underwriting going. Once you have completed your underwriting, the agent can effectively shop and bid your rates to find the best offer for you.
Your goal is to make sure your family is protected at adequate levels. You can feel good being on the front lines protecting your community. Do not let the unexpected punish you or your family in the future. Do not let the thought of a small extra amount per month coming out of your bank prevent you from taking these necessary steps to protect your family by adding Life Insurance for Correctional Officers.
Contact Good Life Protection to see if we can get you the best rates possible. Let us walk you through the seamless transaction to placing your family’s protection in place.
Article Written by Joshua Martin– Founder of Good Life Protection- Licensed in all 50 states and a Financial Services Professional – 5/23/2018