Why police officers need life insurance
Police officers need life insurance to cover their financial obligations, just like anyone else. Police officers may have to take a number of factors into consideration when shopping for life insurance, including:
Income protection. If you have dependents like a spouse or children, you’d want their expenses covered in your absence.
Debt protection. Life insurance can cover debts like a mortgage or other loans, so your loved ones wouldn’t face an additional financial burden.
Employer-sponsored coverage. You might have one to two times your salary in coverage through work, but an individual policy will give you more comprehensive coverage.
When you apply for life insurance, you might have to answer a few additional questions about your profession during the underwriting process.
Life insurance companies use a variety of factors, including age, gender, health, and lifestyle risk factors to determine the risk of insuring you and set your rate.
If you have a high-risk specialty at work, you might pay more in premiums than someone with a different occupation.
Best life insurance companies for police officers
The best life insurance for law enforcement professionals will depend on the specifics of their job, as well as other factors like age, gender, and health. Below are a few of our top partners.
We used industry data, pricing from Policygenius carrier partners, and third-party ratings like A.M. Best and J.D. Power to pick the best insurers on the market. Our independent recommendations will help you get life insurance coverage with confidence.
If you’re a police officer with special duties involving undercover work, special weapons, or explosives, your life insurance application will likely be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the insurer.
If this applies to you, it’s best to have a personalized call with a Policygenius expert to find the insurance company that will meet your needs.
Best term life insurance: Banner Life
Best whole life insurance: MassMutual
Best for hazardous specialties: Prudential
Best instant decision: Brighthouse Financial
Methodology: How we chose the best life insurance companies for police officers of 2023
We don’t get paid for our company reviews and use an extensive rubric of criteria covering policy details, price, financial confidence, third-party ratings, and customer experience to assign unbiased ratings out of five stars. Any recommendations we make are based on internal and external expert opinions and data from our Policygenius Price Index, which uses real-time rate data from leading life insurance companies to determine pricing trends.
Our ratings and reviews can help point you to an insurer you can rely on for your family’s financial protection, but the best life insurance company for you is dependent on multiple factors. A licensed agent at Policygenius can work with you through the application process so you’re getting coverage from the best insurer for your circumstances at the most competitive price.
Best term life insurance for police officers
Deemed one of our best overall life insurance companies, Banner Life offers affordable rates across many risk classifications. It also offers a no-medical-exam option for people with few health conditions or risk factors, that allows you to skip the medical exam that’s a standard part of the application process
If you work in law enforcement and you don’t have a hazardous specialty, Banner Life is a great choice for term life insurance.
→ Learn more about life insurance classifications
Best whole life insurance for police officers
2023 Policygenius award winner
All 50 states
Why we chose it
MassMutual’s whole life insurance plan provides a lifetime coverage option that builds cash value with the potential to earn dividends.
Pros and cons
Strong financial stability ratings
Higher potential for dividends for whole life policyholders than many competitors
Good customer experience ratings
High term life premiums
Term life not available through Policygenius
MassMutual is a reputable company that pays higher dividends to its policyholders than others. If you’re focusing more on diversifying our investment portfolio and less on income protection, MassMutual could be a good choice for you.
Best life insurance for hazardous specialties
2023 Policygenius award winner
All 50 states
Why we chose it
With nearly four million policyholders and 150 years to its name, Prudential offers competitive coverage options for seniors, as well as people with some of the most common medical conditions, including asthma, depression, and fibromyalgia.
Pros and cons
Good for people over 60
More flexible income requirements than some other insurers
Considers applicants with a variety of immigration statuses (visas and green cards)
Younger applicants will likely find better prices elsewhere
No-med option can end up requiring a medical exam most of the time
Prudential is a reputable company that can consider you for coverage even if you work in law enforcement with a hazardous specialty.
High-risk specialties — like bomb disposal — are commonly evaluated on a case-by-case basis, so you’ll likely fill out additional paperwork regarding the specifics of your job.
Best instant decision life insurance for police officers
2023 Policygenius award winner
Why we chose it
Brighthouse Financial offers competitive rates, comprehensive coverage, and application decisions in as little as 24 hours, making it a great choice for people who want to get life insurance coverage without having to take the medical exam.
Pros and cons
Best-in-class no-med option
Traditional term life not available in CA, IL, LA, ME, or NY
Term life applicants limited to ages 25-50
If you’re a police officer, and you don’t work in special operations or a similar specialty, you’re eligible for an instant issue policy with Brighthouse Financial. Instead of the standard medical exam, you’ll answer health questions over the phone.
How working as a police officer may affect your life insurance application
For the most part, if you’re a municipal police officer, your life insurance premiums won’t be drastically impacted by your profession, but it depends on the insurer you’re applying with.
Some insurance companies may limit people who work in law enforcement as first responders to Standard rates — the third best risk classification.
However, if you have a specialty that involves a higher degree of risk, you’ll likely have to answer additional questions during underwriting, and your rates might end up higher.
Examples of potentially hazardous specialties include:
Special weapons and tactics (SWAT)
If you work in one of these specialties, or participate in other risky job duties — like handling explosives — you might be charged a flat extra fee. Some insurers may not be willing to cover you, depending on the specifics of your situation.
Flat extra fees are an additional charge per $1,000 of coverage you purchase. Common examples of flat extras include an extra $2 or $5 per $1,000 — so if you have a $500,000 policy, you could pay an extra $1,000 to $2,500 per year.
Working with an independent broker like Policygenius can help you find the right coverage for you from an insurance company that meets your needs. At Policygenius, our experts are licensed in all 50 states and can walk you through the entire life insurance buying process while offering transparent, unbiased advice.
Best types of life insurance for police officers
The best type of life insurance for you will depend on your personal circumstances and financial needs.
When advising clients as a life insurance agent, I’d recommend a policy type based on someone’s budget and their motivation for buying life insurance first, rather than their profession. From there, we would consider any additional factors.
Below are some of the most common types of life insurance policies.
Term life insurance
Term life insurance is one of the most affordable life insurance options on the market. It’s the best option for most people looking to protect their income and provide their family with a financial safety net to cover any debts — including a mortgage or any personal loans.
If your primary concern is providing your family with a buffer to replace your income if something happens to you, term life insurance is the best option for you.
Permanent life insurance
Permanent life insurance is appropriate for people who are already maximizing contributions to other investment accounts and looking to buy life insurance to diversify their investment portfolio, or for people who have long-term protection needs, like dependents who require lifelong care.
Most types of permanent life insurance, like whole life insurance, are on average five to 15 times more expensive than comparable term life policies, but the exact amount will depend on the type of policy you’re purchasing, as well as your age, gender, health, and other risk factors.
Instant decision life insurance
Instant decision life insurance typically refers to term life policies that differ from the traditional application process and offer expedited approval.
Instant decision life insurance policies don’t require the in-person medical exam. Instead, you answer additional health questions over the phone.
The insurance company then reviews existing medical, driving, and financial records to determine your eligibility and premiums.
To be eligible to apply for an instant issue policy, you typically need to have few health conditions and risk factors, but police officers without high-risk specialties can still qualify for some instant decision policies.
→ Learn more about the most common types of life insurance
How much does life insurance cost for police officers?
A 30-year-old male police officer can expect to pay as little as $29.97 per month for a 20-year term life insurance policy with a $500,000 death benefit payout. A 30-year-old female police officer can expect to pay less than $23 for a similar policy.
If you’re a municipal police officer who doesn’t work in special forces or have a hazardous specialty, you can qualify for up to the rates in the left hand column below.
If you’re a police officer with more hazardous day-to-day duties, you may see rates closer to those in the right hand column below. Keep in mind if you regularly participate in high-risk activities at work — like handling explosives — you may pay a flat extra fee in addition to your base premiums.
Term life insurance rates for police officers
Whole life insurance rates for police officers
Below are whole life insurance rates in a Standard risk classification — meant to depict an average level of risk. You may be eligible for these rates if you’re not involved in special forces, SWAT, or any undercover work.
$500,000 coverage amount
When should police officers purchase life insurance?
Generally speaking, you should purchase life insurance as soon as you have the financial responsibilities that warrant a policy. Many people buy life insurance if they’re planning to purchase a home, get married, or have children.
Life insurance rates increase every year you wait to apply, because everyone is riskier to insure as they age.
Even if you’re just starting out and your employer offers group life insurance coverage, it’s smart to consider buying an independent policy when you’re younger, or as soon as you think you might need it, to secure competitive rates for the length of your term.
This way, you won’t have to worry about losing coverage if you leave your employer.
Benefits of life insurance for police officers
A life insurance policy provides a financial safety net for loved ones if something happens to them — on the job or otherwise. The beneficiaries will be able to claim the death benefit for most causes of death, including illness or accident.
You may need to consider a few additional factors depending on the types of work you do as a firefighter or first responder, but it’s still valuable to have the financial protection you need, especially if you have children, a spouse, or others who rely on you financially.
Life insurance for other occupations
Frequently asked questions
Should police officers get life insurance?
Yes. If you have people who depend on you financially, you should get life insurance, regardless of your occupation.
Do police officers have life insurance?
Police officers often have group life insurance coverage through their employer. Oftentimes, employer-provided life insurance provides a death benefit that’s one to three times your salary. If you’re a police officer with a spouse, children, or a mortgage, you’d likely need an individual policy to get the full amount of financial protection you need.
How much life insurance should a police officer get?
Police officers should consider buying 10 to 15 times their annual income in life insurance coverage, but the exact amount will depend on their personal financial responsibilities. A Policygenius expert can help walk you through how much coverage you need.