In challenging times, public safety officers are the ones protecting our people, homes and communities, despite frequent risks to their own safety.
As such, they deserve all the support they can get when it comes to protecting their own livelihoods. And that means employers need to ensure they have access to plenty of viable insurance.
When last measured by the Census Bureau in 2017, about 2.74 million public safety workers were employed in the U.S., representing 1.8% of the American workforce.
“Today, the vast majority of working Americans are relatively safe in their work environment,” notes Samuel Stebbins in USA Today. “In other industries, however, no matter how strict the safety standards put in place, there are always accidents and fatal errors. The majority of jobs on this list require frequent use of heavy equipment, close proximity to hazardous substances or working in potentially dangerous environments.”
Those drawn to the field of public safety understand the health risks, which vary with their roles but may include exposure to violence, fires, falls, vehicular accidents, harmful substances, inclement weather or natural disasters. And those risks can be substantial; the FBI reports that in 2019, for example, 89 U.S. law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty. Another study found firefighters and police officers become more susceptible to work-related disability as they age.
In response, proactive life insurance vendors often offer “line of duty” benefits that empower such workers with extra financial protection, above and beyond accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance, in case they sustain on-duty injuries. Through those important products, policyholders employed as police officers, firefighters, paramedics, public transit officers or corrections, probation or judicial officers can be assured of extra funding.
Ochs: Financial reassurance in trying times
At Ochs, we can provide hardworking public safety officers with the significant extra coverage they need to protect themselves and their families from that added professional risk. How does it work?
- Insured employees officially defined as public safety workers are covered for injuries accidentally sustained while they perform their customary duties.
- The duties involved must be part of the policyholder’s authorized, obligatory employment role. If the accident occurs while off-duty, it must be related to an effort to reduce or enforce crime, address a fire or otherwise respond to an emergency; alternatively, it can be related to an assigned social, ceremonial or athletic function for which the employee is being paid.
- Extra payments on claims are equal to $100,000 or 100% (whichever is lesser) of the policyholder’s amount of AD&D insurance.
Stepping up: Examples in action
Here are some examples of Ochs’ line-of-duty benefits in action.
- A firefighter helping remediate a blaze at a chemical plant sustains serious burns when a tank explodes. Her insurance package includes both $100,000 of AD&D coverage and a line-of-duty policy purchased through Ochs. To fund her recovery and help assist her family as she heals, she receives a $100,000 AD&D payment and a $100,000 line-of-duty payment for a total of $200,000.
- An off-duty police officer intervenes to stop an armed robbery at a convenience store and is shot in the knee, permanently affecting his mobility. He carries $50,000 of AD&D coverage, and had the foresight to buy a complementary Ochs line-of-duty policy. His insurance compensation of $50,000 from the AD&D benefit and $50,000 from the line-of-duty benefit provide him and his family $100,000 to be used toward his rehabilitation and/or any other expenses as they see fit.
- A probation officer is leaving a presentation he made at a local high school when he falls down a flight of stairs and breaks a hip. Because he's enrolled for $25,000 of AD&D coverage and equivalent line-of-duty coverage, his insurer provides him $50,000 compensation.
Does your life insurance carrier offer line-of-duty coverage? If you’re a public safety officer who’s carrying on every day without that extra protection, you may wish to ask your employer to add it to your portfolio of benefits. Ask the specialists at Ochs to show you how you can make that happen. Call us today at 651-665-3789.