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How to Know If You’re Properly Insured

Drew Hancock

Director of Financial Education

Last Updated
March 08, 2022

A Guide for Law Enforcement Officers

As a law enforcement officer, your professional risks are greater than most people’s, and every day brings the possibility of putting your safety on the line. If something goes wrong on the job, and the unexpected occurs, will you have the proper insurance in place to protect your family? We hope this guide can help answer that question.

Liability insurance

Police protective liability insurance typically covers property damage and personal injury resulting from wrongful acts. It can also cover the cost of legal defense. If you were to be sued by a citizen for negligence, civil rights violations, a false arrest, etc., this insurance can help protect you. There are differing opinions on whether this type of insurance is necessary. Most police departments are required to defend and indemnify police officers acting within the course and scope of their duties, so long as the officer in question is not viewed as having acted in bad faith or with malice. That said, some officers are at a higher risk for being accused of negligence or wrongful actions than others. Obviously, a SWAT team member will have more need for coverage than an officer who primarily works behind a desk. Your wealth manager can help assess your professional risk to determine whether it makes sense to pursue liability insurance.

Umbrella insurance

An umbrella policy provides additional protection above and beyond your homeowners and auto insurance. Examples of when an umbrella policy may kick in are in the case of a car accident or an accident at your property. Umbrella policies can provide $1 million to several million in coverage.

Disability insurance

Disability insurance can help replace lost earnings in the event you are unable to work due to injury or disability. As a law enforcement officer, it’s important to have an “own-occupation” policy in place. This type of policy pays benefits if you are unable to perform your duties as a law enforcement officer while still allowing you to seek employment elsewhere. In contrast, an “any-occupation” policy will only pay benefits if you are unable to perform any work at all, even a simple job outside of law enforcement.

Life insurance

Life insurance is an important consideration for law enforcement officers because it provides financial protection for your loved ones should you die unexpectedly. It’s one of those things no one likes to think about, but it’s critical that you have the appropriate policy in place to support your family. The amount of coverage you choose will depend on your family, your personal financial situation and what you hope to accomplish. Three of the top reasons for purchasing life insurance are:

  • To replace lost income for loved ones
  • To pay off debt (such as a mortgage)
  • To put children through college

Permanent life insurance

Permanent life insurance policies provide coverage that never expires and combine a death benefit with cash value. For law enforcement professionals, we typically do not recommend permanent life insurance, as we believe insurance should be used for insurance and investments should be used for investing. Instead, we generally advise our clients to use inexpensive life insurance to get the appropriate coverage over the appropriate number of years and use their assets to pay down debt, invest for the future and enjoy life along the way.

At Creative Planning Law Enforcement, we understand the unique risks faced by law enforcement officers. We take a holistic approach to helping you plan for the future by integrating all aspects of your personal financial life into a single, comprehensive plan. It’s our goal to ensure you and your family are well protected should the unexpected occur. If you’d like help with insurance planning, or with any other financial matter, please schedule a call.

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This commentary is provided for general information purposes only and should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice, and does not constitute an attorney/client relationship. Past performance of any market results is no assurance of future performance. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources deemed reliable but is not guaranteed.

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