Being a police officer in India has immense risks. During the course of 2017, 383 police personnel lost their lives in their line of duty. Although getting life or term insurance is a necessity for police officers, most avoid getting insured. This is because it is harder to receive a death benefit from one’s insurance for police officers than it is for the average individual.
What should the features of the best police insurance policy include?
When a police officer loses their life, it is typically from being involved in dangerous situations. Most term insurance policies don’t offer a death benefit if the insurer has died from partaking in what they label “hazardous activities.” Hazardous activities refer to engaging in dangerous hobbies like skydiving or car-racing. Unfortunately, in most cases, they also involve work-related or ‘occupational’ hazards, thereby excluding police officers.
Due to the extremely distressing nature of their job, another problem is the prevalence of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) among police workers. Research on the impact of PTSD in the Indian police force is long overdue. However, with over 17,000 police officers studied in the UK, it was observed that PTSD afflicts them at a “crisis level.”
PTSD is known to elicit feelings of suicidality in its sufferers. Often, a police insurance policy becomes void if the insurer has committed suicide or passed from any self-inflicted injuries through drugs or alcohol.
Most term insurance plans have a variety of exclusions that may or may not include occupational hazards. Hence, police officers should be particularly alert when choosing a plan. The best insurance policy for police officers should take into consideration the high-risk nature of police work and have no exclusions for occupational hazards.
Are there any other benefits that can come in handy?
Some term insurance plans come with riders, i.e. an add-on cover which can provide enhanced coverage to the policyholder in specific situations. An additional favorable benefit they can opt for is Accidental Death Benefit Riders. An Accidental Death Benefit Rider accrues an additional sum over the accumulated basic amount to the insurer’s family, provided the insurer passes away from an accident. These include things like a vehicle crash, an unprecedented heart attack, or being the victim of a homicide. A common misconception is that the basic amount will only be accrued in the case of a fatal accident of the policyholder. This is not the case.
As an example, suppose ₹50 lakh term insurance is taken with the rider accruing benefits worth ₹20 lakh on accidental death. In the case of no fatality, ₹50 lakh -the basic sum- will still be assured to the insurer. If they unexpectedly pass away during the specified term, ₹70 lakh will be granted to an appointed nominee. Essentially, the rider simply offers financial support to the family and loved ones in case the policyholder (an earning family member) loses their life.
Another rider than police officers can opt for is Accidental Disability Riders. Such a policy will pay out a certain agreed upon amount if the policyholder meets with an accident, when the policy is active. The disabilities covered under the policy can include the amputation or loss of use of hands and legs. It can also include irreplaceable loss of eyesight due to an accident. In certain cases, to qualify for the payout under such policies, the insured would need to be incapcitated to a degree wherein they aren’t able to perform three or more activities of daily living.
In conclusion, term insurance policies geared to the lifestyle of police officers are few and far to come by. In general, term insurance for police officers should not exclude occupational hazards as a cause of death. Being a careful consumer of the terms and conditions throughout the process is vital. Before opting for a particular term insurance policy, you can check out the list of ‘exclusions’ to understand which types of deaths are and aren’t covered under the policy. Police workers should also make use of the variety of riders such as Accidental Death Benefits and Accidental Disability Riders and enhanced coverage options available.
If you’d like to know more about Life insurance plans, you can browse the PNB MetLife website to learn about the various term plans on offer.
- *Tax benefits are subject to conditions and other provisions of the Indian tax laws and are subject to amendments made thereto from time to time.
The aforesaid article presents the view of an independent writer who is an expert on financial and insurance matters. PNB MetLife India Insurance Co. Ltd. doesn’t influence or support views of the writer of the article in any way. The article is informative in nature and PNB MetLife and/ or the writer of the article shall not be responsible for any direct/ indirect loss or liability or medical complications incurred by the reader for taking any decisions based on the contents and information given in article. Please consult your financial advisor/ insurance advisor/ health advisor before making any decision.
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