Life Insurance for Firefighters

When it comes to life insurance for firefighters, your workplace policy might not be enough. If your term policy expires, or if you leave your job, you will struggle to purchase a new policy for the same low rates. Firefighters should consider applying for a traditional, whole policy. Depending on your age and medical history, you might even qualify for preferred rates. However, some providers increase rates for high-risk occupations, so plan to shop around to find the most affordable life insurance for firefighters.

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Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Benjamin Carr was a licensed insurance agent in Georgia and has two years' experience in life, health, property and casualty coverage. He has worked with State Farm and other risk management firms. He is also a strategic writer and editor with a background in branding, marketing, and quality assurance. He has been in military newsrooms — literally on the frontline of journalism.

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Reviewed by Benji Carr
Former Licensed Life Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Dec 2, 2020

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Quick Facts

  • If you are a firefighter, you can still qualify for a traditional life insurance policy at a standard or preferred rate, depending on your age, medical history, and lifestyle choices.
  • Workplace life insurance for firefighters does not always provide enough protection.
  • It is important for firefighters to compare quotes from multiple life insurance companies, as some providers might charge you increased rates for working a high-risk job.
  • Your age, where you live, medical history, and coverage needs will also impact your life insurance rates.

If you work in a high-risk occupation, it may cause your life insurance rates to increase. Life insurance for firefighters is no exception. Some companies will charge firefighters slightly higher than average rates to mitigate the risks associated with the job. However, it is possible for firefighters to receive both preferred and preferred plus rates.

Our life insurance guide for firefighters will help you better understand the problem with employer-provided life insurance, what policies are available to you, and how you can keep your rates as low as possible.

For the best life insurance rates for fireighters, start comparing life insurance quotes for firefighters by entering your five-digit ZIP code into our free online tool above. Find which life insurance company for firefighters is for you.

Life Insurance for Firefighters

There are some jobs that could raise your life insurance premium, including firefighters. However, every company uses a different underwriting process when determining life insurance rates, which means firefighters still have a chance of receiving standard or even preferred rates.

While many firefighters are offered group life insurance at almost no cost as a workplace benefit, those policies are commonly terminated if they change jobs.

When you retire, what will remain of your work provided life insurance policy? You are at risk of having no coverage when you move on from firefighting.

To avoid this issue, consider purchasing a whole life insurance policy. Unlike term policies, which expire after a set number of years, a whole policy will last for the duration of your life.

Life insurance rates increase with age, which means applying for a new policy after you retire will cost you a lot more money than if you were to secure a whole term policy today.

The table below details the average monthly rates by age for a whole term life insurance policy with a death benefit of $250,000 from Foresters Financial. We’ve included both standard and substandard rates.

Average Monthly Life Insurance Rates for Firefighters: Standard Rates versus Substandard Rates
AgeAverage Monthly Standard RatesAverage Monthly Substandard Rates (25% increase)
25-years-old$156.80$196.00
30-years-old$188.96$236.20
35-years-old$230.52$288.15
40-years-old$277.99$347.49
45-years-old$349.30$436.63
50-years-old$429.14$536.43
55-years-old$549.89$687.36
60-years-old$700.83$876.04
65-years-old$912.58$1,140.73
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According to DataUSA, the average firefighter is 38-years-old. The mandatory retirement age for firefighters is 65.

If you were to invest in whole term life insurance for firefighters right now, you would save $634.59 per month compared to if you wait until the retirement age. That’s a difference of $7,615.08 per year.

Keep in mind that this data is specifically from Foresters Financial.

Firefighters also have the option of joining the Police and Firemen’s Insurance Association, also known as PFIA. PFIA insurance was created to provide firefighters and police officers with affordable life insurance rates despite the high-risks associated with each job.

No matter what, you’ll want to seek out more than one quote. By comparing rates from multiple companies, you will find the best possible rates for the right policy that will not expire when you retire from your job.

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Best Life Insurance Policy Options for Firefighters

You might think your workplace insurance is enough, but what happens when that policy is terminated? How will you protect your family? Fortunately, firefighters can apply for almost any type of life insurance policy.

Some insurance companies, like The Hartford, offer group life insurance for volunteer firefighters.

What should you expect when you fill out an application? When you apply for a life insurance policy, an underwriter will cross-reference your information and place you in a rating class based on your perceived risk.

Younger, healthy adults who make positive lifestyle choices and have great medical backgrounds will be placed in the preferred category and receive the lowest rates. Folks who are perceived to be in average health will be placed in the standard category and will receive the base life insurance rates.

If you are older, at higher-risk, or have pre-existing medical conditions, you’ll be placed in the substandard category and will receive the highest rates.

Expect to answer the following questions:

  • What is your height and weight?
  • When is your birthday?
  • What are your lifestyle habits?
  • What are your exercise habits?
  • What is your occupation and what specifically do you do?
  • Do you use tobacco products?
  • What are your health risks?
  • What are your family health risks?
  • Do you have a criminal record?

Even if you are applying for a type of insurance that does not require a medical examination, you will want to answer honestly.

Accidental errors will be dismissed, but if you are caught lying on your application, you risk losing coverage, receiving higher rates, or even a lower death benefit.

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Pros and Cons of Workplace Life Insurance for Firefighters

It is standard for firefighters to receive life insurance benefits through their department at little to no cost. This is known as group insurance.

The underwriting process for group insurance is not the same as for an individual policy. Technically, you do not own your group insurance policy; your employer does.

If there is a cost associated with your group life insurance, your fellow firefighters are also paying those same rates.

There is often no medical examination associated with employer-provided life insurance, which means you’ll be covered at the set rate even if you have pre-existing medical conditions that may have otherwise caused your rates to increase.

The following video from eHowFinance further explains group insurance.

Group insurance is a great benefit that can provide you with some peace of mind. However, it would be wise for firefighters to invest in another policy to ensure they’ll be protected even after they’ve left their job.

Some of the other cons associated with an employer provided life insurance policy include a much lower death benefit, and rates depend on how many people are employed at the place of business.

Therefore, we recommend you invest in a second, independent life insurance policy. It is completely legal and quite common to have multiple life insurance policies.

Usually, people who receive life insurance as a workplace benefit also choose to purchase a secondary whole policy that never expires. Take full advantage of your workplace group life insurance policy as a firefighter, but also remember to plan ahead.

Is there life insurance for retired firefighters? You’ll need a different policy in place if you still want to be covered after you’ve retired or switched jobs.

How does being a firefighter affect life insurance rates?

The job of a firefighter can be extremely high-risk. Firefighters routinely put themselves in the face of danger in order to rescue civilians, put out major fires, and protect the general public.

Because of the associated risks, some life insurance providers will charge firefighters higher rates. Therefore, as a firefighter, it’s important you learn how your lifestyle can affect your term life insurance rate or whole life insurance rate.

For example, smokers pay higher rates for life insurance than non-smokers. Similarly, exercising is already part of a firefighter’s daily life.

Don’t forget to also practice healthy eating habits and to manage your stress levels. This will help you during your paramedical examination that may be required when applying for firefighters life insurance.

Fortunately, data gathered from 2019 proves that the death rate for firefighters while on duty continues to drastically decrease. According to the National Fire Protection Association, there were only 48 on-duty firefighter deaths in 2019, the lowest number ever on record.

The safer your job as a firefighter becomes, the less likely you are to receive an increased rate due to your occupation.

As wonderful as it is to have workplace life insurance, you’re now ready to find a policy that will continue to cover you, and protect your family, long after you’ve retired from firefighting.

Are you ready to buy life insurance for firefighters? If you’re a firefighter, there’s no reason to wait on getting that second policy; enter your five-digit ZIP code into our free quote tool below and find life insurance quotes for fireighters.

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