Homeowner’s or Renter’s: Your mortgage company will require you to have insurance on the house. Make sure the coverage is enough to rebuild what you have. Policies can include supplements for unattached garages, or code upgrades. If you have a collection of any sort (baseball cards, jewelry, etc.) that is very valuable, you will need an additional rider for that. Renter’s insurance covers just your belongings, not the building, in case your apartment building catches fire (or suffers another catastrophe). Depending on where you live, flood, earthquake or hurricane insurance may be required or desirable (most insurance policies will not cover losses from these unless you pay for the specific rider).
Health: As a police officer, you most likely can get this through work. If you are very healthy, as is the rest of your family, consider getting a high-deductible medical insurance to reduce your premiums. You will pay more for a doctor visit, but you could save several hundred dollars a month in premiums.
Disability: This is not coverage for an injury at work, but instead coverage for an accident in your free time. If you fall from a ladder while cleaning the gutters at home, and are unable to work for six weeks, disability insurance can help pay the bills until you are back in uniform. Unless you have a very comfortable “emergency fund,” you should definitely consider disability insurance.
Liability: This one is tricky. As you know, you can be sued individually for your actions professionally. If you acted in good faith, chances are your employer will cover you. Plus, the lawyer would much rather sue a city or county with “deep pockets” then a patrol officer making $50,000 a year…the payoff potential is higher. This can also supplement homeowner’s insurance, should someone get hurt on your property. If you have significant assets, or just want to be cautious, this could be worth while.
Accident: This pays you for an accident that is not covered by auto insurance or another person’s liability insurance. If you have disability insurance, chances are this is redundant.
Debt Payoff: Your mortgage company, car loan company and even your credit cards will all offer insurance to pay off your loan (or make payments on your loan) should you lose your job, get injured or die. These are probably the least desirable insurances, especially if you have adequate life and disability insurance.
As police officers, we are quite good at covering each other at work emergencies. But sometimes, we get so wrapped up in daily life and work routines, we forget about covering ourselves and our families against financial emergencies. Look at your family and personal needs, and make sure you have the proper insurance to cover yourselves against financial disaster.
Because when it comes to your personal finances, there is no code for, “officer needs assistance.”
About The Author:
Jonathan Bastian is a police officer in Lexington, Kentucky. He is a noted author on thermal imaging technology, but has a passion for personal finance and helping people spend money wisely. He has a bachelor’s degree in business economics and international relations (commerce emphasis), and paid for several Spring Break trips by “buying low and selling high.” He is still a cop by trade, so his suggestions and comments are not intended as formal tax, financial or accounting advice. Consult paid professionals if you need formal guidance.