It’s unfortunate, but insurance is traditionally something that is thought of only after an unforeseen event or tragedy strikes close to home.
It shouldn’t be that way, but such circumstances often become the catalyst that helps individuals and families take the next step in securing their financial future.
Like many consumers, our team generally does not like the insurance industry (i.e., we’re pained by the thought of giving away our own money to big insurance companies for coverage we might never need), but that’s not to say we don’t believe in what we do.
Education is the cornerstone of our company. With so many options, you can leverage our experience to guide you through what coverages to secure and which to potentially pass up. After all, not all policies are created equal and we can take the guesswork out of protecting you and your loved ones.
...is a Board Certified Financial Planner(TM) and Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®), as well as having a host of other professional designations. It is his belief that we should view insurance solely as a risk-transfer tool to protect ourselves against catastrophic losses - - and while there are insurance plans for almost everything imaginable (cell phone, pets, trip interruption, computers, etc….) that there are less than a handful of specific coverages of key importance that most people should have in place.
1. Disability Income Protection: If you depend upon your paycheck to live for today, to plan for tomorrow and also to cover your monthly expenses, protecting your income should probably be the first cornerstone of your financial house. Generally speaking, we find that most first responders have considerable accumulated leave hours with their employer, and therefore focus more upon long-term disability income protection plans, with the short term being covered. Think you’re already covered through work? Guess again… Of utmost importance, is understanding your “definition” and “fine print exclusions” contained within the policy provisions of your coverage. We’re here to help, and for our veterans closer to retirement age, we also have critical illness plans available (stroke, heart attack, cancer, etc.)
2. Life Insurance: If faced with a choice of being deceased and broke - - or - - sick and hurt and struggling financially (but alive with increased costs of a disability) - - which would you pick? Buying life insurance is perhaps one of the most selfless decisions an individual can make to protect and insulate their loved ones from the financial impact of an untimely death. We have inexpensive “term life" insurance options while you need additional security during the working / child rearing years (available also with up to 100% return of premium), permanent “whole life” cash-value insurance for the long run, and also "accident only plans” to meet virtually any budget.
3. Health Insurance: Generally, this is advisable to insulate against catastrophic losses associated with medical costs from injuries / accidents / sicknesses you or a family member might experience - - coverage generally secured through your employer or alternatively through a health insurance exchange.
4. Property Casualty / Liability Insurance: Lawsuits are big business, especially liability claims for injuries caused by accidents. While many people shop for low-cost coverage online, we believe you should work with a competent agent who can help guide you though the right amounts of protection and structuring your coverage so as to avoid potential gaps that leave you exposed financially. The more you earn and the more “stuff” you have, the greater risk of lawsuit you may face. Understanding your professional liability coverage is something you should explore with your agency and union, if applicable.
We offer discounted rates for Disability Income and low-cost programs for Critical Illness and Life Insurance programs.
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If you’ve already received a proposal, you should apply for coverage immediately to get the process started, and there’s no need to sweat all the details at this point or feel overwhelmed with making a decision today, because you’ll always have the opportunity to make adjustments or change your mind prior to policy issue and placement (typically 4-6 weeks).
We are a Delaware based team which has aligned in partnership with professionals from the Financial, Tax, Mortgage Banking, Clinical Health, and Insurance industries.
Collectively, we have focused on serving the planning needs of Law Enforcement Professionals since the early 2000’s and have had the honor of supporting and presenting for many departments, academy classes and FOP related functions over nearly 2 decades. Expanding our offerings to Fire and EMS professions only seems natural for us, and having fielded many requests, we believe is the right thing to do.
Our Managing Partner and Founder was an intern with a local State Police Agency in the late 1990’s and had considered becoming a State Trooper prior to entering the financial services field.
Having committed his career to helping others while also serving first responders and their families, he has worked tirelessly to build a highly qualified team of strategic partners who share and support this vision. First Responders Agency is an extension of this.
As our specialization implies, we understand and maintain a deep appreciation for the unique demands of your career.
Our team has spent years refining our knowledge base and developing tools which can better assist individuals and first responder families. Additionally, we have assessed the strengths and weaknesses of most agency benefit programs and recognize that there’s a need to help first responders make better educated decisions with respect to safeguarding themselves.
Our compensation model is the industry standard, in that we are provided remuneration directly from the carriers we place your business with.
Similar to a travel agent, there’s no additional cost to you to have us involved and in fact, utilizing us as advocates for your coverage should result in you obtaining the lowest possible insurance premiums, as we have discount plans and insurance to help you negotiate with the the underwriters.
Certain policies, when structured properly by a qualified professional, can provide for the payment of tax-free benefits under claim.
Utilizing a Return of Premium rider, you can have the peace of mind in knowing you have the protection you need while feeling good about not throwing your money down the drain.
Return of Premium allows a policyholder to recapture up to 100% of ALL premiums paid after a specified period of time. This means if you don’t use the insurance, you can get 100% of your money back, GUARANTEED, and TAX-FREE.
Most investments involve risk, are taxable in some form or have specific restrictions such as Age. Return of Premium riders, however, do not.
In simple terms, we can do a Time Value of Money calculation to help you compare adding a ROP rider to your protection, which often times provides a much better return on investment than traditional banking and investment programs - - TAX-FREE and with NO stock market or investment risk!
If you’d like more information, ask one of our qualified agents to help you calculate how this might work to your advantage. Also, if you’re looking to understand how the insurance company makes money if they refund you all of yours, just ask and we’ll be glad to walk you through it.
We offer many different types of life insurance programs which can be structured to meet most every level of protection and budget.
Generally speaking, the lowest cost protection is a level term policy for a specified period of years, such as 10, 15, 20 or even 30 years, but this is just a temporary solution and these policies may not be maintained for those who die of old-age; they’re often perfect for younger individuals and families, however.
For those who are a bit less budget conscious, permanent cash value life insurance (often referred to as Whole Life, Universal Life or Adjustable Life) may be a better solution, as the policies cost more but can be more easily maintained until death without any increases in premium.
Using a term policy with ROP (return of premium) may give you the best of both world with lots of protection for a reasonable cost and if you don’t die during the level term period, you get 100% of your money back (guaranteed!)
As an independent agency, we’re free to shop the marketplace for coverage with whatever carriers we wish.
In our experience, the cheapest coverage isn’t always going to be the best purchase, and not all carriers are easy to work with when you need them the most (i.e., at time of claim), so we generally represent a group of highly rated insurance companies which traditionally serve our clients well in terms of being highly competitive with good service.
#1 “How is Disability or Death defined by my current insurance company or by other carriers in the marketplace, when will it pay and for how long?”
We believe that the cost of insurance is relative to the claims the carriers are likely to pay. That is to say that insurance policies that are likely to pay out for disability because they protect you both on and off the job - - - and are still likely to pay if you are restricted to a limited or light duty status - - - will cost more in premium because YES, they are likely to pay you even if you are still receiving full base pay on a limited duty assignment. How soon and for how long will it pay?… Well these criteria also drive cost, so a policy that pays sooner and for a longer duration will have a higher premium.
#2 “What type of life insurance do I own?”
Consumers without industry experience don’t necessarily know what questions to ask and they may think they’re covered when they’re not. Accidental Death Plans, for example, are not always going to pay out when a traditional life insurance policy will. It’s important to inventory your current policies and to have a qualified professional help you assess them.
#3 “How does my group insurance work?”
The devil is in the details. We often find huge gaps in protection and our First Responders’ understanding of how their group programs work. There’s a lot of misinformation. Just ask and we’ll work together help you sort through the details.