Cops, Firefighters And Anyone Working In High Rises Could Lose Some Insurance Benefits
(Washington-WABC, October 3, 2002) ó If a firefighter or police officer is killed in a terrorist act, their life insurance policy could be worth just pennies on the dollar. That could also be the case for anyone working in a high-rise or any other "potential terrorist target." Andy Field reports Washington with more on the story.
Like most of us, firefighters and police across the country have group life insurance in case they die on the job. At least they did until September 11th. Now many group life policies are telling firefighters and police if an act of terror kills them, insurance may cover the lost buildings but not them.
Officer Arthur Penn, Pentagon Police: "It's just not right. Buildings are not more important than people's life."
But the Homeland Security Bill doesn't cover firefighters and police, just the building damage and civilians killed if terror strikes again. One Utah reinsurance company is offering a tiny 10 cents on the dollar pay-out to 1st responder's families if terrorism kills them. Firefighters say congress should not put up with that insult.
Kevin O'Connor, International Association of Firefighters: "Our firefighters need to know that in the event of another deadly, catastrophic terrorist attack, their life insurance policies will take care of their loved ones."
But firefighters aren't the only ones worried about losing group life insurance. Virtually anyone who works in a high rise building could soon find a clause in their policy that says they aren't covered for in the event of a terrorist act.
Group policies have very little cash safety cushions. That's why they're asking congress to put a terror life insurance safety net in the Homeland Security Bill.
Phil Anderson, American Council of Life Insurers: "Middle Americans who work in any area that is determined to be at risk for terrorism, the game's all different now, since 9/11. And a standard, taken-for-granted benefit of group life is going to change."
Unless congress steps in and puts tax dollars behind those inexpensive group life policies, virtually anyone working inside or racing to the rescue will find they are no longer covered if terror strikes again.
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10-04-2002, 10:54 AM #1
- Join Date
- May 1999
- Here, There, Everywhere
Firefighters Lose Insurance Benefits
10-04-2002, 03:17 PM #2
- Join Date
- Jun 2002
What you are describing is nothing new. When President Clinton stated the official policy of the U.S. Government was that an act of terrorism is an act of war, he opened a huge can of worms. Most insurance policies are not valid if the insured dies as a result of an act of war. If you don't believe me, just look at your own policies and you will probably see that exclusion. We checked into the status of numerous insurance policies for response personnel and were told time and again that responders would NOT be covered if they died as a result of an act of terrorism since the federal government considered such an event an act of war. Other companies said that they would payout even though they wouldn't be obligated to do so. This was three years prior to 9/11/2001.
When 9/11/2001 occurred, I watched to see what would happen with the insurance policies. It appears to me that even the companies that told us they would not honor the policies did payout. To not do so would have been a public relations disaster.
Many of you may find this hard to believe, but I can assure you that this is not a new issue and it is one that emergency responders should look into.
10-05-2002, 08:30 AM #3
- Join Date
- Jul 2001
- South Florida
Its Not just Life Insurance,
Your Heath insurance, BlueCross/BlueShield of Florida WILL NOT Insure any firefighter for heath care, Even knowing that we are fully cover under workmans comp and death benefets from city, state, and fed gov. we are a HIGH Risk to them they say, well we are but we are cover for the high risk by workans comp.
I can't speak for other insurance companys guildlines but if they are the same or simarler to BC/BS your **** out of luck.
Don't ask don't tell will NOT work, if you don't tell the insurance company your a firefighter, and god forbid something realy bad happens to you. aka (Big $$$$ bucks Claim). And you all know insurace company NEVER like to pay OUT. they will find someway not to pay you. We will find out the hardway.
Or tell the truth, And you will not receive any insurance coverage. Kinda Catch 22,
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