Can firefighters get life insurance?

Yes, it is possible to secure life insurance if you’re a firefighter.

Although being a firefighter falls under the category of a high-risk occupation', it’s unlikely that you’ll be declined for a life insurance policy solely based on your occupation.

As well as your occupation, you’ll also need to provide information about your health, age and smoking status for insurers to determine your eligibility for cover.

In some cases, firefighters are granted a ‘death in service’ benefit as part of their employment or pension package.

Typically, this type of cover pays out a lump sum to your loved ones of around three to five times your annual salary if you were to pass away while in service.

However, this should not be seen as a type of life insurance (instead of having a personal policy) but more a bonus.

It’s not a legal requirement for your employer to include this benefit. Additionally, it might not be enough to support your loved ones so having personal life insurance is just as important.

Don’t assume that you can’t get an affordable life insurance policy because of being in a high-risk job.

Using a life insurance broker, like Reassured, can allow you to compare prices to help you find a suitable and affordable policy.

Simply get in touch for fee-free quotes.

Is a fireman regarded as a 'high-risk' occupation?

Yes. You may have heard the words ‘high-risk’ associated with any emergency service job.

In the insurance world, being high-risk is also a title that goes hand in hand with dangerous hobbies, some medical conditions and even excessive amounts of travelling.

It counts as anything that insurers perceive as risky (increasing the likelihood of a claim being made).

Each insurer will use different criteria to assess your level of risk, therefore it’s important to compare multiple quotes to make sure you get an affordable deal.

Insurers will take other factors into account that may also fall under the high-risk category (such as smoking status, lifestyle and hobbies), which could also affect your premium on top of being a firefighter.

A general rule that insurers use to decide if your occupation is high-risk (relevant to being a firefighter) is:

  • Regularly working at height (12 meters+)
  • A high car mileage when working
  • Working in hazardous environments
  • Working with explosives, pyrotechnics or dangerous chemicals
  • Working with dangerous/ heavy machinery

Regardless of being high-risk, it can still be possible to secure the cover you need. Reassured can help you compare multiple quotes to find you our most suitable options.

How much life insurance does a firefighter need?

It can be difficult to keep track of your financial outgoings, listed below are some average costs to make sure you have considered all aspects of what you might want help covering for your loved ones:

  • Monthly mortgage or rent payments - (Average mortgage debt in the UK currently stands at £142,755[1])
  • Daily family living costs - (£157,562 is the average cost of raising a child to the age of 18[2])
  • Other outstanding depts - (The average total debt per UK household is £65,513 [3])
  • Additional childcare - (£285.31 a week is the cost for full-time childcare[4])
  • Funeral costs - (The current cost of just a basic funeral is £3,953[5])
  • Inheritance - (1 in 10 people in the UK have no savings, an inheritance could provide your loved ones with financial support[6])

Enter your financial commitments to understand the level of life insurance cover you require as a firefighter:

How much life insurance does a firefighter require?

Use this handy calculator to find out how much life insurance you require as a member of the Fire Service. Simply enter the costs you would like your policy to cover.

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£137,934 is the estimated mortgage debt per household in the UK.

The purchase of a home is likely to be the largest financial commitment any of us will make in our lifetime. Your life insurance should cover your remaining mortgage balance to allow your loved ones to stay in the family home should anything happen to you.

Source: Moneynerd.co.uk

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The average monthly household budget in the UK is £2,548 (that’s £30,576 per year), which is spent on transport, food & drink, utilities (gas, electricity, water etc), clothing, council tax and leisure activities.

With energy prices hitting a record high and the cost of living rising sharply in the UK, you may wish to factor in utility bills and family living expenses into your cover.

Source: Nimblefins.co.uk

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The average personal debt of UK adults has risen to £34,566 (not including mortgage debt), with credit cards, personal loans and overdrafts being the most common forms of debt.

Factoring in any debts into your life insurance cover means that, if they need to be paid back from your estate after your passing, your loved ones won’t miss out financially.

Source: Money.co.uk

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According to SunLife, the average cost of a funeral in the UK is £3,953 (with the overall cost of dying at £9,200).

Funeral costs have increased by 116% since 2004 and are a significant cost which should be factored into the amount of life insurance you secure.

Source: SunLife.co.uk

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When factoring in cover for your children, you may wish to calculate the amount based on how long it is until they reach financial independence.

This could include childcare (£7,000 per year for part-time care), school expenses (£1,519 per school year for uniforms, lunches, stationary etc), as well as an additional sum for further education (this could be a contribution of up to £5,000 per year).

Sources: Daynurseries.co.uk, Primarytimes.co.uk & Savethestudent.org

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2 in 5 adults say they are relying on an inheritance to fund their retirement.

Factoring in an inheritance to your sum assured could allow loved ones to live a more financially comfortable life. Alternatively, you could leave a cash gift to a charity of your choosing.

Source: Moneyage.co.uk

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If you’re lucky enough to have your own savings or are part of the 30% of UK residents who already have a life insurance policy in place, this can provide financial protection for loved ones.

By entering your current cover, savings or death in service amount you can reduce the sum assured you require.

Source: Scottishbusinessnews.net

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Why is life insurance important if I am an emergency worker?

Having a life insurance policy in place is important regardless of your job title, however having a high-risk occupation (such as being a firefighter) can highlight the need for having financial protection even more.

Especially if you have loved ones to support financially, debts (like a mortgage) or you want to help cover your funeral costs.

Services like the fire brigade often receive death in service as an employee benefit, which can reduce the amount of cover required and provide an additional financial safety net.

While this could help to cover some costs, it’s unlikely to cover everything for your loved ones. Therefore, an additional personal life insurance policy could be beneficial too.

Research by The FBU (Fire Brigades Union) found that due to fire toxin exposure firefighters can be at an increased risk of developing certain medical conditions (such as some cancers, heart attack and stroke[7]).

Life insurance could help to provide peace of mind should the worst happen.

Emergency workers (high-risk applicants) can seek cover through a specialist insurer, with premiums starting from just £15 a month » through Reassured.

The best life insurance for firefighters

The type of life insurance that is best suited to you will depend on what you want to cover and your budget.

There’s not necessarily a ‘best’ type of life insurance for firefighters as this will depend on your personal circumstances. Here are some of the most common policy types:

Decreasing term cover for firefighters
  • Provides a pay out that reduces over the policy lifetime
  • Sum assured up to £1,000,000
  • Fixed monthly premiums
  • Covered for a specified period of time (the term)
  • Term length up to 40 years
  • Ideal for helping to protect a repayment mortgage (the sum assured can reduce at the same rate)
  • You’ll need to provide key information such as your health, occupation and lifestyle details during your application
  • Could experience inflated premiums due to disclosing high-risk factors
Level term cover for firefighters
  • Provides a pay out that remains level throughout the policy lifetime
  • Covered for a specified period of time
  • Sum assured up to £1,000,000
  • Term length of up to 40 years
  • Ideal for helping to protect an interest-only mortgage or other large expenses
  • You’ll need to provide key information such as your health, occupation and lifestyle details, during your application
  • Fixed monthly premiums
  • Could experience inflated premiums due to disclosing high-risk factors
Whole of life insurance for firefighters
  • Provides a fixed sum assured
  • Sum assured up to £1,000,000
  • Cover lasts for life (a form of life assurance)
  • A guaranteed a pay out when you pass away
  • Ideal for helping to cover funeral costs and providing an inheritance
  • Application process requires evidence of your health and lifestyle
  • A chance you could experience inflated premiums due to disclosing high-risk factors (this could become very expensive if paying premiums for the rest of your life so this option may not be the most suitable)
Firefighter life insurance no medical exam
  • Provides a fixed sum assured
  • Sum assured up to £20,000 (depending on personal circumstances and budget)
  • Cover lasts for life
  • Guarantees acceptance to those aged 50 - 85
  • A guaranteed a pay out when you pass away
  • Ideal to help cover funeral costs
  • No medical information required during the application process
  • A 12 or 24 month waiting period will be added to your policy, meaning your loved ones can’t claim within this time if you pass away due to natural causes (but can claim for accidental death)

Other insurance policies worth considering:

Critical illness cover - When added to life insurance, critical illness cover can supply a tax-free lump sum if you pass away within the policy term or if you’re diagnosed with a critical illness (what illnesses you’re covered for can vary depending on the insurer).

This can help to replace lost income or pay for private medical fees.

We are more likely to suffer from a critical illness during our working lives than to die, so critical illness cover could help to provide peace of mind whatever happens.

Critical illness cover can be added to all term policies for an additional cost when secured through Reassured.


Terminal illness cover - Terminal illness cover provides protection if you're diagnosed with a terminal illness and are predicted to live less than 12 months.

You can make an early claim and the pay out can then be used to help fund whatever you like, all term life insurance policies through Reassured include this benefit free of charge.


Income protection - Income protection is a type of policy that pays out a percentage of your usual income (often up to 70%) to help replace lost earnings if you’re unable to work as a result of illness or injury.

Cover can be purchased on a long or short term basis, whichever suits your needs best. Available through Reassured.


Family Income Benefit (FIB) - Family income benefit is ideal for young families who want to help protect ongoing family living costs.

Your loved ones could receive monthly (tax-free) payments upon your passing (if you pass away during the term). Available through Reassured.


Additional features - Having your life insurance policy written in trust means having more control over who benefits from your pay out.

Here at Reassured, we offer a FREE trust writing service with most of the policies we sell. Simply ask if we can help write your chosen policy in trust.

Will I have to pay higher premiums as a firefighter?

Yes, it’s likely you will have to pay more for your life insurance premiums as a firefighter.

Being in a high-risk job (in this circumstance a firefighter) means you will need a policy that provides cover to a high-risk applicant.

While it will likely be the same policy as standard cover, it will usually slightly higher in cost as your job involves high-risk activities.

Comparing quotes is the best way to find an affordable price and most suitable deal for you as all insurers offer different benefits and prices on their policies.

Using a life insurance broker, like Reassured, is an efficient and easy way to help you compare quotes.

Previously been declined for life insurance as a firefighter?

Here at Reassured our specialist impaired risk team could help you secure some form of cover even if you have previously been declined.

Our award-winning service will provide you with the various options available and put you in touch with the life insurance providers most likely to accept your application.

It’s highly unlikely to be declined as a result of your profession, but more likely due to your health and lifestyle.

One of the most likely reasons to be declined for is your medical history. In most circumstances, if your medical condition is well managed and not life-threatening, you're likely to be able to secure standard terms of cover or with a slight increase to your premiums.

It’s also possible to be declined due to excessive use of alcohol, cigarettes and recreational drugs.

While it's unlikely to be declined for life insurance due to having a high-risk occupation, if multiple high-risk factors are identified, this could lead to an application being declined.

Other factors that are considered high-risk:

Put our specialist team to work today and find our most suitable cover for your personal circumstances.

What will be considered when applying for a policy as a firefighter?

When applying for a policy, it will be the same process as any other person applying for life insurance.

However, you may have to pay a higher premium as a firefighter because it is a deemed as working in a dangerous job.

A further increase could be added if you have a pre-existing medical condition or if any other high-risk factors are identified, meaning you may need to answer more questions or allow insurers access to medical records if necessary.

For the majority of policies, when applying, you will get asked about the following:

  • Your age
  • Your current health and wellbeing
  • Your medical history (including family medical history)
  • Your smoking status
  • Your occupation
  • Your hobbies
  • Your alcohol consumption

Depending your answers, insurers may need further information (for example, about your occupation) to determine your level of risk.

It’s important to know that all insurance providers differ in their pricing depending on your circumstances, therefore it’s important to look at a variety of quotes to find an affordable price for you.

Why not contact Reassured for your fee-free quotes?

What if I have a policy in place then become a firefighter (will this impact my premiums)?

Not necessarily. If you have an existing policy in place and then become a firefighter, this won’t have an effect on the existing policy because your premium will already have been agreed upon.

It may only impact your premium if you are to take out a new policy, as this would take your new circumstances into consideration.

If your circumstances change, in this case entering a high-risk occupation, then you should update your insurer. Even if you aren’t sure that it’s relevant, it’s always worth checking.

It’s wise to let your insurer know of any changes in your life as, if they aren’t aware, a claim may be delayed when the time comes while they investigate to see if all the information provided during the application is correct.

If they discover non-disclosure (false information being given or information being withheld from the application) a claim could be denied.

Income protection for firefighters

Income protection can help to replace lost earnings if you can't work due to an illness or injury. It does this by paying out in monthly instalments which are tax-free.

The amount paid out will be based on your income and could be up to 70% of your usual earnings.

As a firefighter, having an income protection policy would be valuable, as the job comes with a lot of day-to-day risks.

Having income protection can be beneficial if you don’t have savings or don’t receive financial benefits from your employer, particularly if you have family or financial commitments to take care of.

Death in service is usually a benefit as part of a firefighters employment package. These types of policy usually pay out a multiple of your yearly salary to your family as a lump sum if you were to pass away while in service.

However, the employment package doesn’t include income protection, so it’s important to consider securing your own cover.

There are two types of income protection:

  1. Short-term income protection insurance - Depending on the provider, it usually comes with a payment period of 1-5 years
  2. Long-term income protection insurance - It can pay out up until you reach retirement, providing cover for your entire employment period

Income protection is available through Reassured, why not get in touch to find a suitable income protection solution for firefighters?

Life insurance for firefighters UK

It’s possible to secure life insurance even working as a firefighter in the UK.

As being a firefighter is deemed as a high-risk occupation, the cost of premiums can vary more compared to a standard premium, making it essential to compare quotes to find the most affordable priced policy suited to you.

As the largest life insurance broker*, Reassured can help compare quotes from a panel of the UK's leading insurers to find our most cost-effective policies.

Get in touch today for personalised quotes which are fee-free and without any obligation.

Sources:

[1] https://www.finder.com/uk/life-insurance-statistics

[2] https://cpag.org.uk/sites/default/files/files/policypost/Cost_of_a_child_2022.pdf

[3] https://themoneycharity.org.uk/money-statistics/

[4] https://themoneycharity.org.uk/money-statistics/

[5] https://www.daynurseries.co.uk/advice/childcare-costs-how-much-do-you-pay-in-the-uk

[5] https://www.sunlife.co.uk/funeral-costs/

[6] https://yourmoney.lumio-app.com/uk-savings-statistics

[7] https://www.fbu.org.uk/news/2023/01/10/firefighters-far-more-likely-die-cancer-and-heart-attacks-public

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