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Glatfelter Debuts Critical Illness Coverage for Firefighters

Compared to other Americans, firefighters are more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke, or be diagnosed with cancer. In response, Glatfelter Insurance Group now offers critical illness coverage for volunteer and career firefighters.
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PRODUCT: Critical illness coverage

COMPANY: Glatfelter Insurance Group and Volunteer Firemen’s Insurance Service Inc.

BEST RATING: A+ (Superior)

AVAILABILITY: Coverage is available through independent agents and brokers with life-health writing authority.

FOCUS: Each year, about 735,000 Americans have a heart attack and 800,000 have a stroke, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Meanwhile, approximately 40% will be diagnosed with cancer at some point during their lifetimes, according to the National Cancer Institute.

And the rate of these illnesses is even higher for firefighters. According to a study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, firefighting may be associated with an increased risk of cancer. The study found that firefighters are exposed to contaminants from fires that are known or suspected to cause cancer, such as combustion byproducts like benzene and formaldehyde, and materials in debris like asbestos from older structures.

These statistics shed light on the importance of critical illness insurance. In response, Glatfelter Insurance Group now offers critical illness coverage for the more than 1 million volunteer and career firefighters in the U.S.

“Many heart-, circulatory- and cancer-related claims may not be covered by workers compensation or accident and sickness policies,” explains Tina Carpenter, vice president at Glatfelter. “Critical illness coverage is a relatively inexpensive alternative to individual policies that can be intertwined into an overall benefit program. Critical illness insurance can be thought of as a ‘living benefit’ in that it provides a lump-sum cash benefit 30 days after diagnosis.”

UNDERWRITING: With this coverage, emergency service personnel can receive a lump-sum cash benefit when diagnosed with a heart attack, stroke, kidney failure or life-threatening cancer. The policy is underwritten by ACE American Insurance Company and is written on an accidental death and dismemberment policy.

The product is non-contributory, paid by the organization and not the individual. Coverage is provided on a 24-hour on- and off-duty basis. Each member of an emergency service organization whose name appears on the roster submitted at policy inception is considered a covered person. New members are eligible for coverage at the next anniversary date upon receipt of an updated roster. Coverage terminates on the policy expiration date when a member is no longer with the organization and therefore not listed on the renewal census.

Coverage must be in effect for a covered person for at least 90 days prior to the diagnosis of the condition. The covered person must survive 30 days after the diagnosis, and be younger than 75 when first diagnosed with cancer.

MINIMUM PREMIUM: $500.

TARGET: Employer and volunteer emergency service organizations.

COVERAGE TERRITORY: All U.S. states except HI, ID, KS, NH, SD, VT and WA.

CONTACT: Tina Carpenter, vice president; Glatfelter, 183 Leader Heights Road, York, PA 17402; 800-233-1957.

Ronimarie Acord is an IA contributor.