Police officers need good car insurance just like anyone else. However, car insurance for police officers can be a bit different than it is for the rest of the population. Police officers may have more unique car insurance needs than other drivers, as well as having additional discounts to take advantage of. If you are a police officer, understanding your options for car insurance may help you to make an educated decision when it comes to buying a policy.
Car insurance for police officers
Police officers generally have two layers of financial protection to consider when it comes to car insurance — coverage while they are on the job and using their squad cars and coverage for when they are off duty and using their personal vehicles.
Auto insurance for police vehicles
Police insurance for squad cars works differently than a standard car insurance policy. If you have a squad car, you likely do not own it. This means that, because you have no financial interest in the vehicle, you cannot purchase an insurance policy for it.
Police vehicles are typically insured by the state, county or city that owns them and could be insured under a group policy or may be self-insured by the government. This means police officers have no input when it comes to the car insurance they have when they are on duty.
Auto insurance for personal vehicles owned by police officers
When you are off duty and using your personal vehicles, you will need a car insurance policy that meets or exceeds your state’s minimum required limits, just like any other driver.
While there are not any insurance companies that sell insurance specifically for off-duty officers, there are several companies that offer discounts for law enforcement officers. Additionally, insurance companies may ask for your occupation when you ask for a quote. Police officers may be viewed as safer drivers, since insurance companies know that they understand the rules of the road and have had extensive driving training. When off-duty, this means officers may be less likely to cause accidents or file claims.
When you are shopping for coverage, ask companies if they offer law enforcement discounts on insurance. You may be able to save money simply by being a police officer.
Car insurance coverage for police officers
As a police officer, you know that accidents can happen to anyone at any time. Car insurance is designed to protect your finances if an accident does happen.
Although you likely do not have a choice about the coverages on your squad car, you can choose the coverages on your personal vehicles. As a police officer, you may want to consider the following options:
- Collision coverage: This coverage is designed to pay for damages to your vehicle caused by collisions. This damage will typically come from a collision with another vehicle, but could be a stationary object like a tree, pole or building.
- Comprehensive coverage: This option is often called “other-than-collision” coverage and pays for damage caused by a variety of scenarios, including theft, vandalism, storm damage, damage caused by hitting an animal and glass damage.
- Uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage: If you are hit by a driver who does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance to cover your expenses after an accident, these coverages could step in to help. Some states mandate minimum levels of this coverage.
- Medical payments coverage and/or personal injury protection (PIP): Medical payments coverage is designed to pay for medical expenses for you and for any passengers in your vehicle, up to your policy limit, regardless of who causes an accident. PIP is similar, but also offers coverage for lost wages and could help pay for household services if you or a passenger is unable to perform them due to injuries. Depending on the state you live in, you may have the option to purchase either medical payments coverage or PIP, or both. Your state may have a minimum level of PIP or medical payments coverage that you must purchase.
- Gap coverage: If you have a newer vehicle and have a loan, you may want to consider gap coverage. This option is designed to pay the difference between the actual cash value of your vehicle and your loan amount if your vehicle is totaled.
There are many different car insurance coverages, and different companies offer different endorsements. If you have any concerns about specific types of protection, talking with an agent could be helpful.
Law enforcement discounts on insurance
Some companies offer special discounts for law enforcement officers. Some of these companies include:
- Geico: Geico offers a federal employee discount that you may qualify for as a police officer.
- Liberty Mutual: If you are a member of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), you may be eligible for special savings with Liberty Mutual.
- Country Financial: Police officers are eligible for Country Financial’s occupation discount.
- Farmers: In some states, Farmers offers an occupation discount. Speak with a local agent to see if it is available in your area.
In general, getting quotes from several providers is a good way to compare coverages, discounts and prices. This way, you may be able to find the coverage you need at a cheaper price. And while some companies list discounts online, not all savings opportunities may be advertised. Talking to a representative from each company might be the best way to find companies that offer law enforcement discounts on insurance.
Frequently asked questions
What is the best car insurance company for police officers?
Police officers, just like the rest of the population, all have different wants and needs when it comes to car insurance, so the best company will be different for everyone. You might want to make a list of the coverages, discounts and policy features that you are looking for, then shop around to find a company that can meet your needs. You may also want to research financial strength scores from companies like AM Best and customer satisfaction scores from J.D. Power.
If I respond to a situation while off-duty, will my employer’s insurance cover me?
Employers will likely handle this situation differently. Talk to your employer to see how your work insurance would respond. You may also want to check with your personal insurance company. If you respond to a situation in your personal vehicle, your company may consider that to be business use and deny coverage.
How much is car insurance for police officers?
Like the rest of the population, the average cost of car insurance for police officers varies. Car insurance rates are determined using a number of rating factors, including your age, your state and ZIP code, your gender, your driving history, the type of car you drive, the coverages you choose and the discounts you qualify for. Getting quotes is the best way to determine how much your car insurance will cost.