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Insurer ups gunshot wound coverage for public-sector employees

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Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Co. has beefed up its voluntary gunshot wound insurance policy for public-sector employees.

Colonial Life has raised the lump-sum benefit provided by the gunshot wound policy, available to workers as a voluntary benefit through their employers, to up to $5,000 from $1,000 for a covered injury from a nonfatal gunshot wound, the Columbia, South Carolina, insurer said Monday in a statement.

The insurance policy covers gunshot wounds on or off the job and pays benefits regardless of any other insurance the employee has, according to the statement.

Policyholders can use the benefit to pay medical bills, copayments and deductibles, or household bills, according to the statement. The policy is also portable, so employees can retain coverage with no increase in premiums if they change jobs or retire.

According to a company spokeswoman, if the policyholder pays premiums on a pretax basis, or if the employer pays for the policy, the benefit may be considered taxable. If the policyholder pays premiums after taxes, the benefit would typically be nontaxable, she said.

“Our public-sector customers have been asking for this enhancement to meet a need for their employees who need a higher level of financial protection,” Steven Johnson, Colonial Life’s vice president of products and market development, said in the statement. “The coverage is ideal for police, fire, emergency medical technicians and even private security guards or any employee who values this benefit.”