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Why We Offer Insurance

Posted on 2 November 2015

Before you think about how you and your family would use life insurance, how your council members can benefit from our insurance program, or what products and options you would need, there's a more basic question that needs to be answered: Why do the Knights of Columbus care about life insurance? The answer is simple: Providing financial protection for Catholic families has been at the core of our mission since the beginning.

Two Problems, One Solution

The drive to offer financial protection for Catholic families comes from our venerable founder, Father Michael J. McGivney.

In the summer of 1873, as a young seminarian in Canada, he was forced to leave theological studies and return home to aid his family after the sudden death of his father, Patrick. "He was reeling," it says in his biography Parish Priest. "He packed his belongings, knowing that he would never return to Sainte-Marie, and went home."

"Money for tuition was no longer available," the authors continue. "Even if the McGivney family could survive without Michael's financial support, it was not clear that he could survive without help from them or someone." Michael was able to continue his studies only after receiving a scholarship from the then-Diocese of Hartford.

Less than a decade later, as an associate pastor at St. Mary's Church in New Haven, Conn., Father McGivney was faced with an all-too-similar situation.

One of his parishioners, Edward Downes Jr., was forced to quit the seminary after his father died unexpectedly. He returned home to New Haven to support his mother and 12 siblings.

In those days, the court had the right to assign children to public institutions if it had reason to believe that their families could not properly care for and support them. Unless they were represented by a financially secure guardian in court, the teenage Downes boys would be removed from their family.

On Feb. 6, 1882 the very same day as the first meeting for what would become the Knights of Columbus Father McGivney appeared in court to stand as guardian for Edward's brother Alfred. The court accepted, yet Father McGivney was frustrated by the recurring nightmare of financial hardship.

"Even though he was only a young man," Parish Priest says of Father McGivney, "he was filled with a lifetime of anger and frustration at the sense of doom that settled over nearly every family that lost its wage earner. On the afternoon of February 6, he was more determined than ever that what had happened to the Downes family need not happen to anyone else."

The Mission Begins And Continues

In that spirit, Father McGivney set off with "entrepreneurial zeal" to found the Knights of Columbus. In his own words, Father McGivney wanted the organization to "to unite the men of our Faith throughout the Diocese of Hartford, that we may thereby gain strength to aid each other in time of sickness, to provide for decent burial, and to render pecuniary assistance to the families of the deceased members."

He knew what life was like without that assistance. The initial system of "life insurance" designed by Father McGivney was a simple one, a pass-the-hat system through which each member could help support his brother Knights.

As the organization grew council by council, state by state, and country by country, so too did the insurance program. The pass-the-hat system was transformed into one of the largest and most highly rated life insurance programs in North America.

The Knights of Columbus has passed many milestones and received many accolades along the way: $97 billion of life insurance in force, 39 consecutive A++ (Superior) ratings for financial strength from A.M. Best, 14 consecutive years of sales growth, and designation as a 2014 "World's Most Ethical Company," but all that is secondary.

What matters most is that we continue to fulfill Father McGivney's mission of offering and providing financial protection for Catholic families. 2015 is not 1882. Times are different. Laws are different. Economies are different. But even for those families who may have slightly more than next-to-nothing, insurance protection can be the difference between getting by and getting evicted. In its role as the premier Catholic life insurer, the Knights of Columbus continues to provide a valuable and noble service.

That's why we offer life insurance.

It's not for the $8 billion in annual sales volume, or the $97 billion in force, or the 1.8 million policies on the books. It's not the amount that counts, but the impact of those dollars.

It's the homes saved, the college tuitions provided, the Catholic funerals paid for and the families shielded that create the legacy of protection that would make Father McGivney proud.

It's those things that are the hallmark of the Knights of Columbus Insurance program.

This March, as we observe Founder's Day, and remember Father McGivney's legacy and the mission he set forth for our great Order, take the time to reach out to your dedicated Knights of Columbus field agent who is himself a brother Knight and see what we might be able to offer to you and your family.
Posted in: Knights of Columbus Insurance Life Insurance  

Insurance FAQ's

Posted on 31 October 2015

Do I need life insurance?

Yes, the chances are you do need life insurance, whether it's for paying funeral expenses, replacing income, providing for your child's education, protecting your home, or some other financial reason. Unfortunately, too many people don't know the value of a life insurance policy and either go without any or settle for inadequate coverage. Check out our life insurance calculator to see where you stand.

Is the Knights of Columbus financially strong?

Yes. There is simply no more highly rated life insurer in North America than the Knights of Columbus. As of August 2015, the Knights of Columbus has earned A.M. Best's highest rating for financial strength (A++, Superior) for 40 consecutive years. In addition, our margin of safety is among the best in the industry.

What exactly are dividends?

Dividends are the divisible surplus the Order has left over after paying expenses and setting aside the necessary amounts to assure that future benefits are fully funded. Dividends develop from favorable experience, such as people living longer than expected or from interest earnings higher than those guaranteed in their policy. Remember, the payment of dividends cannot be guaranteed.

I have more specific questions I would like answered, who do I contact?

Please contact Stephen Dugal directly at 416-436-3202, or use the link located at the top of the website to set up an appointment.

 

Posted in: Knights of Columbus Insurance Life Insurance FAQ  

Why Choose Knights of Columbus

Posted on 30 October 2015
Why Choose Knights of Columbus

We are strong

The Knights of Columbus is a fraternal benefit society that is strong, secure and stable. Members can be confident that we'll be here when you need us. We've been successfully protecting families since 1882, and our outlook remains bright. Don't just take our word for it. There is no more highly rated insurer in North America than the Knights of Columbus. A.M. Best has bestowed on us their highest rating (A++, Superior) for 39 consecutive years. Remember, in 2012, the Knights of Columbus gave more than $155 million to Catholic and other charitable causes. In these uncertain times, find comfort in an organization that leads the way in doing good for others while doing good for our own.


We are secure

Since 1882, we have been committed to protecting the financial futures of our Knights and their families. We do this by paying claims and dividends to our insured members. In 2012, we paid well over $487 million in death claims and other benefits, and more than $349 million in dividends to our policyholders. Even more impressive is the fact that in the past decade, the Knights of Columbus paid more than $3.4 billion in dividends to insured members.


We are stable

Prudent leadership and management has led to the rapid growth of our assets, providing an adequate foundation for our member's protection, and securing our obligations to our insured and their beneficiaries. Also, because we are a fraternal benefit society, we have no stockholders. Our owners are our members and we return our good fortune in the form of dividends to our policyholders.

Posted in: Knights of Columbus Insurance Life Insurance  
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