PREPARING FOR WILDFIRES
  • FIRE DEPARTMENT PROGRAMS: RURAL VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT INSURANCE PROGRAM (HB 3667)

    The Rural Volunteer Fire Department Insurance Program (HB 3667) is a grant program designed to reimburse eligible volunteer fire departments for the purpose of insurance from private insurance companies. Eligible coverage includes any combination of compensation insurance for firefighters (workers' compensation, accidental death and dismemberment, group term life, accident and sickness, and/or cancer-related insurance) purchased from Texas insurance companies. The program will reimburse 100% of the actual cost of eligible insurance coverage up to a maximum of $175 per fire department member.

     

    The 77th Texas Legislature created the Rural VFD Insurance Program, which is funded by a 2% sales tax on the sale of fireworks.

    FY20 3667 Enrollment Now Open


     + Eligibility

    Who is eligible?

    Recognized, non-profit volunteer fire departments operated by its members are eligible. Any part-paid/part-volunteer fire department is also eligible, provided the number of paid members is 20 or less. Departments may enter into agreements with cities or counties in order to qualify for coverage and/or special premiums.

     

    All eligible departments must participate in a firefighter certification program administered under Section 419.071 of the Texas Government Code (Texas Commission on Fire Protection), or by the State Firemen’s and Fire Marshal’s Association of Texas (SFFMA), or by the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG).

     

    What is eligible?

    Any combination of compensation insurance for firefighters (workers' compensation, accidental death and dismemberment, group term life, accident and sickness, and/or cancer insurance) is eligible. The insurance coverage must include a workers' compensation or similar benefit, and a death benefit. Departments may enter into agreements with cities or counties in order to qualify for coverage and/or special premiums.

     


    Types of Eligible Insurance

    • Worker's Compensation: Provides medical expenses, lost wages, and rehabilitation costs to employees who are injured or become ill in the course and scope of their job. Also pays death benefits to families of employees who are killed on the job.
    • Accidental Death and Dismemberment: Pays out if you die or get seriously injured in an accident, such as a car crash.
    • Group Term Life: Provides a base amount of group coverage provided to employees by their employer. It covers employees for however long (the "term") they work for the employer, as long as the employer maintains the policy. In the event of the individual/employee's death, a death benefit is paid out to the individual's beneficiary.
      • Note: Group term life is different than whole/permanent life insurance. Unlike term life, permanent life insurance policies do not expire and tend to combine a death benefit with a savings portion. Permanent life insurance policies offer the ability to withdraw money at a certain point, whereas term life insurance does not offer this ability. Because of this, whole/permanent life insurance is not eligible.
    • Accident and Sickness: Helps pay for expenses relating to accidental injuries (such as burns, breaking a leg, stroke) or critical illnesses.
    • Cancer: Helps pay for both medical and non-medical costs like co-pays, deductibles, lengthy hospital stays, diagnostic tests, treatments and procedures, childcare, travel and lodging expenses, lost income, and more. 
     + Apply

    Application Procedure

    To apply, please fill out and submit the following:

     + Reimbursement Rate

    The program will reimburse 100% of the actual cost of eligible insurance coverage, up to a maximum of $175.00 per fire department member covered in the calendar year 2020.

     

     

     + Contact

    Texas A&M Forest Service
    200 Technology Way, Suite 1162
    College Station, Texas 77845
    Attn: HB 3667
                      Phone: 979-458-6505
    Fax: 979-845-6160
    Email: ffins@tfs.tamu.edu

     

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