Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is a fraternal benefit society?
Fraternal benefit societies date from the second half of the 19th century. Most were established to provide life insurance benefits to those ethnic, religious, or occupational groups that were unable to get coverage from commercial companies. Members typically shared a common background; hence many fraternals still have by-law provisions that restrict membership accordingly.
Like insurance companies, fraternal benefit societies sell insurance. Both are chartered and licensed in accordance with state insurance laws and both are examined and reviewed by state insurance departments. However, the similarities stop there.
Fraternal benefit societies are non-profit organizations that are defined by law as: “Any incorporated society, order or supreme lodge, without capital stock, conducted solely for the benefit of its members and their beneficiaries, and not for profit, operated on a lodge system with a ritualistic form of work, having a representative form of government, and which makes provision for the payment of benefits in accordance with this chapter, is hereby declared to be a fraternal benefit society.”
Fraternal societies are also subject to different legal restrictions and different tax laws than insurance companies; this exempts them from paying income and premium taxes. In addition, fraternals also have limitations on the type of insurance that can be issued; group insurance, credit life or closed contracts are prohibited.
2. Who is eligible to be a member?
Membership is open to all persons of the Roman Catholic faith from birth to age 80. The non-Catholic spouse of a member and the children of such marriage are also eligible for membership. For more information about membership requirements or to become a member, visit our Contact Us form or call (800) 282-2263.
3. Who is eligible to receive a scholarship?
The Society has been offering scholastic assistance since our founding in 1879. To be considered, students must be insured members of the Foresters for at least one year prior to applying and must be accepted to college for the coming school year.
4. As a member, what events can I attend?
Forester members can choose to participate in a variety of fraternal and social activities, including children’s parties, Christmas celebrations, Communion breakfasts, golf tournaments, religious retreats, and charity fundraisers. See our News & Events page for more information.
5. Why do I need life insurance?
A life insurance policy is a key component of sound financial planning. The benefits of having life insurance are numerous. It can be used to:
- Protect your loved ones from financial catastrophe or a reduced lifestyle in the event of your death by replacing your income and/or paying off your mortgage.
- Pay final expenses, such as burial costs, estate planning and administration costs, debts and medical expenses, so that your family will not be unexpectedly burned by these costs.
- Provide an inheritance for your heirs.
- Pay estate taxes.
- Pay for education or fund your retirement if the policy allows you to build cash value, which can be withdrawn or borrowed against.
Make planned charitable gifts.
6. Why should children have life insurance?
Children need life insurance for the same reasons adults do: to begin a program of saving, to provide future funds for college education, and if necessary, to provide for final expenses. There are advantages to purchasing life insurance early in life. As rates are based on age, young people are usually able to purchase permanent life insurance protection at a fixed low rate. And because young people are usually in good health, they are more easily able to meet the company’s standards of insurability.
7. What types of insurance products do you offer?
Life insurance products offered by CAOF include:
- Twenty Year Payment Whole Life
- Whole Life Paid Up at Age 80
- Single Premium Whole Life
- 3 Payment Whole Life
- Twenty Year Level Term
- Term to Age 25