Convention Insider

Insurance Program: Ready for a Rainy Day

by Brian Caulfield

Insurance Umbrellas

The insurance booth was a center of activity, promoting the Order's financial protection and giving away umbrellas on a rainy Sunday afternoon.


There’s nothing like the protection of an umbrella on a rainy day. When the skies opened on Sunday afternoon in Washington, D.C., hundreds of delegates and their families were happy to have the Knights of Columbus umbrellas that are being given away at the insurance promotional booth.

“Timing is everything, and we really hit a winner with the umbrellas today,” said Michael Paradis, vice president for agency administration, who was manning the insurance booth with James Cohane, agency administration manager. Both work at the headquarters in New Haven, Connecticut. They brought 2,500 umbrellas with them and expected to have their supply depleted before the convention’s conclusion on Thursday.

The umbrellas were being given away to symbolize the protection that the Knights of Columbus offers through its fraternal benefit program – life insurance for members and their families, high-yield annuities and long term care policies.

The booth also highlighted the new symbol of Knights of Columbus Insurance – a shield with the letters “KofC” emblazoned on it and the words “Your Shield for Life.” Your Shield for Life is a registered trademark of the Knights of Columbus.

Although many people know the Order solely for its charitable and religious works, insurance protection has been an integral part of the Knights of Columbus since its founding by Father Michael J. McGivney in 1882. Gathering a handful of men from his New Haven parish, Father McGivney set out to provide a system of financial protection for the Catholic families of his day, when many breadwinners died at a young age from hard and dangerous labor. He formed a Catholic fraternity that would pay a death benefit to widows and children when a member passed away.

From this simple system of insurance, the Order has grown to a major fraternal benefit society that is ranked on the Fortune 1000 list of leading international companies, with top ratings from A.M. Best, Standard & Poor’s and the Insurance Marketplace Standards Association.