|Industry||Insurance: Group Term Life|
|Headquarters||Falls Church, Virginia, U.S.|
|Shane Canfield, CEO|
|Products||Life Insurance, Chronic Illness Rider, Financial Education for Members|
|Revenue||$33.7 million USD (2016)|
Number of employees
Worldwide Assurance for Employees of Public Agencies, widely known by its abbreviated name WAEPA, is a United States' nonprofit 501(c)(9) VEBA association headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, that provides life insurance and financial service benefits to federal civilian employees. Before WAEPA, civilian employees had limited life insurance options until the Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance Act of 1954 provided group life insurance by the U.S. Government. WAEPA's insurance products are underwritten by the New York Life Insurance Company. The association has over 44,000 members from every civilian agency of the Federal government.
WAEPA was formed during World War II, when, at the request of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau Jr. contacted life insurance companies throughout the country asking if they would provide a maximum of $10,000 of life coverage for civilian government employees serving in war zones. At the time, United States civilians who chose to serve their country by entering foreign service did so with the knowledge that their current coverage in life insurance was largely vitiated by restrictive clauses covering travel in war zones, overseas aviation, etc.
Finding the insurance rates to be cost prohibitive, Morgenthau formed an informal committee made up of officials from the Office of Lend-Lease Administration, Board of Economic Warfare, Office of Foreign Relief and Rehabilitation Operations and the United States Office of War Information to investigate the possibility of attaining group life coverage. The first inquiry was made into extending the provisions of the National Service Life Insurance Act to include civilian foreign service personnel, however the Bureau of the Budget was opposed to revising the law to make them eligible. Additional efforts were made to gain membership into The American Foreign Service Protective Association, formed in 1929 for American Foreign Service Officers, but eligibility was restricted only to members of the Department of State.
In April 1943, the committee determined that the only way it could accomplish its goals would be to form a separate association for the purpose of purchasing group life insurance. Articles of association were drafted and adopted, and the War Agencies Employees Protective Association (WAEPA) came into existence in May 1943. To best serve its members interests, only current and former U.S. Government Federal employees were eligible to join the board of directors, with the original board composed of representatives from the committee charter agencies; board members served without compensation. White House Economic Advisor Lauchlin Currie was chosen to serve as the association's first president.
The Equitable Life Assurance Society was selected to underwrite the association's policies, setting up a worldwide system of low cost group life insurance. Through WAEPA, Equitable sold policies to employees of 40 U.S. agencies, including individuals from the Offices of Strategic Services and War Information, which often sent their men behind enemy lines, and also included air-traveling statesmen and Congressmen. By May 1945 only 24 death claims had been filed, allowing the insurer to return roughly 30% of the premiums to WAEPA. In turn, WAEPA was able to return a portion of those premiums back to their members.
In 1961, the association changed its name and organizational structure to Worldwide Assurance for Employees of Public Agencies, and adopted a 501(c)(9) status.
In November 1976, the association sold its building at 1720 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W. in Washington, D.C. relocated offices to Falls Church, Virginia.
In January 2017, WAEPA partnered with New York Life Insurance Company to underwrite its Group Term Life Insurance, ending its nearly 74-year relationship with AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company.
Since 1996, WAEPA has refunded over $101 Million dollars in premiums to its members.
WAEPA membership is open to all current and retired U.S. civilian Federal Government employees, regardless of duty assignment and their family members. Member spouses are eligible to apply for Associate Member status to gain access to higher coverage levels than dependents. Full-time members of the armed services are not eligible for WAEPA coverage.
- The National Underwriter, vol. 72, 1968, Page 51
- Cohen, Joseph Henry. "The War Clause in Life Insurance Policies." Columbia Law Review, vol. 21, no. 1, 1921, pp. 35–54.
- The American Foreign Service Journal, 1944, vol. 21, pp. 241-242
- INSURANCE: Bad Risks, Good Record, Time (May 28, 1945 Vol. XLV No.22)
- "Group Term Life Insurance for Federal Employees | WAEPA". www.waepa.org. Retrieved 2018-08-22.
- "WAEPA now provides Civilian Federal Employees a "Living Benefit" to Help Pay for High Costs of Chronic Illness – WAEPA". www.waepa.org. Retrieved 2018-08-22.
- "Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance for Federal Employees | WAEPA". www.waepa.org. Retrieved 2018-08-22.