The original insurance system devised by Fr. McGivney gave a deceased Knight’s widow a $1,000 death benefit. Each member was assessed $1 upon a death, and when the number of KofC grew beyond 1,000 the assessment decreased according to the rate of increase. Each member, regardless of age, was assessed equally. As a result, younger, healthier members could expect to pay more over the course of their lifetimes than those men who joined when they were older. There was also a Sick Benefit Deposit for members who fell ill and could not work. Each sick Knight was entitled to draw up to $5 a week for 13 weeks (roughly equivalent to $125.75 in 2009 dollars). If he remained sick after that, the council to which he belonged regulated the sum of money given to him.
Today, the KofC offer a modern, professional insurance operation with more than $80 billion of life insurance policies in force and $15.6 billion in assets as of June 2012. Products include permanent and term life insurance as well as annuities, long term care insurance and disability insurance. The insurance program is not a separate business offered by the KofC to others but is exclusively for the benefit of members and their families. The KofC paid over $243 million in death benefits in 2009 and $1.7 billion in the last decade as of August 2010. This is large enough to rank 49th on the A.M Best list of all life insurance companies in North America. According to the 2011 Fortune 1000 list, the KofC ranks 900 in total revenue. Only two other insurers in North America have received the highest ratings from both A. M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. The KofC is certified by the Insurance Marketplace Standards Association for ethical sales practices. Standard & Poor’s downgraded the insurance program’s financial strength/credit rating from AAA to AA+ in August 2011 not due to KofC financial strength, but due to its lowering of the long-term sovereign credit rating of the United States to AA+.