Pre-existing health conditions, smoking and being overweight can make life insurance carriers leery about offering you life insurance coverage. And in those cases, that hesitance makes sense because those circumstances may increase your risk of dying (and the carrier having to pay a claim).
But a job or hobby carriers consider “high risk” can also leave you lacking for life insurance. Or paying higher premiums – in some cases up to four times or more – than those who life insurance companies deem “safe”.
Consumers are rated high risk when an insurance carrier feels the chances of paying a claim are greater than the average. For instance, if there’s a part of your daily life that increases the odds you’ll perish.
The high-risk label affects each type of insurance (home or renters, auto, health and life) a bit differently. And any of these scenarios could earn you the label of “high-risk”:
An increase in premium for the life of the policy or for a limited time period.
An outright decline
A decline on a specific rider, while still being underwritten. For example, if you have a high-risk occupation, you may get the life insurance (and not even be rated high risk), but could be declined for the waiver of premium (a clause that waives your obligation to pay premiums if you become seriously ill or disabled) due to your job.
Are you at risk?
Obvious factors like smoking, drinking excessively, being overweight, taking certain medications like anti-depressants and a severe health history such as recovering from a bout of cancer can land you in the high-risk category.
However, it’s quite possible that your occupation could also earn you the rating of high risk, too. That’s because some hazardous occupations have an increased risk for dying on the job. The jobs insurance companies consider to be high risk are many of those the U.S. Bureau of Statistics says carry the highest rates of job-related accidents and deaths. They are:
Police officer: Municipal police officers are not high-risk unless they are in a special unit like the bomb squad or SWAT team. State troopers and county sheriffs may be rated high risk depending on the state’s regulations.
Firefighters: Municipal fire firefighters are not high risk but firefighters in a mine and on an oil rig will be rated high risk.
Underground miners. Most people think of miners as a job of the past, but there are still millions of underground miners. According to some studies, 50 to 60 miners die every year.
Pilots. Private and commercial.
Agriculture and forestry. Logging and in some regions farmers and ranchers.
Construction workers. Work that involves structural steel or being part of a highway construction crew earns the label high risk, otherwise, traditional construction (building homes, etc.) work does not.
Offshore oil rig worker. Onshore rig or refinery workers are in the clear.
Offshore commercial fisherman. Just about anyone in a small boat (most private or family-owned fishermen) gets rated high risk. But there are some cases where even if you’re on a big boat (crab fishermen) you could still be labeled high risk. If you stick to fishing in-shore, you’re OK.
What are your options — since you probably can’t quit or trade-in your profession?
You may be able to request an exclusion to keep your rates down. That means if death occurs as a result of the job listed as the exclusion, benefits won’t be paid to survivors.
For instance, a pilot could request an aviation exclusion, and unless he or she is a passenger on a regularly scheduled flight for personal not business travel, any air-related claims would not be covered.
Hobbies hurt, too
A dangerous or death-defying job isn’t the only thing that can land you on the high-risk list. Extreme hobbies may leave you labeled high risk and as a result paying higher rates than an individual who does not engage in these high-risk activities.
These– and similar adrenaline-producing hobbies – could raise your rates:
Amateur racecar driving
Mountain or rock climbing
- Scuba Diving
If, and to what extent, a hobby can affect your rates varies by insurance company. Most companies factor in the frequency of participation in the hobby, location and variables like how fast you drive or how high up the bungee spot is.
When you apply and are going through the application, they are going to ask you A LOT of questions about your hobby.
The Price of High-Risk
Dangerous jobs and thrilling hobbies are likely to leave your wallet hurting.
If your job, hobby, or health lead to a high-risk rating, you could pay premiums that are anywhere from $2 to $5 more per thousand dollars of coverage depending on the carrier.
The $2 – $5 mark might not sound like much, but imagine you’re going to get $1 million in coverage. It’s going to add up.
Luckily, there are some options. You don’t have to quit your job or take out a loan to get life insurance.
You need to pinpoint a company which specializes in working with high-risk clients. Finding one of those companies will save you hundreds of dollars every year.
High-Risk Clients and BestLifeQuote.Com
Unless you want to go to each company, explain your job to get the quote, the best way to go about getting insurance protection is to work with an independent agency.
We know which companies better for specific companies. We can save you hours of talking to companies and listening to agents who are trying to sell you expensive coverage.
If you’ve been quoted with expensive premiums before, don’t think it’s your only option. Even if you’ve applied to a company and been rejected, you can still get life insurance.
There are always options like guaranteed coverage. These plans won’t ask about your job. They will never know what your occupation is and there is no chance you’ll be declined.
As you probably guessed, there are some drawbacks of guaranteed acceptance life insurance. They are more expensive and have low coverage limits. They don’t work for everyone. If you have questions about these plans, we can help you determine if they will match your needs.
Go ahead and make one call to us, we will handle the rest. We aren’t pushy sells people who are going to rope you into a sub-par plan with high premiums.
We pride ourselves on people able to work with every applicant and leave them with a quality insurance plan for a price they can afford.
Want to speak with us regarding your life insurance needs? Fill out the form on this page or call us at 888-552-6159.