Best Life Quote

Risky Jobs and Life Insurance

life insurance for high risk jobs

Written By Doug Mitchell

Doug Mitchell, CLU holds a BA degree in Finance from Auburn University as well as having obtained a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation from The American College in Bryn Mahr, PA.  Doug has spent close to 30 years in the insurance and financial planning industry and has held licenses to sell securities, long-term care insurance, health.  Doug is also a financial blogger addressing the topics of life insurance, annuities and retirement income planning.

Holly Mitchell  &

Holly Mitchell’s background in life insurance insurance goes back to 1985 when she worked for her father who was a New York Life agent. Holly has a marketing degree from Auburn University and has had a life insurance license since 2008. In addition to advising life insurance for customers all around the country, Holly is our website fact checker.

Rob Pinner   &

Rob Pinner is the founder and CEO of Pinner Financial Services servicing all 50 states. Rob started his insurance career in 2002.

Louis LaBash

Results-driven and innovative life insurance professional with 30 plus years of life insurance industry sales and marketing experience. Recognized as a pioneer in the field, leveraging phone and internet channels to exceed personal sales of over $100 million during the first decade of the 21st century. Creator of a highly effective intuitive IUL life insurance sales software that facilitated the sale of millions of dollars of indexed universal policies by numerous life insurance agents. Proven track record as a Managing General Agent (MGA), Life Agent, IUL Life Insurance Sales Software developer, and leading-edge creator of insurance marketing tools, educational content, and delivery systems.

Table of Contents

So you have a risky job. Or perhaps you have a son or daughter who does. And you’re wondering how life insurance will fit into the picture.

Well, the good news is that you or your loved ones probably can get life insurance.

The bad news is that “probably” part. Moreover, you may not be able to get life insurance in the way you hope to — and, yes, you’ll pay more in premiums. Plus, your favorite TV show will also be canceled.

OK, I just threw that last part in there, just to show you that it’s not all doom and gloom. So let’s walk through all of this, shall we?

Risky Jobs and Life Insurance

The “probably” part. Just about every profession that I can think of, you can get life insurance for without too many problems. For instance, if you work on a fishing boat, I’m fully confident you’ll easily find an insurer. You’ll just pay more, as noted, in premiums.

For those of you who aren’t working in commercial fishing, that might seem like an odd profession to mention, but according to Bureau of Labor statistics, this is actually the most dangerous profession out there, with approximately 124 deaths per 100,000. Not surprisingly, most of the dangers cited in the BLS data involves falling overboard and drowning.

If you don’t feel like wading through all of that, watch the classic movie, “The Perfect Storm,” and you’ll start to see their point.

Still, while a fisherman is likely going to be able to get life insurance from some insurer, a professional skydiver or professional bull rider is going to have more trouble. But I’d be reluctant to say that even those professions won’t be able to get life insurance.

There is no insurance industry rule book that says that professional skydivers aren’t allowed to have life insurance, and some insurer out there might be comfortable with the idea.

Still, if you do jump out of planes all day for a living, or routinely sit on a living and angry bull, yes, it’s going to be challenging to find an insurance company,  but some companies and insurance agents specialize in “high-risk insurance” and so it’s worth shopping around. You never know.

But you might get life insurance no matter how dangerous your job.

Risky Jobs and Types of Life Insurance

It just might not be the type of life insurance you hope to get. For instance, in looking through some professional skydiving forums, I found one guy commenting that he has life insurance — with the caveat that his beneficiaries will only receive money if he dies from something else.

If he’s hit by a truck or dies of a heart attack, his family is covered. If his chute doesn’t open at 10,000 feet, his family is out of luck. And so is he.

And many risky professions, such as firefighters and police officers and miners, offer life insurance through the employer, so obviously you want to start there.  The payout may not be as much as you want for your loved ones, though, so you may still need to shop around to get additional coverage.

But by and large, it seems to be the unusual dangerous professions, such as stuntpeople and circus acrobats, that have the most problems securing life insurance.

If you’ve ever been told that you can’t get life insurance coverage because of your profession, don’t believe it. Regardless of what you do for a living, it’s possible to get life insurance at an affordable rate. Your family could financially struggle once you pass way which is why an investment in insurance protection is necessary now.

Rates for Risky Jobs and Life Insurance

Typically, if you’re in what’s considered a high-risk profession — like a roofer or a steelworker, or somebody who works with explosives — you’re going to be charged an additional fee on top of your premium. Every insurer is different, so it pays to look around, but often it’s an extra $2.50 for every thousand in coverage.

So if you install electrical power lines, and you’re buying a $500,000 life insurance policy, you might spend an extra $1,250 a year, on top of your monthly premiums.

And that’s all well and good if you’re making big bucks in your dangerous job. Fisherman makes on average of around $30,000 a year, from the BLS statistics I’ve seen, so this definitely falls under the life isn’t fair category. On the other hand, oil rig workers make around $100,000 a year, and so they probably don’t mind too much paying extra money for life insurance.

And, yes, working on an oil rig is considered a very dangerous profession. You might not think so, but employees work, on average, 12 hours a day, on platforms where cranes swing heavy equipment above them. They often are managing materials that can easily explode if handled the wrong way. They could fall off the rig and drown.

Well, we all remember what happened with BP in the Gulf of Mexico.

In any case, the insurance industry, like all for-profit industries, exists to make a buck, and you can’t fault them for noticing that somebody who wrestles alligators for a living might have a much shorter shelf life than someone who works in an office.

Actually, if anybody out there wants to transition from a risky job to a safe one, I can vouch for selling life insurance. Not to say it can’t be dangerous. I once dropped a stapler on my foot. But overall, it is a pretty safe profession. And that’s who insurers like to insure — people whose day-to-day existence isn’t fraught with a lot of peril.

But I grant you that it is a weird disconnect. If you work in a profession where the odds are somewhat decent that at some point on the job you might be blown up, fall from a great height or become crushed, you definitely have some great reasons for wanting life insurance — and yet those very reasons are why you’re going to have trouble getting it.

Getting Cheaper Life Insurance with a Risky Job

A risky job should not be a deterrent to buying life insurance. You may believe bump in classification will put the monthly premium out of your intended budget, however, here are some ideas on ways to lower that amount.  We strongly suggest giving up using tobacco in any form as identifying as a smoker can raise your premium double over nonusers will pay.

Plus it’ll pay off in the long run and you’ll be a healthier person!

Each carrier has its own set of guidelines that determine a rate. Why would you not want to get quotes from as many companies as you can?  The goal should be finding the lowest monthly total and pairing it with the greatest life protection and you will need to look at all of the options.

This is where our employees come in.  We train each one to know and understand how the different carriers work.  Don’t spend your morning worrying over how you’ll get in touch with each company; let the agents here do the grunt work and then send you a custom quote.

Losing someone that you love is never going to be easy, so decide now to make the important decision of purchasing life insurance. Years after you’re gone your family will appreciate the steps you took to secure their future.

If you are in a risky occupation and want to know if there is an additional fee for life insurance coverage, fill out the form on this page and we’ll let you know what type of pricing you can expect for life insurance, or call us at 800-712-8519. 

Related Posts

Picture of Doug Mitchell, CLU

Doug Mitchell, CLU

Doug Mitchell, CLU holds a BA degree in Finance from Auburn University as well as having obtained a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation from The American College in Bryn Mahr, PA. Doug has spent close to 30 years in the life insurance and financial planning industry and has held licenses to sell securities, long-term care insurance, health. Some other notable items about Doug: Top of the Table Million Dollar Round Table member (MDRT). (MDRT is a global, independent association of the world’s leading life insurance advisors) | Premier Partner with Lincoln Financial and Cabinet Member | Served two years as President of the Auburn/Opelika Association of Financial Advisors | Life Millionaire status at Horace Mann Insurance Company and was awarded the Life Agent of the Year Award | New York Life, Executive Council Member | Currently serves as President of Ogletree Financial, a life insurance General Agency. | Doug is also a financial blogger addressing the topics of life insurance, annuities and retirement income planning.

Get your Quote