Risky Business and Life Insurance

High risk Life insurance occupationsSo 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 cancelled.

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?

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. 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. Life insurance is one of the most important investments that you’ll ever make for your loved ones. It’s one of the only ways that you can ensure that your family has the money that they need.

Paying more. 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 make 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

One of the most common reasons that Americans with risky jobs don’t get life insurance is because they assume that it’s going to be too expensive to fit in their budget. There are several ways that you can secure lower insurance, regardless of what your job is.
The first thing that you need to do is cut out any tobacco that you currently use. If you’re listed as a smoker on your life insurance application, then you should expect to get drastically higher rates for your life insurance coverage. In fact, smokers are going to pay at least twice as much for their insurance protection versus what a non-smoker is going to pay for the same sized plan. If you want to save money, it’s time to kick that bad habit once and for all.

Another way that you can save money is to compare dozens of quotes before you decide which one is best for you. Every insurance company is different, and all of them are going to view your occupation differently, which means that you can get drastically differing rates depending on which company that you get the quotes from. If you want to ensure that you’re getting the best insurance premiums, you will need to look at all of the available options.
Instead of wasting hours and hours calling all of those companies, let one of our independent agents do all of that dirty work for you. We will bring a personalized set of quotes directly to you in a matter of minutes. As a group of independent insurance brokers, it’s our mission to ensure that you’re getting the best life insurance rates possible.

Life insurance is one of the most important purchases that you’ll ever make for your loved ones. If you didn’t have life insurance coverage, and something tragic were to happen to you, your family would be left with a massive amount of bills and other expenses. Losing someone that you love is never going to be easy, but having thousands and thousands of dollars of debt is going to make the whole situation that much worse.

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 888-552-6159. 

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Doug Mitchell

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