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6 Activities to Avoid if you Want Life Insurance Coverage

December 4, 2015

hobbies that affect life insurance
A good life insurance policy is a valuable thing. It provides peace of mind for you and your family, and acts as a vital safety net for the loved ones you might leave behind. But sometimes your habits, hobbies, and even your job can keep you from being eligible for an affordable plan. In some cases these factors can make you ineligible for coverage altogether. Here are seven activities that insurance companies hate most:

Scuba Diving

With approximately 2.7 to 3.5 million active scuba divers in the US alone, diving is one of our most beloved activities, but try telling that to your insurance company. With roughly 150 scuba deaths per year as a result of things like equipment failure and improper ascent/descent, your insurance company is going to take a close look at your diving habits. If you frequently dive deeper than 100 feet, you can count on much higher premiums, and if you’re one who regularly breaks the 150ft threshold, you’ll have a hard time finding any coverage whatsoever. Maybe try snorkeling instead?

Being a Lumberjack

Consistently ranked as one of the most dangerous professions in the country, the logging industry reports around 70-90 work related deaths per year. Loggers have to deal with a wide variety of dangerous factors: working at great heights, falling logs, dangerous heavy equipment, etc. And since these jobs take place in isolated, hard to reach areas, access to quality medical care is often out of the question, making even less severe injuries potentially life-threatening.

Mountain Climbing

According to the American Alpine Club, the yearly average of mountain climbing deaths in the United States is 25. Mountaineers routinely face risks such as avalanches, falling rocks, faulty equipment and severe weather, making it one of the more dangerous hobbies out there. Which means it’s likely to wreak havoc on your life insurance premiums. If you’re an avid climber, you can expect to pay as much as $5 more per each $1000 of coverage.

Skydiving/Base-jumping

The dangers of these two activities are obvious. As you might imagine, most recreational jumping deaths occur due to equipment failure. Although these deaths are pretty rare (just about 22 deaths out of roughly 3 million jumps per year) insurance companies still frown upon jumping out of an airplane or off a skyscraper. After all, no matter how safe it is, jumping out of an airplane is still more dangerous than, say, not doing that. So if you want to avoid some outrageous premiums, it’s probably best that you keep your feet on the ground as much as possible.

Being a Commercial Fisherman

With a fatality rate of roughly 117 per 100,000 full-time fishermen per year, it’s no wonder that TV shows about the fishing industry have titles like Lobster Wars and Deadliest Catch. The dangers of being a professional fisherman include drowning, extreme weather and working with heavy equipment—and of course, higher insurance premiums.

Being a Pilot

Flying generally ranks pretty high when it comes to dangerous jobs and hobbies, but it’s not the big commercial airline pilots that have to worry. Civilian pilots and operators of smaller commercial aircraft run a much greater risk of accidents, injury and death. That’s because they generally have less training/experience, and their planes are often less rigorously maintained. Their aircraft also tends to be much lighter, making it more susceptible to severe weather.

If you participate in any of the hobbies or professions mentioned above, it’s of course best to give them up completely if possible. But if that’s not an option, try not to worry. Just because you take some risks, doesn’t mean you are necessarily barred from buying life insurance. In most cases it will just mean higher premiums. And if you are denied coverage, you can always try another insurer. There is no one single rulebook that all companies follow with regard to covering high risk clients. So if you can’t give up your dangerous behavior, just talk to an insurance professional and shop around for a policy that’s right for you.