By Joel Zimmerman

What Activities Do Insurers Consider “Too Risky” for Life Insurance Coverage?

While there are many kinds of insurance, they all work as a form of asset protection, and investing in a policy is all about making sure that what you worked so hard for stays protected, no matter what. In that vein, though, the inevitable question arises – can you always get life insurance?

If you’re involved in certain occupations, or indulge in activities and hobbies that pose a risk to your life, you may not be able to get a life insurance policy. At the same time, you probably need it more than most other people, simply because of the risks you face.

What Activities, Hobbies and Occupations Qualify as High-Risk?

All insurance is based on risk, the risk of loss. No matter which life insurance types you apply for, the provider needs to know what the chances are that you may die before they receive enough of an investment from you to offset the risk you pose.

High-Risk Occupations

These are some occupations commonly classified as risky or dangerous, which include working:

  • At Heights – Whether your job involves repairing telephone poles or high-rise construction, insurers may not be able to trust that you’re safe enough to insure without the risk of early death benefit payouts.
  • Underground – Just like occupations where you work at dangerous heights, those that require you to work underground (e.g. in mines or subway tunnels) can pose a higher risk of death than those above ground.
  • With Explosives/Dangerous Chemicals – If you often come into contact with explosives (e.g. at a demolition site) or hazardous chemicals (e.g. in biotech research) at your workplace, insurance companies may not wish to insure you.
  • With Firearms – If there’s a possibility that you may come in the line of fire (e.g. as a policeman/guard) or be killed as a result of workplace accidents (e.g. gun manufacturing units), insurers will consider you a potential liability.
  • In the Armed Forces – Military personnel tend to be exposed to a wide range of hazardous situations, including the dangers of heights, underground spaces, explosives, gunfire and more, so they are definitely considered high-risk.
  • In a War Zone – This isn’t a classification for those in the military alone, but also includes others like journalists, news cameramen, doctors and nurses, etc., whose work regularly takes them into war zones.

High-Risk Activities

Here’s an overview of activities that life insurance providers want nothing to do with:

  • Crime – Anyone who knowingly participates in criminal or terror activities, war or coups, riots or insurrection, etc. will automatically be treated as “uninsurable” by most insurance providers.
  • Suicide – This is one aspect of life insurance that’s been extensively explored in movies, TV shows and other media. An individual who commits (or attempts) suicide will not be eligible for death benefits to be paid to their dependents.
  • Self-Inflicted Harm – This is similar to suicide, in that anyone who knowingly inflicts harm on themselves, or indulges in destructive alcohol/non-prescription drugs that can cause death, will not be insured.
  • H.I.V. Positive – While most medical conditions can be insured to some extent or the other, those who have tested positive for H.I.V. cannot normally be insured, since the disease has no cure and is considered a death sentence.

High-Risk Hobbies

It’s not just work or special activities, since even your hobbies and pastimes could affect your risk rating. The trouble is, they also increase the need for life insurance, since you want to be sure that your loved ones are safe even if you face serious injury or untimely demise as a result of dangerous sports and activities.

Here are some examples of dangerous sports, hobbies and pastimes:

  • Motor Sports
  • Pro Sports
  • Hang Gliding
  • Bungee Jumping
  • Mountaineering
  • Rock Climbing
  • Scuba Diving without a Qualified Instructor, etc.
  • Hunting
  • Racing
  • Polo

There’s a wide range of activities that insurers could categorize as high-risk, so if you are unsure of whether you fall in these categories, consult an experienced financial advisor or check them in the “exclusions” section of the policy’s disclosure statement. The experts at LifeCentra can help you explore life insurance types that may cover high-risk categories.

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