Risk Takers, Take Notice:
Life Insurance Advice Just for You
“Before you start looking for life insurance coverage for extreme sports, read this advice.”
You're a risk taker.
You love the thrill of outdoor adventures.
You know the ones – the ones that get your blood pumping and your adrenaline flowing. Extreme sports and adrenaline-fueled activities of any (and ALL!) kinds, they define you.
If you are like most adventure-seekers, you have encountered a few bumps and bruises along the way – maybe even broken a bone or two. Fortunate for you, it has been nothing too serious thus far.
While it’s a total buzzkill to think about a more serious accident or your untimely demise (knock on wood), it’s possible the unthinkable could happen.
It’s time to face reality and put a plan in place to protect against a big OOOPS. And, that plan should involve life insurance. Check out the advice below before you start shopping life insurance policies.
LIFE INSURANCE FOR THE ADVENTUROUS
FACT 1: Life insurance is not one bit as exciting as your adventurous pursuits.
FACT 2: Accidents happen.
It’s time to get real.
You likely have people that depend on you. Perhaps it’s a spouse or partner. Maybe it’s a young child. No matter your position in life, life insurance is worth a second thought.
Ready to take the plunge?
First and foremost, it's important to be truthful about your activities with the insurance carrier you choose.
It may seem like a good idea to omit this information for fear that disclosure of your activities will raise your rates. While the latter is true (your rates will be slightly higher), not disclosing your active pursuits can put you in hot water.
If you’re thinking about not disclosing your active participation in high-risk sports, consider the following:
Life insurance policies are subject to a two-year contestability period.
During this period, a life insurance company can cancel your policy or deny a beneficiary’s claim if they find out you've falsified information on your application.
Therefore, when you apply for life insurance coverage, it's crucial to tell the truth. Disclose hobbies or sports, such as car racing, heli-skiing, skydiving, parachuting, mountaineering or other risky activities.
You don’t want to risk a denied claim based on an omission that was found on your application. The reality is, if you die in an extreme sports accident, the people who are going to be hurt the most are your loved ones.
IS THE THRILL WORTH THE BILL?
Now that you have faced the fact that an accident could happen, the thought of life insurance expenses has likely crossed your mind.
It's no surprise that you'll pay more for insurance as an individual who engages in extreme sports than someone who doesn't.
There is a bit of good news, though! Believe it or not, life insurance is one of the lower cost items for an extreme sports enthusiast.
Before I elaborate, let's first discuss the cost.
Your life insurance rates will vary from one insurance company to another. They may even vary from one time to another. For example, one study found that rock climbing, which was once deemed 'extreme', is now considered a less risky activity. Thus, it does not affect your rate.
Because life insurance coverage for extreme sports has a few nuances, working directly with a licensed insurance agent or reputable online provider will help you uncover the best rates.
Depending on the insurance carrier and your high-risk activity of choice, you will likely be charged an additional cost. Insurance companies call this a "flat extra fee" or a "rate plus flag". It's added to the standard premium of your chosen policy type.
Now, let's talk about the good news. Even with the extra fees, whatever coverage you choose is most likely less expensive than the cost of your gear.
Don't believe me? Here’s a fun chart to look at as you ponder the thought, “Is the thrill worth the bill?” Here, personal finance company, NerdWallet compares the costs of gear and expenses to the median monthly life insurance rates for sports enthusiasts for a 20-year, $1 million policy.
TIPS TO INSURE YOUR SAFETY
If one of your adventurous pursuits is scuba diving, you will appreciate the analogy below. If you’re not a diver, chances are you embrace a similar system with your chosen sport.
In the open water course, divers learn to use the buddy system for safe diving. You stay close to your dive partner and are constantly aware of him/her. Why is the buddy system important and how does this relate to you?
Well, your extreme sport likely involves similar complexities and similar attention to detail.
The point being, engagement in extreme sports has its ups and down. To keep you on the up-side, take your sport seriously with these common-sense tips:
- Take safety-training and certification courses. Training from a credible company may reduce your life insurance rate.
- Purchase highly-rated safety equipment and tell your insurer. Doing so may help lower your insurance premium.
- Ask your insurer if you can work out a deal where you're covered for any fatal event except your extreme sport. Then you won't have to pay the surcharge.
- Many of your adventures likely require travel to your destination, accommodations and food and beverage costs. Research plans or memberships that provide travel services and discounts, including:
- Cancelled trip benefit
- Interrupted trip benefit
- Delayed trip benefit
- Baggage loss or damage benefit
- Emergency travel benefit
- Baggage delay benefit
- Automobile benefits
- Recreation discounts
- Dining discounts
- Hotel discounts
- Full service travel agency services
If services of this nature are of interest to you, consider checking out our Traveler's Edge Savings Plan.
BE SAFE, NOT SORRY
Life is a thrill and you live life on the edge. Living on the edge is certainly a blast but make sure you have a plan in place to protect against a major OOPS. While not all insurers will insure sports and hobbies deemed RISKY, wouldn’t you rather be safe than sorry and find out if your favorite extreme sport is covered under life insurance?