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The best life insurance for skydivers in 2020

Being a skydiver can increase your premiums significantly, and you may need additional policies to get all the coverage you need.

Amanda Shih author photo

Amanda Shih

Published September 25, 2020

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • You will pay more for life insurance if you skydive regularly, since your risk of dying is higher than a non-skydiver

  • You may save more money by buying separate accidental death insurance to supplement a term life policy with a skydiving exclusion

  • Lying about any risky hobbies could result in a canceled policy or reduced death benefit

When you apply for life insurance, your policy premium is determined by your age, medical history and health, and whether you put yourself in danger for work or leisure. Essentially, the more likely you are to die, the more expensive your life insurance premiums will be.

Being a skydiver can increase your premiums by hundreds or thousands of dollars, depending on how often you jump. In order to afford life insurance, many skydivers purchase a policy that explicitly excludes skydiving from the causes of death for which the insurer will pay out and use an accidental death and dismemberment policy to cover their skydiving risk. Depending on your needs and budget, you may also be able to find a life insurance policy specific to skydivers.

However, if you lie about your hobby to get a lower life insurance premium, it could invalidate your coverage when you die, leaving your beneficiaries with little or no financial support.

IN THIS ARTICLE

The best life insurance companies for skydivers

Every insurer weighs risk differently. We evaluated the underwriting guidelines for the companies below and labeled them Excellent if skydivers could be eligible for their best insurance classification without additional requirements or fees, Good if skydivers are eligible for the best classification with exclusions or fees, and Fair if skydivers are only eligible for less favorable classifications and may face exclusions or fees.

CompanyRating
Pacific LifeExcellent
PrincipalExcellent
BannerGood
Mutual of OmahaGood
PrudentialGood
AIGFair
LincolnFair
ProtectiveFair
SBLIFair
TransamericaFair
BrighthouseN/A

Based on underwriting guides provided to Policygenius in 2020; N/A = coverage not available.

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How skydiving affects your life insurance coverage

When you apply for a life insurance policy you’ll answer a series of questions, including whether you have any high-risk hobbies. While life insurance providers consider skydiving risky no matter how experienced you are, they’ll handle each skydiver’s coverage differently. Most of the time, you can get life insurance without any restrictions on your hobbies, but you’ll have to pay more for coverage than someone who doesn’t partake in risky extracurriculars.

Higher premiums

Most insurers will give skydivers a lower insurance classification than a non-skydiver of similar health and age, which translates to higher premiums. In many cases, you’ll pay the higher premiums that come with a lower classification, plus an additional premium called a flat extra fee.

Flat extras are usually between $2 and $5 per $1,000 of coverage, though they can reach as high as $10. The more often you jump, the higher your flat extra fees will be, because insurers are evaluating you based on how frequently you put yourself at risk rather than your level of experience. If you’re a skydiver and you have a term life insurance policy for $1,000,000, you could pay as much as $10,000 per year in flat extra fees.

Some insurers may offer (or require) a policy with a skydiving exclusion, meaning that if you die from parachuting out of a moving aircraft, the insurer isn’t obligated to pay the death benefit. An exclusion will lower your premiums, but it leaves your loved ones without financial protection if your parachute fails to deploy.

Denial of coverage

Depending on the provider, if you go skydiving too much, you may not be eligible for coverage at all. In addition to asking you about the number of jumps you perform per year, the underwriter could also ask if you belong to a skydiving club, which substantially increases the likelihood that you’ll skydive more often than others.

Going for too many dives per year or belonging to a skydiving club could cause your life insurance application to get denied. In that case, you may have to reapply with a new insurer, buy a policy with a skydiving exclusion, or buy a specialized life insurance policy for skydivers.

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How to customize your life insurance for skydiving

There are ways to make your policy work for you as an extreme sports hobbyist. Some companies have offerings tailored to daredevils, and combining different types of insurance could actually save you some money.

Specialized life insurance for skydivers

Smaller, independent insurers may offer life insurance explicitly for skydivers. You’ll have to shop around, and be sure to look through the policy before you sign. Skydiver insurance is specifically for when you die during the jump, and won’t cover you outside of that. Also called third-party insurance, skydiving insurance covers not only accidental death but also disability and personal liability. However, coverage amounts may be much lower than those of traditional life insurance.

If you plan to jump while traveling, you may be able to purchase travel insurance that has a clause for skydiving. Travel insurance protects you from the financial risk you incur while on a trip, and some policies are tailored for risky activities. Make sure your travel insurance doesn’t have an exclusion for skydiving.

Accidental death benefit rider and accidental death insurance

The accidental death benefit rider is additional coverage you can purchase for your life insurance policy that pays out a higher death benefit if you die because of an accident. Accidental death insurance, which is also called accidental death and dismemberment insurance, is a separate life insurance product that pays out if you die in an accident or if you get seriously injured in one, similar to disability insurance. Accidental death insurance is typically less comprehensive than traditional life insurance — accidental death doesn’t cover you if you die from cancer or a drug overdose, for example — which means it can be more affordable than traditional term life insurance.

Both accidental death benefit riders and accidental death insurance frequently include exclusions for skydiving, even though the policy may not use the word “skydiving.” The exact verbiage used may vary, but under the exclusions section you may see something like “parachuting”, “flying”, “general aviation”, “aeronautic activity”, or “exiting from a motorized or nonmotorized aircraft while such aircraft is in flight.”

However, you may be able to purchase accidental death insurance and pay extra to remove the exclusion for skydiving. You can combine that coverage with a separate term life policy that has an exclusion for skydiving. Typically, this combination is more affordable than buying a term life policy and paying increased premium rates to account for your hobby.

Should you hide your skydiving from the insurance company?

Be as honest as possible about every part of the life insurance application, even if that means you’ll have a more expensive policy. If you intentionally withhold information about your risky hobbies, then you might jeopardize your policy and leave your beneficiaries vulnerable.

This happens in one of two ways:

  • You’re within the first two years of the policy. Every life insurance policy comes with a contestability period, meaning that in the first two years, the life insurance company can investigate any death claim for evidence of fraud. If you’re found to have lied about your skydiving habits, the provider will cancel the policy and your beneficiaries receive no payout.

  • You’ve had the policy for more than two years. Although the contestability period is over, the life insurance company could still investigate if you die while skydiving. If they find you lied about your skydiving habits, at best they will recalculate the amount of premiums you would’ve been paying had you not misrepresented your hobby, and subtract that amount from the death benefit owed to your beneficiaries. At worst, they’ll cancel your policy and keep the death benefit.

Purchase life insurance before you become a skydiver

If you have never been skydiving before, but you’re curious to try it one day, buy your life insurance policy now. Make sure your policy has a guaranteed renewable provision, which means that the insurer can’t modify your coverage or increase your premiums as long as your policy doesn’t lapse.

Since you’re not yet a skydiver, the insurance company can’t factor skydiving into your premiums when it underwrites your policy. If you’re otherwise low-risk and healthy, you’ll lock in lower pricing for the life of the policy. If you’re already a skydiver you should expect to pay a little more for life insurance, but an independent agent or broker can help you find the right insurer and combination of insurance products.

The best life insurance for skydivers FAQ

Is skydiving covered by life insurance?

Most life insurers sell you a policy if you skydive, just at a higher cost than someone who doesn’t have any risky hobbies. If you skydive frequently, you may be denied coverage by some insurers, but others will offer you a policy that simply excludes any skydiving-related death.

Does skydiving increase life insurance costs?

In most cases, skydiving will increase the amount you pay for life insurance, since it also increases the risk of insuring you. Many providers add a flat extra premium to your policy based on their underwriting guidelines and how often you jump, usually between $2 and $5 per $1,000 of coverage you buy.

How can I find affordable life insurance if I skydive?

You may find it’s more affordable to accept a term life insurance policy that excludes a skydiving-related death and buy accidental death insurance rather than paying for a policy with a flat extra premium. An insurance agent or broker can help you review your options.

If you’re not a skydiver now but want to try it in the future, lock in an affordable policy well before you take the leap — your premiums won’t usually go up due to life or health changes once your policy is active. But remember that if you die while skydiving your insurer could investigate and reduce the death benefit if they find you misrepresented your level of interest in taking up the hobby.

About the author

Insurance Expert

Amanda Shih

Insurance Expert

Amanda Shih is an insurance editor at Policygenius in New York City. Previously, she worked in nonfiction book publishing and freelance content marketing. Amanda has a B.A. in literature and communication from New York University.

Policygenius’ editorial content is not written by an insurance agent. It’s intended for informational purposes and should not be considered legal or financial advice. Consult a professional to learn what financial products are right for you.

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