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Being a skydiver can increase your premiums significantly, and you may need additional policies to get all the coverage you need.
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When you apply for life insurance, your policy premium is determined by your age, medical history, 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.
Skydiving can increase your premiums by hundreds or thousands of dollars, depending on how often you jump. 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.
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
Every insurer weighs risk differently.
Policygenius recommends skydivers looking for life insurance policies start by comparing rates from two of our partner insurers — Pacific Life and Principal. Both companies offer Preferred rates for skydivers (without exclusion) if they show minimal risk.
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.
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, according to Policygenius quoting data in 2021.
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 insurance company 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.
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.
There are ways to make your policy work for you as an extreme sports hobbyist. Some companies have offerings tailored to daredevils, or it’s possible to combine different types of insurance to save some money.
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.
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 — it 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.
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No. 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 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.
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 more for life insurance, but an independent agent or broker can help you find the right insurer and combination of insurance products.
Most life insurers will 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.
Yes, 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.
You may find it’s more affordable to purchase 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.
Amanda Shih is a life insurance editor at Policygenius in New York City. She has a passion for making complex topics relatable and understandable, and has been writing about insurance since 2017 with specialities in life insurance cost and policy types. She's previously written for Jetty and LegalZoom.
Amanda has a B.A. in literature and communication from New York University.
Rebecca Shoenthal is a life insurance editor at Policygenius in New York City, specializing in buying life insurance and the ins and outs of life insurance ownership. She's edited business books by the country’s top academics, politicians, journalists, thought leaders and CEOs, including venture capitalist John Doerr’s Measure What Matters, entrepreneur Scott Belsky's The Messy Middle, NYU Stern professor Scott Galloway's The Four, and technologist John Maeda's How to Speak Machine.
Rebecca has a B.A. in Media and Journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.