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Life insurance for skydivers

Being a skydiver can increase your premiums by thousands of dollars per year, and that’s if your insurance company will cover you at all.

If you have life insurance, your loved ones will be paid a sum of money when you die. You purchase life insurance coverage by paying premiums to keep your policy in force. Your premiums are 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.

For that reason, life insurance for skydivers can be particularly expensive. Being a skydiver can increase your premiums by thousands of dollars per year, and that’s if your insurance company will cover you at all. In order to afford life insurance, many skydivers purchase a policy that explicitly excludes death from skydiving as a valid cause of death for the purposes of paying out benefits. Depending on your coverage needs and budget, you may be able to find a life insurance policy specific to skydivers.

However, if you try to lie about your risky hobby to get a lower life insurance rate, it could invalidate your coverage when you die, leaving your beneficiaries with little or nothing.

Read on to learn more about life insurance for skydivers:

How skydiving affects your life insurance coverage

When you apply for a life insurance policy, you’ll have to tell the carrier that you skydive. While life insurance carriers consider skydiving a risky activity 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 money for coverage than someone who doesn’t partake in risky extracurriculars.

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Higher rates

Someone who has life insurance more or less pays the same rate as anyone in their age group who has a similar medical history. Skydivers also pay this base rate, plus an additional premium called a flat extra fee. Every carrier charges different flat extras, which are usually between $2 and $5 per $1,000 of coverage. If you’re a skydiver and you have a term life insurance policy for $1,000,000, you’ll have to pay as much as $5,000 per year in flat extra fees.

These costs are added regardless of the type of risky activities you engage; human cannonballs and deep-sea divers may also be charged similar flat extra fees. But the more often you jump, the higher your flat extra fees will be, because carriers aren’t looking for experience so much as statistical correlation.

If you find that your rates are too high, you may be able to purchase a policy with a skydiving exclusion, meaning that if you die from parachuting out of a moving aircraft, the carrier isn’t obligated to pay the death benefit. But while an exclusion will lower your premiums, it could leave your loved ones without financial protection in the unfortunate event that your parachute fails to deploy.

Policygenius can help you find a life insurance policy that fits in with your lifestyle but doesn’t break the bank. Talk to one of our representatives about how the major insurers handle skydiving if you’re concerned about affordability.

Denial of coverage

There may even be a limit to the amount of times you can go out for a dive each year and still qualify for life insurance. Depending on the carrier, if you go skydiving too much, you may not be eligible for coverage at all. In addition to asking you about the numbers of jumps you perform per year, carriers will also check 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, leaving you without coverage. In that case, you may have no choice but to buy a policy with the skydiving exclusion, or to buy a specialized life insurance policy for skydivers.

Cancelation

This is different from getting denied coverage in the first place. Denial may happen when you tell the insurer that you’re a frequent skydiver; cancelation of your policy may happen when you don’t tell them, and then die while your policy is in force.

This happens in one of two ways:

  • You’re within the first two years of the policy. Every life insurance policy comes with an incontestability clause, meaning that after the first two years, the life insurance company can’t contest any claim unless it suspects fraud. If you die in a skydiving accident during contestability period, the life insurance company will almost certainly investigate. If you’re found to have lied about your skydiving habits, the carrier will cancel the policy and refund only the premiums you paid to your beneficiaries.

  • You’ve had the policy for more than two years. Although the contestability period is over, the life insurance company will likely still investigate if you die because of skydiving. If you lied about your skydiving habits, the carrier will recalculate the amount of premiums you would’ve been paying had you not misrepresented yourself, and subtract this amount from the death benefit owed to your beneficiaries.

Specialized life insurance for skydivers

You have a couple of different options if you’re a skydiver looking to get life insurance coverage.

Smaller, independent insurers may offer a life insurance policy explicitly for skydivers. You’ll have to shop around for rates, but be sure to look at 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.

You may also be able to purchase travel insurance that has a clause for skydiving. Travel insurance protects you from financial risk you incur while traveling, and some travel insurance 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 respective policy may not use the word “skydiving.” While the exact verbiage used may vary, it should say, under the exclusions section, something like “parachuting”, “flying”, “general aviation”, “aeronautic activity”, or “exiting from a motorized or nonmotorized aircraft while such aircraft is in flight.”

However, many skydivers purchase accidental-death insurance and pay extra to remove the exclusion for skydiving. Then, they 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.

Purchasing 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 you purchase a guaranteed-renewable policy, which means that the carrier can’t modify your coverage or increase your rates as long as you keep paying your premiums on time.

Since you’re not yet a skydiver, the insurance company can’t factor skydiving into your rates when it underwrites your policy. That means your rates are not only low – especially if you’re young and healthy – but also locked in for as long as you have coverage.

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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