Why professional athletes & runners need life insurance
Professional athletes tend to contribute significantly to the financial stability of their households. If you die, your family could suffer financially. But getting a life insurance policy can help you protect your income and anyone who depends on you.
Professional athletes have multiple reasons to consider life insurance.
Professional athletes often contribute to the stability of their households through their income. If you die, life insurance can help replace your salary, easing or eliminating the financial burden on your family.
Many working professionals carry debt, whether through a mortgage, car loans, or other personal loans. Life insurance can help your beneficiaries pay back any debts you have if you pass away.
Employer insurance coverage
If you work full-time, your employer may offer some life insurance as part of your benefits package — but the coverage is typically only one to two times your annual salary. A private policy can supplement any group coverage you have and provide your loved ones with the financial safety net they need.
If you work as an independent contractor, it’s unlikely that you’d have any life insurance coverage through work, and you should consider getting an independent life insurance policy.
Being an athlete may or may not affect your eligibility for life insurance, but your occupation will certainly impact how much life insurance you need and how long your coverage should last.
Working with a licensed agent through Policygenius is the best way to determine the amount of life insurance coverage that you need and get connected to the insurer that will be best for you. At Policygenius, our experts are licensed in all 50 states and can walk you through the entire life insurance buying process while offering transparent and unbiased advice.
→ Learn more about how your job affects your life insurance rates
Best life insurance companies for professional athletes
There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing which life insurance company to apply with, including price, how easy it is to apply, how long the underwriting process is, and the maximum coverage you can apply for.
We used industry data, pricing from Policygenius carrier partners, and third-party ratings like A.M. Best and J.D. Power to pick the best insurers on the market. Our independent recommendations will help you get life insurance coverage with confidence.
A licensed agent at Policygenius can help you with these considerations and find the best insurer for you.
Best term life insurance: Banner Life
Best whole life insurance: MassMutual
Most affordable life insurance: Banner Life
Best instant decision life insurance: Brighthouse Financial
Best final expense life insurance: Mutual of Omaha
Methodology: How we chose the best life insurance companies for professional athletes of 2023
We don’t get paid for our company reviews and use an extensive rubric of criteria covering policy details, price, financial confidence, third-party ratings, and customer experience to assign unbiased ratings out of five stars. Any recommendations we make are based on internal and external expert opinions and data from our Policygenius Price Index, which uses real-time rate data from leading life insurance companies to determine pricing trends.
Our ratings and reviews can help point you to an insurer you can rely on for your family’s financial protection, but the best life insurance company for you is dependent on multiple factors. A licensed agent at Policygenius can work with you through the application process so you’re getting coverage from the best insurer for your circumstances at the most competitive price.
Best term life insurance for professional athletes
Banner life insurance is consistently competitively priced and allows you to apply without taking the medical exam. And you can usually still qualify for best rates with Banner, even if you have one or two well-managed health conditions.
With Banner, many people are able to apply for term life insurance and receive an offer of insurance coverage in one phone call. This is a great option for people who want to get a policy in place quickly at a good price.
Best whole life insurance for professional athletes
2023 Policygenius award winner
All 50 states
Why we chose it
MassMutual’s whole life insurance plan provides a lifetime coverage option that builds cash value with the potential to earn dividends.
Pros and cons
Strong financial stability ratings
Higher potential for dividends for whole life policyholders than many competitors
Good customer experience ratings
High term life premiums
Term life not available through Policygenius
MassMutual’s whole life insurance policies offer lower premiums and higher dividends than other insurers. The company also maintains consistently high scores for financial stability and customer satisfaction.
Most affordable life insurance for professional athletes
Why we chose it
Banner Life has some of the most competitive premiums on the market — especially if you only have one or two minor and well-controlled health conditions. It also offers cheap rates for several pre-existing conditions, including asthma and sleep apnea.
Best instant decision life insurance for professional athletes
2023 Policygenius award winner
Why we chose it
Brighthouse Financial offers competitive rates, comprehensive coverage, and application decisions in as little as 24 hours, making it a great choice for people who want to get life insurance coverage without having to take the medical exam.
Pros and cons
Best-in-class no-med option
Traditional term life not available in CA, IL, LA, ME, or NY
Term life applicants limited to ages 25-50
If you’re eligible for instant decision life insurance, Brighthouse Financial may approve your application and put your policy in force on the same phone call.
Best final expense life insurance for professional athletes
Mutual of Omaha
Why we chose it
Mutual of Omaha is a reputable company that offers a variety of life insurance products — including a no-medical-exam option — so that you can select the type of life insurance that best suits your needs.
Pros and cons
No-medical-exam options for older applicants
Strong financial and customer ratings
Policies are more expensive than average
Slow turnaround time
Mutual of Omaha offers the most competitive rates when it comes to final expense insurance. For most people, approval is guaranteed and coverage lasts for life.
Best types of life insurance for professional athletes
Two of the most common types of life insurance are term life insurance and permanent life insurance. For most working professionals, including athletes and runners, term life insurance will be the best option to cover your financial obligations.
If term life isn’t a good fit for you, whole life and final expense life insurance are two types of permanent life insurance you should consider.
Term life insurance
Term life insurance is almost always the most affordable type of insurance available, and the most practical type of insurance for protecting your income. The policy only lasts for a set term and comes with few rules and tax restrictions.
Term life is also the best option for most people looking to provide their family with a financial safety net to cover any debts. This includes a mortgage or any other types of personal loans your family will be left with if you die.
Most people get term life insurance long enough to cover them through retirement age. This will ensure that your beneficiaries will receive the financial support they need if your income is lost.
Whole life insurance
Aside from replacing your income, you may also have long-term financial obligations or coverage needs, like dependents who require lifelong care. In that case, whole life insurance might be a good fit.
Whole life never expires and comes with a cash value that earns interest in addition to the death benefit payout — but it’s also five to 15 times more expensive than term. Talk with a licensed agent or financial advisor to decide if whole life insurance works for you.
Final expense life insurance
If you’re not eligible for standard coverage but need help to cover your end-of-life costs, like a funeral, final expense life insurance will be your best option.
Final expense is a type of permanent insurance that usually offers death benefit amounts between $10,000 and $40,000. You need to be at least 45 years old to apply for final expense insurance.
Permanent life insurance policies like whole life or final expense insurance are appealing because they last for the rest of your life. However, on average, permanent life insurance policies cost about five to 15 times more than a term life insurance policy with the same face value would.
How much does life insurance cost for professional athletes?
A 35-year-old professional athlete with one or two minor, well-managed health conditions can expect to pay about $28 per month for a 20-term life policy with a $500,000 death benefit payout.
The premiums you pay ultimately depend on several factors, including your gender, age, and health. If you have limited or well-maintained health issues, you’ll likely be able to get the coverage you need at an affordable rate.
It’s recommended that you get about 10 to 12 times your annual income in coverage and a term that will take you through retirement age.
Term life insurance rates for professional athletes
The rates below offer an estimate for what a professional athlete can expect to pay for a 20-year term life insurance policy with a $500,000 death benefit payout.
$500,000 coverage amount
Whole life insurance rates for professional athletes
The following is an estimate for what a professional athlete can expect to pay for a whole life insurance policy with a $500,000 death benefit payout.
$500,000 coverage amount
Final expense life insurance rates for professional athletes
The following is an estimate for what a professional athlete can expect to pay for a $25,000 final expense life insurance policy.
$25,000 coverage amount
→ Learn more about life insurance rates
When should professional athletes purchase life insurance?
If you’re a professional athlete, you should get life insurance as soon as possible. The younger you are when you apply, the cheaper your life insurance rates will be. Later on, if you need more coverage, you can always ladder a supplemental policy.
The total amount of coverage you’re able to apply for is usually based on your income. You should aim to get coverage that is equal to about 10 to 12 times your current annual income.
A licensed agent can help you determine how much coverage you need and make sure you’re getting a policy that will protect your family financially within the means of your current budget.
→ Learn more about the life insurance ladder strategy
Benefits of life insurance for professional athletes
The main benefit of life insurance is to protect your income. Income protection is key for anyone who has dependents or makes a significant financial contribution to their household, like many professional athletes do.
Getting the right amount of life insurance will allow your family to replace your income, make sure your debts are paid off, and receive the financial support they will need even if you die unexpectedly.
Health considerations for professional athletes
Insurance companies don’t consider all professional athletic activities the same. While most athletes won’t have their insurance rates impacted just because of their occupation, they sometimes have unique features in their health profiles that insurance companies will care about.
If you’re a runner or endurance athlete, your medical exam may indicate high liver enzymes. This is a natural consequence of endurance sports, but it could also cause the insurance company to offer you a more expensive rate for your policy.
If you’re an endurance athlete and need to take a medical exam for life insurance, try to take the exam long after a race or during a period of lighter training.
Some sports, like weight lifting, require a high level of muscle mass. Many athletes in these sports have a height-to-weight ratio that could increase their rates — and insurance companies will evaluate your BMI as one of many metrics to evaluate your health.
Because insurers use different guidelines to evaluate the impact of your height-to-weight ratio, it’s important to be honest and accurate with your sales agent so you apply with the company that will offer you the most competitive rate based on your health profile.
Some sports are just riskier than others in the eyes of many insurance companies. If you’re an MMA fighter, the insurance companies will consider you a higher risk than someone who golfs professionally.
When you’re applying, insurers may ask a lot of questions about the physical demands of your profession. It’s important to be as forthcoming as possible so you can get the best rate available for the insurance policy you need.
Lifestyle considerations for professional athletes
In addition to athletic competitions, there are related activities that athletes may engage in that could affect your life insurance options.
If you travel for work to some countries outside of the U.S., your eligibility for life insurance could be impacted.
It’s also common for athletes or former athletes to take some medications due to injury or strain. Make sure that you disclose any medications or medical treatments you’ve had during your application interview.
When you apply, be thorough with the agent you’re working with to make sure they consider any unique elements of your job so they can make sure you’re applying with the right company.
Life insurance for other occupations
Frequently asked questions
Should professional athletes and runners get life insurance?
For most athletes and runners, life insurance is crucial to their financial planning. If you earn an income, have large debts or any dependents, you should get life insurance. Term life insurance is the best option for most people.
Do professional athletes and runners have life insurance?
Depending on your employment compensation package, you may receive a small amount of life insurance coverage through your work. However, it’s usually a much lower amount than what financial advisors recommend, it’s not a guaranteed benefit, and you lose coverage when you leave that employer.
How much life insurance should a professional athlete get?
A professional athlete should get a life insurance policy equal to about 10 to 12 times their annual income.