Involved in extreme sports? Here’s something to consider

Base jumping. Heli-Skiing.

If these words make your heart race, you’re not alone. The interest in extreme sports and extreme fitness events both nationally and internationally has skyrocketed in the past ten to fifteen years.

Take for example Tough Mudder, the popular “warrior” style obstacle course. In 2010, the organization hosted just three events in Pennsylvania, California and New Jersey. In 2018 alone, the group hosted over 150 events in the United States, as well as multiple events in Asia, the middle east and Europe. Experts point to a crossroads between three factors increasing popularity of such events: the popularity of cross-fit training, the increase in competitive reality shows with physical challenges, and the increase in interest in extreme sports themselves.

Despite their fatality rates, interest in extreme sports continues to grow more popular all the time. Wingsuit jumping, which hurls humans through the air at speeds exceeding 100 mph, now offers “tandem” rides with experts, despite startlingly high death rates in the sport​.

The number of people choosing to climb Everest has also skyrocketed since the 1990s, when a series of books about the topic were published. And Everest deaths increase each year.

'Carnage' As Wingsuit BASE Jumping Death Spree Reaches 20

‘Carnage’ As Wingsuit BASE Jumping Death Spree Reaches 20

How will your avocation(s) affect your insurability?

But when it comes to thinking about life insurance, it probably comes as no surprise extreme sporting doesn’t play in your favor. Extreme sports increase your chances of death, and insurance underwriting takes into consideration all health risks. Regular participation in any high-risk sport will likely increase your premiums. It may also make it harder to get coverage altogether.

The frequency and degree of the sport in which you partake also matters. For example, according to Jack Dewald, chairman of the not for profit organization Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education, scuba diving in depths greater than 200 feet put you in a position to be declined entirely. Less risky sports such as flying ultra-light aircraft may only raise your rates a few dollars a month.

While that may make it tempting to not disclose such sports when you discuss coverage with your life insurance provider, failure to disclose such hobbies and perishing while pursuing one could cause your provider to deny your beneficiary’s claim.

High risk extreme sports include but are not limited to:

  • Skydiving/BASE jumping
  • Rock and Ice Climbing
  • Wingsuit jumping
  • Heli-skiing
  • Racing cars, motorcycles or boats
  • Scuba diving
  • Cliff diving

Scuba Diver with Turtle

Scuba Diver with Turtle

Are there options for daredevils?

Some insurance companies are more flexible than others when it comes to providing insurance for those involved in extreme sports, and some even cater to those who are involved in extreme sports. That all being said, it may be possible to curb rates by staying current with all safety certifications, enrolling in training courses, and genuinely limiting how frequently you engage in a sport. Make sure to tell your insurer also if you purchase highly rated safety equipment as this can assist in lowering your premiums.

And the good news is once you’ve obtained a policy with fixed premiums, prior to renewal time, your provider cannot raise your rates. They can also not cancel your policy after a contestability period, which is typically 2 years. Additionally, if you start an extreme sport after obtaining life insurance, your policy cannot be cancelled.

Finally, its worth asking your insurer about a policy that excludes coverage for your extreme sport. Some providers will allow for lower-priced coverage that excludes your chosen sport.

How do I get started?

You can either click the Get Quotes button below and complete a quick form or send me an email to start the conversation. During a free consult, I’ll gather information about your health and lifestyle. We’ll also discuss your avocation(s), including the specifics of your outings, any training and certifications you carry.

That allows me to pre-qualify you so that I can look at your options. That means carriers that will look at your application in the most favorable light. You’re unique level of risk will be considered differently against each insurance company’s underwriting guidelines. You’ll improve your odds of approval by applying with the company who’s the best fit for your unique situation.

My ultimate goal as an independent life insurance broker is to help my clients obtain the right coverage. Not only at the best price available, but with the appropriate insurance company for their situation and level of risk. I will never suggest that you apply for the cheapest option if I believe that for one reason or another you will not qualify for that specific insurance policy.

Life insurance is by no means a one size fits all purchase. Reach out today and let’s discuss your options!

-Danny Gallant, Life Insurance Broker | 512-922-1273