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Work As a Logger, Long-haul Trucker, or Miner? When Applying for Life Insurance, You May Be Categorized As High Risk

By Rob Sabo on April 19th, 2010

Life Insurance

High-risk jobs carry a price when it comes to life insurance policies. Dangerous occupations represent much greater risk for insurance companies, and you are likely to pay for that risk with a higher insurance premium. Despite higher rates, it's still possible to buy life insurance if you work in a hazardous profession.

Most Dangerous Occupations

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) ranks dangerous jobs in two ways: fatality frequency count and fatality rate.

Fatality Frequency Count

Fatality frequency count looks at the total number of worker deaths in a given occupation. Truck drivers involved in highway deaths rate among the highest in this category.

Fatality Rate

Fatality rate divides the number of job-related fatalities for a group of workers (in a set time frame) by the average number of workers in that occupation. Using this method, trucker deaths fall behind other high-risk occupations.

Some of the most dangerous jobs include:

  • Fishermen
  • Construction workers
  • Miners
  • Truckers
  • Pilots
  • Underwater welders
  • Loggers
  • Electrical linemen
  • Farm workers

The BLS reports that motor vehicle operators recorded 908 deaths in 2008, and construction trades recorded 720 deaths the same year. The New York--Northern New Jersey--Long Island, NY--NJ--CT--PA metropolitan statistical area had the most work-related deaths in 2008 with 201 fatalities.

Buying Term Life Insurance for High Risk Occupations

When applying for life insurance, underwriters assess a number of factors in order to issue risk classification, including:

  • Your health and medical history
  • Family history
  • Hobbies
  • Driving record
  • Occupation

These factors determine if you pose a high risk to the insurance company. Because occupations such as mining, logging, deep-sea fishing, and other treacherous jobs pose greater potential for a claim to be filed than a typical office job, underwriters classify people in these occupations as high risk. If you are classified as a high risk applicant, it's possible to get life insurance coverage but it may be more costly.

By nature, high risk life insurance policies tend to be whole life in design. With a whole life insurance policy the policyholder pays an increased insurance premium to the carrier. The surplus insurance premium is used to generates funds through investments to mitigate the insurer's risk.

How to Save on High Risk Life Insurance

When comparing life insurance quotes, make sure the company you are choosing has an A or A+ rating, and inquire about the kind of mortality table the carrier is using to determine your rate. Some companies use outdated statistical data. Companies using the latest statistical information use a clinical medical underwriting method, which takes into consideration advances in medicine and lifestyle choices.

Another factor that could influence your term life insurance premium is standard in the insurance industry--a good credit score. A clean credit record indicates responsibility and could help you get lower premiums.

There are several companies that specialize in high risk life insurance. This policy certainly isn't the cheapest, but for many it may be the only option for life insurance coverage.

Source :
Fatal occupational injuries by occupation and event or exposure, All United States, 2008 • Aug 20, 2009 • • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics http://www.bls.gov/iif/oshwc/cfoi/cftb0236.pdf
Fatal occupational injuries by metropolitan area, 2008 • Aug 20, 2009 • • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics http://www.bls.gov/iif/oshwc/cfoi/cfoi_msa_2008.pdf

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