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Hazardous Hobbies: How They Affect Your Life Insurance Premiums

By Rob Sabo on February 11th, 2010

If you are regularly in pursuit of an adrenaline rush, you may pay for your penchant for thrill seeking when it comes to taking out a life insurance policy. Certain hazardous hobbies and activities represent a much greater risk of payout to life insurance companies, and when seeking life insurance quotes you may pay for that increased risk through higher life insurance premiums.

Someone who deep-sea dives or pilots a personal aircraft regularly places his or her life in much greater danger than those who pursues less risky hobbies. When buying life insurance, expect to answer detailed questions about your activity choices.

Hobbies Considered Risky by Life Insurance Companies

Some of the activities labeled as high-risk by life insurers include:

  • Aviation
  • Climbing or mountaineering
  • Diving
  • Motor sports
  • Sky diving

Hobbies that may attract greater scrutiny from insurers include:

  • Big-wave surfing
  • Bungee jumping/BASE jumping
  • Caving or spelunking
  • Hang gliding
  • Skiing/snowboarding
  • White water rafting or kayaking

Regardless of your overall health, your hobbies may place you in a higher risk class and can eliminate you from the best insurance rates. Some companies may exclude you from coverage altogether, preferring to avoid the risk you represent.

Dangerous Hobbies--What Your Insurer Wants to Know

Your life insurance provider is going to want a thorough explanation and detailed assessment of how often and to what degree you partake in a hazardous hobby.

For pilots, insurance providers want to know:

  • How many hours did you fly in the past year?
  • How many hours do you expect to fly in the coming 12 months?
  • What type of aircraft do you pilot, and where do you fly it?
  • Do you participate in high-risk flying, such as stunt flying for airshows?

For mountaineering, you may be expected to answer the following questions:

  • How long have you been climbing?
  • How many climbs do you make annually?
  • What heights do you ascend?
  • What type of terrain do you climb, ice or rock?

Motor sports enthusiasts can expect to answer:

  • How many races do you compete in during a calendar year?
  • What type of racing do you compete in--cars or motorcycles?
  • Which class/level do you compete in?

Divers can expect to answer similar questions--how many dives and to what depths? Sky divers should expect to answer questions about how many jumps, and total jumps they have made.

Answer Honestly to Avoid a Dispute With Your Insurance Claim

In event of a accident-related claim or premature death related to a dangerous hobby, your insurance company is more than likely to investigate before making a payout. You don't want your coverage disputed or denied, especially in your family's time of need, because you failed to disclose your love of a dangerous hobby.

How Your Hobby Hits Your Pocketbook

Qualifying for the best insurance rates requires more than just good health. Your passion for a hazardous hobby most likely eliminates you from "preferred" or "preferred plus" categories, and as a result your insurance premium could cost you double the expenditure over the life of the policy.

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