This guide will briefly explain which occupations are typically considered to be high-risk. It will also explore how individuals who engage in these occupations can still find a life insurance policy that can effectively give them the protection they deserve.
If you are applying for a life insurance policy, there are many different variables that the insurance provider (known as the “underwriter”) is going to want to consider. Generally speaking, anything that statistically increases the likelihood of an early death will consequently increase the likelihood that a life insurance policy will need to be paid sooner than expected. This means that, even though you will be receiving the same level of benefits, there are certain activities that may increase the monthly cost of having a policy.
Variables such as your age, your current health, and your family medical history may all increase the cost of having a life insurance policy. But one variable that many applicants seem to frequently overlook is their current occupation. Though there are few—if any—occupations that will cause a life insurance company to automatically reject your application, there are many occupations that may have a financial impact.
Common High-Risk Occupations for Insurers
In general, an occupation will be considered to be “high risk” if the increased likelihood of death or disability is statistically significant. Typically, high-risk occupations are the ones that do not just occasionally expose employees to high-risk situations but actually do so on a regular basis.
Examples of High-Risk Jobs
• Construction workers, power-line repairmen, and roofers
• Aircraft pilots (commercial or private) and truck drivers
• Loggers, fishermen, and steelworkers
• Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural positions
The list of high-risk occupations that may be considered relevant will vary tremendously by each life insurance provider.
Also, read our post on high-risk life insurance – Finding the best rates
Compare Multiple Different Providers
Because there are not any universally applicable rules relating to how a given occupation will affect the cost of a life insurance policy, it is important for you to consider as many different policy providers as you feasibly can. Even if you end up using the first company that you looked at, you will at least be able to move forward knowing you can be confident in your decision.
Just as the impact of having a high-risk occupation will vary by life insurance provider, the impact of your age and health will vary by the provider as well. Other variables that may be important include having the license to engage in certain high-risk activities, the amount of experience you have doing these activities, and whether you have had a history of accidents in the past. If you are worried about the impact your job in the status quo will have on your monthly premiums, it is important to note that many life insurance providers are willing to adjust your rates downward in the future. This means that once you retire from a high-risk industry, your rates will be able to return to their normal levels.
Identify the Type of Life Insurance Policy that is Right for You
In addition to having many different life insurance providers to choose from, most life insurance carriers will also offer a wide variety of policy types. The differences between two given policy types can be quite large. When paid out over the course of a lifetime, saving a little bit of money each month can really make a difference.
In general, most life insurance policies can be categorized as “term” or “universal” life insurance policies.
• Term Life Insurance Policies offer coverage for a limited amount of time (the term), do not have a cash value, and can often be purchased for less than $10 per month (even if you have one or two risk factors)
• Universal Life Insurance Policies will cover you for your entire life, have a tangible cash value, and are also the most expensive. These are often the policies that will consider high-risk occupations most seriously.
• Guaranteed Life Insurance Policies are incredibly easy to qualify for and will usually not account for your current occupation
• Union or Industry-Specific Life Insurance Policies may be available depending on your specific industry. Before applying for a life insurance policy outside your place of employment, you may want to consider asking for any discounts available.
Overall, having exposure to risks that are related to your occupation will impact your ability to qualify for health insurance less than having risks related to your health. However, before making any final decisions, it is important to be aware of the impact your occupation may have. By taking the time to compare different policy providers, different policy types, and understand the underwriting process, you will be in a position to find the type of policy that is best for you.
We hope you found our article, “Life Insurance for High-Risk Occupations” informative and useful. If you have any questions, please give us a call at (800) 521-7873 or leave a comment below.