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Life Insurance Basics

Could extreme sports jeopardize your eligibility for life insurance?

The truth is some sports could increase your likelihood to get a higher rate or to be declined for life insurance. Read on for details.

Many different lifestyle factors are taken into consideration when your life insurance application is reviewed. If you smoke, or you've experienced a series of heart attacks, you'll probably pay higher premiums. Life insurance companies deal in risk, and not just the type of risk that shows up during a medical exam. If one of your favorite hobbies is base jumping or deep sea scuba diving, for example, that could be a factor in your rates and even your eligibility for coverage.

Regularly participating in extreme sports increases your likelihood of disability or untimely death. The fact is, the odds that a life insurance company may have to pay out on a policy sooner rather than later can be much higher for a person engaging in these activities. That means that you'll very likely pay more for your life insurance policy. Some life insurance companies might politely decline your business altogether if you enjoy particularly “hazardous avocations”, while others may only offer you life insurance that excludes coverage in the event that you die while participating in your extreme sport of choice.

You may pay higher life insurance premiums if you enjoy extreme sports such as:

  • Climbing
  • Auto racing
  • Base jumping
  • Scuba diving
  • Operating small aircraft
  • Skydiving
  • Bungee jumping
  • Heli-skiing
  • Luging
  • Ice climbing
  • Cliff diving
  • Big wave surfing

If you are an extreme sports enthusiast, it's in your best interest to be open with your life insurance provider. If you fail to disclose a particularly dangerous hobby, and then perish while pursuing said hobby, your insurer could deny your claim. This is more likely to happen if the death occurs during your two-year “contestability period”.

You might be able to help curb the high life insurance rates associated with extreme sports by enrolling in professional training courses and staying up to date with your safety certifications. If you become less active in extreme sports because of an injury or lifestyle change, you should notify your insurer, as your rates may be adjusted.

Some insurance companies are more flexible than others when it comes to extreme sports, and there are a few that even cater specifically to extreme sports enthusiasts. If you're shopping for life or disability insurance, you'll want to get quotes from several insurance providers before settling on a policy. You'll also want to ask specific questions about how your extreme sports activity affects your policy, so you know about any exclusions up front.

Explore some of our resources if you're not sure how much life insurance you need, or if you'd like to learn more about protecting your future with life insurance and annuities.




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All Learning Center articles are general summaries that can be used when considering your financial future at various life stages. The information presented is for educational purposes and is meant to supplement other information specific to your situation. It is not intended as investment advice and does not necessarily represent the opinion of Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

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