If handled appropriately, with the right professional help and research, just about anyone can find a life insurance company that will insure them. Believe it, or not, it’s true; pre-existing conditions, dangerous hobbies, or even high-risk jobs—like diffusing bombs for a living—don’t necessarily result in being uninsurable.
What’s the catch? It will be expensive.
Who Defines a Job as “High Risk”?
For the most part, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does; based on the rate of accidents, and on-the-job injuries that result in fatalities, the bureau rates occupations accordingly and highlights ones that have a higher risk level.
For example—and you might not be aware of this—the most dangerous job in the United States, as determined by the USBLS, is a fisherman’s. This is due to the amount of deaths recorded as a direct result of the occupation.
Insurance companies define their “high risk jobs” by these statistics and also by their own experience insuring certain occupations previously; for example, if at one point they were insuring 1,000 offshore oil workers and, over a short period of time, two of them died in an on-the-job accident, an insurer will deem that job as hazardous by that ratio.
For an insurance company to still be able to insure individuals in these occupations, while ensuring that they won’t suffer too much is loses (their running a business too, after all, that must turn a profit to stay afloat), they will hike up their premiums to compensate for the higher likelihood of fatality. Depending on the company, this hike can be anywhere from an extra $2.50 per $1,000 of coverage and up.
Life Insurance Options
GROUP LIFE THROUGH EMPLOYER
For an individual with a high-risk occupation, such as being part of a bomb squad, Tony Steuer—Director of Financial Preparedness for United Policyholders—recommends group life insurance through an employer as the first thing to look into, stating, “There’s usually a life insurance option for everyone, even in high-risk jobs. For example, a police or fire department gets group coverage for employees. Loggers can get coverage through an association.”
Of course, there are drawbacks to employer-based coverage and typically it’s that these policies are too small; commercial insurance policies do tend to provide much more coverage and if the individual wants to provide more for their family, group life insurance may just not cut it. For most occupations—less any military occupations which are insured through SGLI for up to $400,000—group life will only provide $20,000 to $50,000 in coverage.
Furthermore, once you leave your occupation, coverage ceases; if retirement comes at an older age, after possibly a significant medical history, it’s going to be even more expensive to get a commercial policy later.
“GUARANTEED-ISSUE LIFE INSURANCE”
These policies eliminate pre-screenings, medical exams, and are issued regardless of what your occupation is; however, they’re very expensive. The going rate is typically three to five times the rate of what someone in another profession might pay for the same policy.
It’s highly recommended that you do your research if you’re considering one of these policies; rates vary wildly from insurer to insurer. Also, if you’re eligible for group life insurance through your employer, but want an additional policy to specifically handle, say, paying off your mortgage, this policy might be a good option. Then, your loved ones are able to put the death benefits from your group life towards more pressing needs.
Seek Professional Advice & Assistance
For high-risk jobs there are high-risk insurance agents; agents whose sole job it is to find those in high-risk occupations the best possible life insurance policy available to them (you can visit Suncorp directly today to find out more). Do your research and find a highly reputable agent, who can do all the grunt work for you, who has a stellar history of providing their clients real results.
“The most important thing an individual can do is feel comfortable with their agent—that he or she represents more than one company and has resources to fully shop and survey the market through the brokerage community,” says Gary Dworkin, Chairman of the National Independent Life Brokerage Agencies.