Income protection and life insurance for skydivers

Am I covered for skydiving?

Almost any skydiver will tell you that it’s worth it. There are risks involved, but the same could be said of almost anything. Fortunately, you don’t have to choose between doing what you love and protecting your family if something happens to you. Life insurance or income protection can cover you if you skydive but usually at an additional cost.

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How can an insurer cover me if I skydive?

Life insurance and income protection policies will cover skydiving in one of three ways. The availability of these options may depend on the insurer and the specific policy, your skydiving experience, how many jumps you do a year and where they take place.

  • Full cover at no extra cost: An ideal outcome if you're eligible, this means you’re covered for death, disability, injury or illnesses resulting from skydiving without needing to pay extra for it. This is generally reserved for low risk policyholders.
  • Full cover with premium loadings: Certain policies and insurers may offer full cover for skydiving-related events, but will charge additional premium loadings. These may take the form of a straight percentage increase, or might be applied as a flat extra cost, usually between $2 and $15 depending on your risk levels, per $1,000 sum insured.
  • Exclusions for skydiving: This option means you are not covered for skydiving-related accidents, but are not paying premium loadings for life cover either. Insurers might apply this as a condition of your policy, or you might opt for it if you don’t want to pay more for life insurance. This is more likely to be applied to high risk policyholders.

What risk factors are considered when it comes to skydivers?

Different options availability typically depends on how the insurers determine your risk levels, along with factoring in other important considerations:

  • Regular skydivers are often into other extreme sports as well. The more of these you do and the more frequently you practice them, the higher your risk.
  • Your experience level. Less experienced skydivers are typically at higher risk than more experienced ones. Sometimes this might be counterbalanced by the fact that more experience often means more jumps per year.
  • Risk outside of a skydivers control. A lot of the risk of skydiving comes from factors entirely beyond one’s control, regardless of experience. Professional skydivers may expect an increased likelihood of higher premiums or exclusions simply because they spend more time in the air.
  • Tighter restrictions for competitors. Skydivers who compete in exhibitions, competitions, record attempts or similar events may not be covered for those in particular, or may face more substantial loadings depending on their participation in these.

In addition to this information, either you will need to provide or your insurer will assess standard life insurance information including height, weight, age, sex, smoking status and the presence of pre-existing conditions and other health issues.

Why should I tell my insurer that I skydive?

Life insurance providers need relevant and accurate information to effectively determine the terms of your cover. If you are not honest with your insurer your policy may exclude certain conditions or circumstances that you presume are covered.

If you are not entirely honest with your insurer they are allowed reject claims if it is found that you would not have been able to access the same cover or the same premiums had you been honest with them. It does not matter what the nature of the claim is, only that your policy conditions would have been different in any way.

How much will I pay for life insurance that covers skydiving?

It depends on the type of policy, how the insurers determine your risk level according all the relevant factors and whether skydiving is excluded, covered at additional cost or freely included in your policy.

How does premium loading work when it comes to risky sports?

Some insurers will use a premium loading method called dollar-per-mil premium. This is when a dollar amount is added to your base premium for every $1,000 you have insured. Below is an example of how it works:

Sum insured$500,000
Dollar-per-mil loading$2
Loading amount per year$1,000 ($2 x 500)
Base annual premium$800
Total premium$1,800

What types of life insurance can I choose from?

Combined life insurance includes options for:

  • Death cover: This is found in all life insurance policies, and can pay lump sum benefits, including an advance for funeral costs, in the event of death.
  • Permanent disability: Total and permanent disablement (TPD) cover will pay lump sum benefits if an injury or illness leaves you permanently disabled and unable to work.
  • Income protection: If you are temporarily unable to work as a result of injury or illness, income protection can pay out a regular portion of your usual income until you are able to return.
  • Trauma insurance: In the event of you experiencing a specific health event named in the trauma insurance policy, this type of cover will pay out a lump sum depending on the nature of the event. This type of cover will only pay benefits for non-fatal incidents, and it is generally safe to assume that skydiving accidents will rarely, if ever, lead to a successful trauma insurance claim.

How do I find life insurance as a skydiver?

If you don’t want to get skydiving excluded from your policy, you can expect to pay more for cover. Consider each policy on its suitability for your needs and those of your beneficiaries, as well as based on cost.

Finding effective life cover as a skydiver often means engaging with a company’s insurance agents and discussing available policies. Not everyone has the time for this, and many people choose to let an adviser do the hard work instead.

How can I tell if my life insurance automatically excludes skydiving?

Check the product disclosure statement to see how your policy does or does not cover skydiving. It may use “activities at height”, “aerial pursuits”, “hazardous pastimes” or other terms to refer to skydiving as well as other excluded activities.

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