How can the risks of your occupation influence whether or not you can take out life insurance and what you will pay?
For many people, just going to work every day and performing their everyday duties can greatly increase the chance of them suffering a serious injury, needing time off work, becoming totally and permanently disabled or loosing their life. Construction workers, offshore fishermen, police officers, electricians, pilots, loggers, farmers, firefighters and underground miners are just some of the occupations which are typically classed among the riskiest jobs.
However, just because you work in one of these professions doesn’t necessarily mean an insurer will automatically class you as high-risk applicant. From the type of work you do to the type of machinery you use, a range of factors come into play when determining just how dangerous your occupation actually is.
Some factors that may be considered by insurance companies:
- If you work high off the ground, such as cleaning windows or helping to build large buildings, you might be considered high risk.
- If you work with explosives, or around dangerous chemicals, then you’re likely to be considered a higher risk. The closer you work with them, the higher the risk.
- If you work underground, such as mining operations, that’s a high risk.
- If firearms are part of your job, then you’ve made the risk-list as well.
- Members of the armed forces are on the list, for obvious reasons.
- Any journalist, cameraman, photographer, etc who works war zones is also on the list.
What is generally automatically excluded from cover?
- Active engagement in war
- If you take part in acts of terrorism, strikes, rioting, insurrections, a coup or criminal activity and your insurance company finds out, they’re going to reject or cancel your policy
- Suicide in the first 13 months of cover
- Claims related to drugs or alcohol
- Self-inflicted injury or harm
What hobbies and sports may be excluded from certain policies?
There are quite a few dangerous, yet very popular, hobbies and sports which will raise red flags with insurance companies. These will include:
- Involvement in most motor sports
- Inherently risky hobbies like hunting, polo and racing
- “Thrill seeker” hobbies like bungee jumping, hang gliding and sky diving
- Rock climbing and mountaineering
- Scuba diving without and instructor when you’re not qualified poses and obvious risk, as well as a red flag
- Professional sports, especially as they get more violent. This should pretty well go without saying