The short answer is yes if you participate in the extreme hobbies you love. You must be sure to disclose any extreme hobbies or sports you regularly participate in your insurance company. This article will explain why, from the office of a prominent national life insurance attorney.
What are Extreme Hobbies and Sports for the Purposes of Life Insurance?
Extreme hobbies and sports are the activities that insurance companies believe put you at greater risk of death. They vary among insurance companies but commonly include:
- Scuba diving
- Off-piste skiing or snowboarding
- Free climbing
- BMX racing
- Big wave surfing
- Hang gliding
- Mixed martial arts
You will pay higher insurance premiums if you participate in hobbies or sports that the insurance company thinks are dangerous. Some extreme activities will be listed among the policy’s “exclusions,” meaning if you die while doing them your death will not be covered by your policy and your beneficiaries will not receive the death benefit.
How Much Higher Will My Insurance Premiums Be?
These factors affect how much higher your insurance premiums will be, using scuba diving as an example.
What is the level of your participation in the activity? You may scuba dive recreationally in 30-60 feet of water in the Bahamas, or you may be an extreme wreck diver and treasure hunter, diving to 100 feet or more in cold and rough seas. Each situation will be assessed differently and the first will pay less in premiums than the second.
What is your age and experience level? If you are in your 20’s, just completed a beginning diving course, and propose to go wreck diving, you may pay a higher premium than a seasoned diver in their 40’s having hundreds of hours of successful diving under their belts. On the other hand, a beginning wreck diver in their 20’s may pay less in premiums than a beginning wreck diver in their 40’s.
Do you have accredited training? PADI and NAUI are two organizations that offer tiered training programs for those interested in learning to scuba dive safely. A wreck diver should take the beginning course, the advanced course, the wreck diving course, and perhaps mixed gas and first aid courses. If you show the insurance agent you have the necessary training to do the type of scuba diving you want to do, you will pay less in premiums.
Where do you participate in the activity? Scuba diving in hostile or remote environments is more dangerous than scuba diving in a placid tropical bay. Those diving in hostile environments regularly will pay more in premiums.
How frequently do you participate in the activity? If you dive every weekend, you will pay more in premiums than someone who dives once a month. However, if you only dive once a year on vacation, you may pay more in premiums because the insurance adjuster may believe you are not diving enough to maintain your skills.
Examine Your Policy and Disclose Your Extreme Activities
Prior to purchasing life insurance, shop around for a policy that does not exclude your hobby or hobbies from coverage. Then compare price, because each insurance company weighs the above factors differently.
Most importantly, be sure to disclose your participation in activities your insurance company lists as dangerous. If you do not, and you die while participating in an undisclosed activity, your insurance company will deny your beneficiaries’ claims for the death benefit due to your misrepresentation.