If you have a risky job, then you might want to buy insurance to decrease how risky your life is. We are not talking about signing up for a basic insurance policy work provides, then skipping along to your hazardous occupation. We are talking about contacting a high-risk specialist and buying some individual life insurance and disability insurance to protect your family if you die before winning employee of the month.
There are a number of industries categorized as high-risk, from farming to timber, and fishing to flying and construction. Basically, if there is a chance something at work could crush you, drown you, blow you up or make you critically ill, you need more than a standard insurance policy. Life insurance guarantees your family will not be left financially destitute in the event of your death, but unless your job has some sweet disability benefits, it is best to purchase additional insurance just to be safe.
In the past, the cost for individual life insurance for those who work in a risky environment often came at a steep price, but Ryan Pinney, brokerage director at Pinney Insurance Center Inc. in Roseville, Calif., said insurance companies have become more competitive when it comes to pricing a policy that covers a hazardous profession.
“We routinely survey life insurance companies about changes to the most common vocational high-risk situations (SWAT team, explosives handler, etc.),” Pinney said. “The way companies rate a vocational hazard is usually pretty consistent, but every once in a while someone will make a major change related to their underwriting procedures to compete in the market.”
When it comes to certain professions, Pinney said, the risky business can fall into a hazardous avocation (hobby) category, or overlooked due to the job’s title. For example, a member of the SWAT team would most likely put down “law enforcement” or “police” as his profession, and would not typically be rated by an insurance company. Similarly, explosives handlers for building construction and demolition may fall into the “construction worker” category and be rated accordingly.
While certain professions like helicopter/airplane pilots, scuba divers and even smoke jumpers sign up for life insurance, an insurance company may require them to fill out an extra questionnaire that explains their job duties in detail. If the dangerous activity is recreational, they may be denied coverage, but if it is something they do professionally, then they may be covered and charged a flat extra—basically, an extra fee added on for every $1000 of coverage.