High Risk Life Insurance

The price you pay for life insurance will depend on how much of a risk you are deemed to be when compared with the average risk for your age and gender.

Insurers calculate premiums based on factors such as health, lifestyle and occupation to determine the likelihood of having to pay out in the event of death; with those deemed to be the most likely to result in an pay-out known as high risk life insurance policies.

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To ascertain this, they will ask questions about your personal circumstances as well as your health. Those who undertake activities which are deemed “high-risk” can end up paying higher premiums as they will have a shorter life expectancy than someone who is lower risk. In some cases, they could even find they are refused cover altogether.

High risk groups

Aside from your health, two of the main factors which insurers will take into account when calculating premiums are any dangerous hobbies and sports that prospective policy holders may be involved in, as well as high risk occupations.

High-risk occupations include working as a miner, oil worker (particularly if you work offshore), pilot, fireman, fisherman or being in the armed forces.

Dangerous sports and hobbies include motor racing, diving, skiing, parachuting, and extreme sports, such as snowboarding, professional BMX, and white water rafting.

With dangerous sports and hobbies, the insurer will assess how the activity could affect your health or result in an early death when calculating premiums, but will also take into account years of experience and relevant qualifications.

The over-60s and those suffering from pre-existing medical conditions, such as heart attack, cancer or diabetes may also be also classed in the “high risk” category, and will have to pay more for their premium.

The same applies to smokers, as research shows smoking can significantly damage health and lead to life-threatening conditions. All of these factors could contribute towards you being pushed towards a high risk life insurance policy.

Reduce the cost of high risk life insurance policies

You can reduce the cost of high risk life insurance policies by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, or by demonstrating that you’ve made efforts towards a healthier lifestyle.

This might include reducing cholesterol levels or quitting smoking – although insurers will generally only rate customers as non-smokers if they have gone a full 12 months without nicotine-free.
Don’t forget that the level of risk attributed to an individual is entirely down to the insurer – so even though one insurer declines you life insurance, it doesn’t automatically mean they all will. Indeed, there are a number of specialist high risk life insurance companies on the market.

The key is to compare quotes from insurance companies and shop around for the right cover for you.

You may also find that while mainstream insurers refuse to cover a high-risk customer, a specialist high risk life insurance provider will likely be more willing to deal with you and offer you cover.

But don’t cancel an old policy until you have confirmation that you are fully covered by the new policy, just in case you have difficulties in the underwriting process, as you don’t want to leave yourself without cover.

Always check your life insurance policy carefully so you know exactly what you are covered for, and always remember to inform the insurer if there are any changes in your lifestyle which could impact upon the validity of your current insurance policy.

Finally, it is vital that you are completely honest in the answers you give to questions when filling out the details required in order to retrieve life insurance quotes –especially those relating to your health and occupation.

Failure to be completely upfront with your insurer could invalidate your policy, and prevent your dependants from receiving a pay-out when you die.