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Skiing (Hazardous Activity) effects on Term Life Insurance premiums

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

While comparing rates for term life insurance, the phrase 'hazardous activities' comes up as a criteria selection. Under which sky diving, climbing are among the choices on one site. Another, listed quotes under health categories with NO HAZARDOUS ACTIVITIES.

 

How does skiing affect rates and who are more 'hazardous lifestyle friendly' (even though one may be in much better health than their age group) life insurance policy providers? Any good comparison links and suggestions appreciated. I suppose on piste versus off piste skiing may also be part of the question.

 

TIA

post #2 of 26

Alpinord,

 

For most carriers, recreational skiing is not an activity that will affect insurability or even a rating.  The key word is "recreational."  Professional alpine guides, professional ski racers, freeriders in Warren Miller films, along with the usual cast of people who make underwriters nervous (sky divers, race car drivers, professional athletes in contact sports, hang gliders, scuba divers, rock climbers, etc.) are engaged in hazardous activities that will effect mortality.

 

If you are purchasing insurance on-line, the brokerage (e.g., SelectQuote) is typically using one general application to get quotes.  Since some carriers consider skiing hazardous, the question is on the general application. Any quote, of course, is meaningless until an application from a carrier is taken and underwriting takes place.

 

If a smart broker is working with you, he/she will write a cover letter to the underwriter that goes to the carrier with the application.  The broker has to be honest, yet he/she can make explanations in the cover letter that can help the underwriter make a favorable rating (or non-rating).  For example, "The proposed insured owns an established business, and spends free time visiting grown children, recreational skiing, bicycling, hiking and chairing two local charities.  Recreational skiing includes friendly weekend club racing, which he has participated in for over 15 years.  He appears to be in excellent health."  Every underwriter I've ever met would want to insure that guy, assuming his/her underwriting manual doesn't list recreational skiing as a hazardous activity.

 

For large amounts of insurance (term or permanent), carriers have reinsurance and other issues to consider so you would likely want your potential life policy "shopped" informally to many carriers to see which ones won't screw you for skiing a little powder every now an then. 

 

When it comes to term insurance, cheapest is usually best assuming the carrier is financially strong. Purchasing insurance on-line will work for most people who need smaller amounts of insurance.   One exception to this is when the proposed insured engages in an activity that some carriers deem hazardous.  Then it is best to find a good agent or broker and have them shop the policy for you.  Term rates are still cheap, regardless of who gets the commission (on-line broker or the local insurance guy).

 

Remember, on-line quotes are not what you may pay for insurance.  A formal application has to be taken and it has to be reviewed by the underwriter.  Regardless, recreational skiing should not get your life insurance rated.


Edited by quant2325 - 8/19/10 at 10:42pm
post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the detailed response quant2325. I was expecting area skiing to be under the wire, but wanted to make sure.

 

How should 'occasionally engages in BC skiing, multi-day, river, mountain and desert wilderness excursions and wee white water outings like running the Grand Canyon' be described? 

post #4 of 26

Alpinord,

 

You sound like a guy who engages in adventurous activities in a reasonable way, like most people on EPICSKI.  This is good for your longevity.  So on the application, honestly answer what is asked and don't volunteer anything else.  WTH, going into the desert properly supplied isn't the same as walking into the Sahara with no shoes, an empty canteen and a pocket knife.

 

Big Brother is already here, and I don't just mean the Medical Information Bureau (the MIB, Inc. has the medical records of your latest colonoscopy, the time you got the clap in college, etc.if you applied for insurance after the event).  If you apply for a few million of insurance, a low level underwriting employee will likely GOOGLE, LexisNexis, etc. your name to see what comes up as part of their investigative report.  So if there is a photo of you on your website skiing some powder, no problem.  If there is a movie of you on YouTube smoking a spliff the size of a Cohiba, followed by you hucking a 70' cliff, expect a decline.

 

Some people figured out there is an incontestability period with life insurance, and they lie on the application figuring after two years they are OK.  I advise against this practice, and not just because it is dishonest.  You may want more insurance in the future, or even permanent insurance some day (that is looking good for various reasons since interest rates are so low).  Just tell the truth and you should end up with what you want.


Edited by quant2325 - 8/20/10 at 7:44pm
post #5 of 26
Thread Starter 

During a discussion with a local independent agent, he said the hazardous activities most likely to create issues are sky diving, motor sport racing, hang gliding and the like, where one false move and it's over. Stuff like skiing (including BC, surprisingly), running rivers and hiking without high exposure like climbing, are 'normal lifestyle' activities, especially for our area. Hopefully, I'll rate the preferred plus rating.

post #6 of 26

You local agent is talking about the questions he sees on the application.   Yeah, if you are that healthy you should hopefully get the top rating ("preferred plus" or the equivalent).  I only got a "preferred" rating the last time I purchased insurance due to a slightly higher cholesterol level.  I guess that means I'll only live to 95 and not 100+ like you. 

 

Caution:  If you apply for enough insurance you will have to take a brief medical exam, usually in your home.  Be smart.  Don't eat a bowl of spaghetti and meatballs just before they draw blood (cholesterol will shoot up), don't take the exam right after you get off a plane or after you run a marathon, etc.   Make it easy for the underwriter to wite: Preferred ++.

 

Term insurance is still really cheap.  Hopefully your family will never need the death benefit.  But if they do, make sure it is large enough.

post #7 of 26



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by quant2325 View Post

 

Don't eat a bowl of spaghetti and meatballs just before they draw blood (cholesterol will shoot up), don't take the exam right after you get off a plane or after you run a marathon, etc.


Eating just before your blood is drawn will not affect your total cholesterol level.  It can affect your triglyceride level, especially if you eat a very fatty meal.  Triglyceride level is used to calculate low density lipoprotein (LDL or bad part of cholesterol).  Generally, a lipid profile should be drawn after an 8 hour fast to be as accurate as possible.
 

post #8 of 26

don't mention  scuba diving. I was a avid diver and  when I was applying for life insurance, did I get the third degree and had to fill out all kinds of paperwork. I know it cost me more even though I stayed within "recreational limits"

post #9 of 26

I was in the Life Insurance and Investment business for 25 years.

 

this is some of the worse advise ever! DO NOT LIE ON THE APPLICATION!

 

when you do die in a scuba accident and they investigate your demise, they will find out that you were a licensed diver and or that you had regualrly engaged in diving at the time of the application and you heirs wil get your premium back but NO Death Benefit proceeds.

 

Scuba diving recreationally in and of itself will not cost you more $$ but you do have to fill out a questionaire.

 

What can be limited though is if you are a pilot and a diver. Your policy would exclude dioving and flying (piloting) a plane in the same day!

 

New Ypork Life won a case in the State of NY where a smoker lied on the application about being a smoker. He died of unrelated causes to his smoking. Due to his lying on the application  his claim was denied and the court ruled for the Insurance company!

 

Just tell the truth. Don't cut your nose off to spite your face!

 

If you were going to personally go on the hook for $100k, $250K or maybe $1 Million bucks would you ask the hookee a few questions about their activities?  I would!

Just Sayin'...............................

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by darent View Post

don't mention  scuba diving. I was a avid diver and  when I was applying for life insurance, did I get the third degree and had to fill out all kinds of paperwork. I know it cost me more even though I stayed within "recreational limits"


Edited by Atomicman - 8/25/10 at 6:36pm
post #10 of 26


I should have said don"t volunteer information that they don't specifically
ask for. on my app they didn't ask if i scuba dived, they ask what my hobies were. you are correct that you can't lie on the application or they have grounds to not pay.Quote:

Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post

I was in the Life Insurance and Investment business for 25 years.

 

this is some of the worse advise ever! DO NOT LIE ON THE APPLICATION!

 

when you do die in a scuba accident and they investigate your demise, they will find out that you were a licensed diver and or that you had regualrly engaged in diving at the time of the application and you heirs wil get your premium back but NO Death Benefit proceeds.

 

Scuba diving recreationally in and of itself will not cost you more $$ but you do have to fill out a questionaire.

 

What can be limited though is if you are a pilot and a diver. Your policy would exclude dioving and flying (piloting) a plane in the same day!

 

New Ypork Life won a case in the State of NY where a smoker lied on the application about being a smoker. He died of unrelated causes to his smoking. Due to his lying on the application  his claim was denied and the court ruled for the Insurance company!

 

Just tell the truth. Don't cut your nose off to spite your face!

 

if you were going to persoanlly go on the hook for $100k, $250K or maybe 41 Million bucks would you ask the hookee a few quations?

Just Sayin'...............................

 


 
post #11 of 26

Exactly, Only answer exactly what they ask you as accurately as possible!

 

Great Response!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by darent View Post


I should have said don"t volunteer information that they don't specifically
ask for. on my app they didn't ask if i scuba dived, they ask what my hobies were. you are correct that you can't lie on the application or they have grounds to not pay.Quote:


 
post #12 of 26

To directly answer the question, skiing on piste or off is not considered a hazardous activity.

 

Mountain climbing, Rodeo Activites, Organized racing, (although I don't believe recreational ski racing like Masters is a problem.) I did have a client that participated in Classic auto racing and he was charged additional premium as I remember. Rock climbing, Scuba diving, Piloting a plane require further explanation.

 

thiere are alos hazardous occupations which the field life underwriter must further investigate by answering questions on additional forms.

 

I would also point out this also applies to permanaent Cash Value types of policies not just TERM Insurance.

post #13 of 26
Thread Starter 

FWIW, my independent insurance agent came back with preferred quotes from several companies. After choosing an A plus rated one and getting the 'physical' and blood test, they gave me a super preferred rate and refund. This was after being entirely up front with all activities and answering all questions truthfully. Smoking seem to be more of an issue than lifestyle.

post #14 of 26
Interesting background on ratings. Is being a "Ski Instructor" considered "professional Skiing"? How about "Training Director", "DCL" or even "National Team Member"? Would any of these impact rates?

As to hobbies, would hot-waxing your skis really fast with the 2-foot flame of a propane weed burner raise any eyebrows?

.ma
post #15 of 26

Professional skiing is not a problem. It is competitive "Racing" that could be an issue.  But more so for disability then life insurance. Training Director is probably not an issue although that would be rated because of Hazardous Occupation not Hazardous Activity.  And there are many rated or uninsurable Occupations.,

 

National tema meber and actually Racing competitively could cost you more and you.

 

So no being a ski instructor would have no bearing on your rates.

 

I was in the Insurance biz for 25 years and no company I ever dealt with asked about skiing specifically.

 

Now if you are mountain climbing to go skiing, that's a different story.

 

good chance any sort of mountain or rock clinmbing would cost you a bit more.

 

The things to be more concerned about are WEIGHT, CHOLESTEROL & UNCONTROLLED BLOOD PRESSURE AND UNUSUAL MEDICAL HISTORY.

post #16 of 26

michaelA,

 

There is likely no problem with ratings like Atomicman says but...there are exceptions (I funded and was a co-owner of a BGA representing 30+ carriers and know a lot about this stuff).  For example, a national team coach may travel to certain countries for extended lengths of time and that could trigger a rating.  A "national team member" racing DH on the WC is engaging in a non-recreational (read: potentially dangerous) skiing activity.  There are types of things that most agents never think about, but could occur.  So for potentially difficult cases it is best to find an agent that knows what he/she is doing (difficult, but not impossible).  That agent will know how to shop a policy and write a cover letter to the appropriate carrier.

post #17 of 26

Absolutely true!  An above average amount of travel and/or travel to or near areas of politcal unrest can be problematic!

 

Good Call Q!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by quant2325 View Post

michaelA,

 

There is likely no problem with ratings like Atomicman says but...there are exceptions (I funded and was a co-owner of a BGA representing 30+ carriers and know a lot about this stuff).  For example, a national team coach may travel to certain countries for extended lengths of time and that could trigger a rating.  A "national team member" racing DH on the WC is engaging in a non-recreational (read: potentially dangerous) skiing activity.  There are types of things that most agents never think about, but could occur.  So for potentially difficult cases it is best to find an agent that knows what he/she is doing (difficult, but not impossible).  That agent will know how to shop a policy and write a cover letter to the appropriate carrier.

post #18 of 26

Golf (and just about anything) could be construed as a hazardous activity,  How many people have heart attacks over a game of golf?  Lymes disease anyone?  Didn't Tiger blow his knee then break his leg playing golf?rolleyes.gif  Riding bikes and swimming are certainly more hazardous than 99.999999% kinds of skiing.

 

http://www.nsaa.org/nsaa/press/0506/facts-about-skiing-and-snowboarding.asp

post #19 of 26

Dartsky,

 

Life Insurance pays if you DIE!!!  Lyme Disease, a blown knee and a broken leg, Guess what................... You are still alive~ NO payeeeeeee...................................yahoo.gif

 

swimming and riding bikes are seldomly fatal................ Trust me when I say the Life Insurer's know unequivocally what & how much of a death risk any particular activity is!

 

I am sure if you were to go on the hook, to pay someone's family say,ah,  $500K if they die, you'd ask a few (maybe more then a few) questions about their  Health, Activities and Lifestyle!

post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post

Dartsky,


swimming and riding bikes are seldomly fatal................ Trust me when I say the Life Insurer's know unequivocally what & how much of a death risk any particular activity is!

 

 

Really?  these figures disagree with that.

Quote:

Skiing/snowboarding (11/05)

  • 2004 number of fatalities* 45
  • Number of participants (in millions)** 12.2
  • Fatalities per million participants 3.69
  • Days of participation (in millions)* 56.9
  • Fatalities per days of participation rate (per million) .79

Swimming

  • 2004 number of fatalities*** 2,900
    (Drowning: Includes drownings of person swimming or playing in water, or falling into water, except on home premises or at work. Excludes drownings involving boats, which are in water transportation)
  • 2004 Number of participants (in millions)** 53.4
  • Fatalities per million participants 54.3
  • Days of participation (in millions)** 2294
  • Fatalities per days of participation rate (per million) 1.26

Bicycling (resulting from collisions with motor vehicles)

  • 2004 number of fatalities*** 900
  • Number of participants (in millions)** 40.3
  • Fatalities per million participants 22.3
  • Days of participation (in millions)** 2,379
  • By days of participation rate (per million) .38
Sources:
* National Ski Areas Association
** National Sporting Goods Association (Sports Participation, 2004 edition)
***National Safety Council (Injury Facts, 2005-2006 edition)
**** Divers Alert Network, North Carolina

 


Clearly deaths per million participants are way higher in swimming and biking than they are for skiing (at least in 2004 they were).  Biking stat only includes car collision deaths too, would be higher if they included mountain bikers hitting trees.

post #21 of 26

I notice that sledding (snowmobiling) doesn't seem to be mentioned. The last time I looked at the stats for winter sport injuries/deaths (Canadian figures), I believe that sledding was two or three times more hazardous than either skiing or boarding.

post #22 of 26

For me it wouldn't make any difference if I routinely jumped out of airplanes wearing scuba gear and skis instead of flippers.

 

I've been a type 1 diabetic for 36 years. I'm supposed to be dead already. I can't buy health or life insurance for a price anyone in their right mind would be willing to pay, despite not smoking and maintaining cholesterol and triglyceride levels typical of a 3rd-world resident who lives on brown rice with no animal fat.

 

I don't have any life insurance. Period.

post #23 of 26

Hazardous activities are usually asked on the life insurance application so getting quotes from a multitude of websites isn't the best thing to go by while deciding whether or not your recreational activities are covered. Some life insurers may consider certain activities more hazardous than others which is why it's good to work with a broker that knows their stuff. Besides the company you already researched, I used (termlifeinsurance)  to get connected with several different agents/companies who would compete for my business.

 

Edit out link to termlifeinsurance at their request. 

post #24 of 26

How about if you start doing hazardous activities well after you have the policy?  Are you supposed to just report it?  I'm sure, especially with life insurance, that as people move, etc., they just continue to pay the premiums and never notify anyone that they've taken up race car driving.

post #25 of 26


Nope! As long as you answered the question (And it depends on how the questions is phrased) on the application, truthfully and honestly. It may say for example;  Have you engaged within the last year or have any plan to engage in motor racing on land or water,  underwater diving, skydiving, balloning, hanggliding, parachuting or flying ultra light aircraft or other hazardous sports or hobbies?

 

If you feel you must answer yes to this (and remember for future activities it asks "ANY PLAN to ENGAGE IN" you must then fill out an avocation questionaire asking more detailed information about the activity. If you truly have no plan and have not done it in the past year you answer no.

 

But then there is an "Incontestable Clause" in all life policies which precludes the insurer fom cancelling the policy for misrepresntation on the application after the policy is inforce for 2 years. Also a 2 year suicide clause whihc usually states that if the insured commits suicide during the first tow years the premium paid is returned but no Death benfit is paid out. After 2 years sucicide is covered as any death.

 

A provision in a life or HEALTH INSURANCE policy that precludes the insurer from alleging that the policy, after it has been in effect for a stated period (typically two or three years), is void because of misrepresentations made by the insured in the application for it.

An incontestability clause prevents an insurer from denying benefits on the ground of MISREPRESENTATION in the application. The clause applies only when the policy has been in effect for a specified period of time. This time period, the contestability period, is usually two or three years.

Most states maintain statutes that require an incontestability clause in life and health insurance contracts. The incontestability clause strikes a balance between providing predictable coverage and protecting the right of insurers to select the precise risks they seek to insure.

Most incontestability clauses are limited by a provision stating that the contestability period must be completed within the lifetime of the insured. With this nuance the insurer is able to contest a claim for benefits after the contestability period has lapsed if the insured dies before the end of that period. This protects insurers from providing benefits to someone who was already so ill at the inception of the policy that he or she died less than two years later. It means that the insurer may contest the flow of insurance benefits to the insured's heirs.



Read more: Incontestability Clause - Period, Policy, Contestability, Insurance, Haas, and Insured http://law.jrank.org/pages/7575/Incontestability-Clause.html#ixzz1NmyEt1Yf 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

How about if you start doing hazardous activities well after you have the policy?  Are you supposed to just report it?  I'm sure, especially with life insurance, that as people move, etc., they just continue to pay the premiums and never notify anyone that they've taken up race car driving.



 


Edited by Atomicman - 5/30/11 at 5:33pm
post #26 of 26

Bike riding and swimming are far more hazardous activities than snow skiing according to industry mortality rates. 

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