One of the more difficult tasks we face is when a client approaches us needing life insurance and base jumping is an extreme activity they’re involved in (to any capacity).
There are very, very few carriers willing to insure individuals engaging in such hazardous hobbies.
Compared to the risks of other hobbies, base jumping is actually much more dangerous in scope and execution.
This is because applicants who engage in base jumping are more likely to sustain a life-threatening injury or even perish, especially since the activity involves leaping from high altitudes with a parachute or wingsuit. But, no form of aircraft is involved.
With base jumping, there is a higher risk the insurance provider would need to pay out on a policy sooner than expected.
For applicants, this often translates into higher premiums due to the increased liability risk on the part of the insurer. As a result, most insurance carriers simply will decline applicants deemed too “risky.”
There are a few companies more lenient with their liability measures, though most of the time these applicants would need to seek non-traditional methods of insurance.
Or, you’ll be offered a more exclusionary policy from a standard insurer.
Life Insurance and Base Jumping: A Leap Of Faith For Carriers?
If you’re a base jumper and need life insurance coverage, we can help. There are even some carriers that specialize in or cater to extreme sports, so let us assist you in finding the right coverage.
Base jumpers, somewhat similar to their sky jumping counterparts, will have a much harder time finding an appropriately priced insurance policy that also provides adequate coverage.
Many insurance companies will not even consider providing coverage for a base jumper, regardless of their experience level.
This is because their fatality risk is much higher compared to applicants who don’t participate in dangerous hobbies.
So, can you get covered as a base jumper?
There are really several ways to accomplish this, but you’ll be looking at higher premiums and fewer coverage options to choose from.
Also, if you fail to disclose your inclination to base jump during the underwriting process but perish while base jumping, there’s a huge chance your claim would be denied.
Like other risky hobbies, you’ll be asked questions about your base jumping activity, both past and present.
Expect to discuss topics ranging from safety equipment used and heights you’ve jumped from to base jumping locations (cliff, bridge, etc.).
You also may be asked about your experience level, if you jump alone or with a group, and if you compete (or plan to compete) in any base jumping competitions.
Below are the different kinds of coverage available to you, listed from cheapest to most expensive along with most difficult to obtain to simplest:
- Traditional Life Insurance
- Extraordinary Risk Life Insurance
- Accidental & Dismemberment Coverage
- Exclusionary Life Insurance
Traditional Life Insurance
Your first option is to go ahead and try applying for a traditionally underwritten policy, but you’ll have to go about it a different way.
Speak with an independent agent who is familiar with pre-approvals (also referred to as fast quoting, quick quoting, or informal inquiries) and who has access to underwriters directly–this is what we do.
We compile all of your information and take it to an underwriter, anonymously, to see if there’s coverage potential from any carrier.
If you can get approved for this type of coverage, based on the basic criteria reviewed for this risk, expect a Standard rating plus a flat extra fee.
Here’s how it works:
Jeff was approved for a term life insurance policy in the amount of $400,000. However, in addition to his base premium of $650 per year, the insurance company is charging a $7.50 flat extra.
The flat extra is calculated like this: $7.50 x 400 = $3,000.
Because there is an annual surcharge of $7.50 per thousand, his new total annual premium is $3,650.
In almost every case, the applicant will also need to go through a standard medical exam, supplying blood and urine samples in the process.
Extraordinary Risk Life Insurance
The second option, assuming the first is exhausted, is to try applying with Lloyd’s of London.
For a price, they’ll insure almost anything, including those who engage in hazardous hobbies.
We can help you with this as well, but be prepared to have restrictions enforced on your insurance policy, and expect much higher premiums than if you were to be insured traditionally.
As mentioned, only choose this option if the traditional life insurance route is not made available to you. The good news with this type of policy is that there is limited underwriting compared to traditional life insurance policies.
Because the carriers are primarily securing coverage with these known risks, they bypass some of the typical underwriting processes traditional providers must adhere to.
However, this directly attributes to a greater cost on the part of the applicant.
Simply put, more risk means more premium (and a lot more hoops to jump through!).
Accidental & Dismemberment Coverage
AD&D coverage is somewhat the opposite of regular life insurance. It ONLY pays out if you die in the event of an accident, and not in any other way.
You’ll be surprised to find the prices are very affordable; however, you need to consider an exclusionary policy in addition to this so you’ll be covered regardless of the cause of death.
If you suffer from any health-related issues, or fail to report an accidental death in the proper amount of time, there is no payout for beneficiaries.
In some cases, there could even be partial payouts, depending on the issuing company and policy in force.
Exclusionary Life Insurance
Finally, the exclusionary policy is similar to one mentioned on our sky diving page, where certain carriers will allow you to be covered, with the exception of while you’re participating in your hazardous activity.
You apply and request the exclusion up front, understanding you’ll not be covered during the activity.
If you insist on pursuing base jumping as a hobby, this may be your only option when it comes to securing coverage.
Unfortunately, base jumping is a very tough risk for insurance companies to cover without taking on a large amount of liability.
Using a non-impaired risk agent or insurance agency will almost certainly get you a decline – and, therefore, no coverage.
For those participating in a risky hobby, such as base jumping, you can get a quote here. We’ll gladly walk you through our process and answer any questions you may have.
We cannot guarantee coverage for anyone, but we have superior experience in working with high-risk cases, such as applicants who participate in base jumping.
Enrolling in a professional training course for base jumping or ensuring your safety certifications are current may help you land lower premiums. If you decide to leave your daredevil days in the past, you may be able to get your rates adjusted accordingly.
As always, conduct your own research and determine what coverage exclusions may affect your insurability by being an avid base jumper.
If we can’t get you covered, then nobody can. Trust us to get the job done for you.